This morning as I looked through pictures of myself as a kid, I was amazed to realize how very little I’ve changed in the last twenty years. In many ways I’m still just a barefoot, messy-haired kid running around looking at the world through eyes of wonder, and soaking in the moments.
One-year-old me liked wearing clothes with different textures. Twenty-four-year-old me still does. (Plus, sparkly socks. Because they’re the best.)
Two-year-old me’s first memory is of flying. Twenty-four-year-old me is still thrilled to bits to travel by airplane.
Three-year-old me liked to make silly faces whenever she passed a mirror or camera came out. Twenty-four-year-old me still has a habit of going-crazy faced whenever I see my reflection.
Four-year-old me loved to cuddle kittens and rats and nearly every other critter. Twenty-four-year-old me has a rabbit, rat, cat, and dog, and dreams of adding more.
Five-year-old me spent endless hours hiking through the woods. Twenty-four-year-old me still finds the woods incredibly enticing and would be quite happy to live out in them, miles away from civilization. (As long as I could still blog, because, well, blogging is up there next to sparkly socks.)
Six-year-old me saved special treats and savored them forever. Twenty-four-year-old me still has a special piece of chocolate in my jewelry box that someone gave me nearly 13 years ago.
Seven-year-old me was ornery and asked strangers to stomp on her oldest sister’s feet when I visited her at college. Twenty-four-year-old me is nicer, but still has fun asking strangers random questions.
Eight-year-old me spent endless hours creating villages and worlds in the sandbox. Twenty-four-year-old me spends endless hours creating villages and worlds on paper.
Nine-year-old me began spending whole afternoons reading when possible. Twenty-four-year-old me still spends whole afternoons reading when possible.
Ten-year-old me would braid her hair in two braids and walk around acting like the characters from her favorite books. Twenty-four-year-old me now acts out my favorite characters from my own books.
Eleven-year-old me camped out every chance she got, and couldn’t stand shoes. Twenty-four-year-old me still camps out every chance I get, and shoes? Only when necessary.
Twelve-year-old me longed more than anything to go back to the days of Laura Ingalls and live in her world. Twenty-four-year-old me would still like to spend a year in a shanty on the prairie, cooking salt pork on a cookstove.
Thirteen-year-old me loved getting to babysit her nieces. Twenty-four-year-old me still loves spending time with my nieces and nephews.
Fourteen-year-old me began to really cherish quiet-alone time. Twenty-four-year-old me now enjoys quiet-alone time more than ever.
Fifteen-year-old me turned into a night owl who enjoyed staying up late writing. Twenty-four-year-old me’s favorite time to write, or read, or anything is late at night.
Sixteen-year-old me learned how to handle a garden and canning on her own. Twenty-four-year-old me doesn’t allot time to gardening or canning, but still enjoys the process.
Seventeen-year-old me would go out and swing every night for an hour or two under the glow of the brilliant moon and bright stars. Twenty-four-year-old me would still swing every night if possible, and does so as often as I can.
Eighteen-year-old me wanted desperately to prove to herself that she could do certain things. Twenty-four-year-old me still has a longing to prove stuff to myself.
Nineteen-year-old me dreamed of starting a blog. Twenty-four-year-old me is thrilled to be a consistent blogger.
Twenty-year-old me dreamed of having her books published. Twenty-four-year-old me now has three books published and dreams of even more books joining the ranks.
Twenty-one-year-old me dreamed of having her best friend live close by. Twenty-four-year-old me is constantly amazed at how all of her best-friend-dreams have come true.
Twenty-two-year-old me thought it was incredibly fun to track pretty much everything in life. Twenty-four-year-old me now has a good tracking system that I thoroughly enjoy.
Twenty-three-year-old me was bid farewell at midnight. As I enter my twenty-fourth year, sparkly socks in place, I look forward to having 365 days to fill and categorize, and change.
This last year was full of adventures, living, unexpectedness, editing, reaching, learning, growing. With 366 days to fill up, life sometimes felt like a puzzle as I tried to fit all the pieces together an organize them in such a way to make the most of my time. I’m so thankful for what God bought me through, how He worked in my life, and the comfort He gave. There were some really difficult times (like when my adopted dad was in the hospital), and there were some extremely rewarding times (like each time I finished a draft of WLHYL).
Overall, I was gone 19 weeks, or 133 nights, and read 97 books. I was so excited when I figured that up this morning, because when I was twenty-two I was gone for 128 nights, and read 180 books. The fact that I read just over half the amount of books I read last year is a huge blessing to me, because that meant this year I felt well enough to really live life. Of the books I read this year 57 of them were fiction, and 40 were nonfiction. That’s by far the most nonfiction I’ve ever read in a year, so yay! For the writing side of the year, I wrote 282 posts on Noveltea, completed the first drafts of two books, and completed fourteen drafts of When Life Hands You Lymes.
As I gaze into this next year, I literally have no clue what it will hold. I’m anticipating the need to hold on tight, open my eyes wide, and fling myself whole-heartedly into some grand adventures.