Many people will say that you are a man or a woman when you hit 18—that you have suddenly gone from being a teenager to a well-mannered adult who should be treated like one. Girls and boys are now used as terms to describe children, and man and woman are words that now describe you or your friend.
But I don’t think I really considered myself grown up—I don’t think I really considered the reflection I saw to be a woman—as opposed to a girl—until this year—until I really felt as though I grew up.
Over the course of the year, I made a grown-up decision to return to the states as my wallet grew thinner and my ambition expanded. I beat bouts of anxiety and downward excitement with conversation and coffee. I defeated dismal days of dread with an optimistic outlook. And I challenged myself beyond belief.
I made family a priority.
I kept my best friends--the best friends in the entire world.
I made new friends.
I found a family of comradery in a world full of comedy.
I discovered that the city is lonely til you reach out and make it not so lonely.
I learned that people here will support you as you unconditionally support them, and that giving a lot, means receiving a lot more.
I forged a friendship with several inspirational mentors who I never struggled to let criticize and push me towards my goals and my dreams.
I released those from my life that were creating a negative film over my perspectives and I made my own decisions.
I reconnected with those that I had lost touch with days, months, years ago; who once were a large part of my life, but had since been lost due to distance and time.
I kept in touch with those that I left just over a year ago to tackle my trembling fear that I would never return to Italy.
I let people in.
And I let me…know me. I smiled. I laughed. I cried. I joked. I stumbled. I stood.
And in the foam of this beautiful and delightful fragile cappuccino…I reflect. And I think “Looking pretty good Libs…Looking pretty great.”
Here’s to 2011…and Here’s to 2012—a year of excitement.