If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said 2013 was the worst year of my life. And it was bad – it was a rollercoaster of emotions and change and turmoil. If I never experience another year like 2013, I won’t complain. But each year has its good and its bad, that’s a part of life and living it.

When I think 2013, really the year began last November when my Grandma was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Suddenly, Grandma became the focus and we charged into 2013 unsure of what would happen and hoping it would be a better year.

Well, our hopes didn’t come true and we lost Grandma this March, on Palm Sunday. The day my Grandma died, the sun never shone and it rained and rained, as if the whole world cried. Our foundation, our matriarch, our rock – losing her set the tone for the year and changed the course of many of my decisions. Not a day has went by this year that I haven’t missed her. That we haven’t missed her.

But every year comes with good and bad. I graduated from USF this year. After four years of hard work, craziness and good memories, I accomplished my goal and my friends and I were thrust into the real world. Most of us are spread across cities and states now, and it has been a bittersweet adjustment. My girls, who I lived with for four years, are spread hundreds of miles away and I miss them.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have predicted where I am today. Some things were a given – I got my diploma, Mike and Suz got married, I’m still indecisive about my life. But other things were a definitely a surprise – I moved to Miami, I moved home to Orlando, I’m doing AmeriCorps, I’m a role model for 200 ninth graders.

Sitting in a circle last Friday, surrounded by an incredibly diverse group of people, I felt so grateful for the amazing new people this year has brought into my life. I’m truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to know them. Really, no matter what you are doing in life – it’s the people who make each stepping stone worthwhile.

As the year winds down, I realize things work out. Life goes on, not always as predicted, but if you think things always go according to plan than you haven’t made enough plans! I’m not going to try to predict where I’ll be this time next year. I won’t predict what I’ll be doing or who I’ll be grabbing dinner with, but I do know that the people who matter will always stick around and the things that are important to you will always stay a priority.

I’ve never been one to say everything happens for a reason or to believe in destiny or divine-intervention, but I do believe that things work themselves out and seasons change, and you usually end up right where you are supposed to be.

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