arms wide open.

It’s been a year, y’all.

I’m just not sure how else to put it.

And I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions and super-sentimental wrap-ups but it has been. a. year. So I’m doing this. Let’s talk 2013.

Things that happened in 2013: I lived in Malta for 4.5 months. I swam in the Mediterranean and learned how to bake without measuring things and stole lemons and jumped in a pool at midnight. I drank lots of tea and talked and laughed, so so much, sitting around the kitchen table for hours. I met great people and picked up some British slang and miss you all, all the dang time.

2013-06-09 16.15.15

I visited Rome, Florence, Venice, Budapest, Paris. I freaked out, on the regular, that I was actually in Venice and Budapest and Paris. I wore the same pair of jeans for 15 days straight while I lived out of my backpack. I wandered around Rome by myself. I met up with my bestie in Florence and we looked at art and ate and ate.

I ate so many crepes and gelato and pastries. So many.

I took a selfie with the Mona Lisa. I took selfies in front of lots of things. It’s cool.

I spent a month in Kenya with the best team ever. I learned what community is and how to love on others. I held so many kids and they broke my heart. I saw elephants. I got an awesome chaco tan. I discovered how many people you can actually fit into a five-person car. I learned how to make chapati and cut cabbage the Kenyan way. I met God, daily, constantly, truly and fell crazily, head-over-heels in love with Him.

And this happened.

I came back. I worked at summer camp for a week and hung out with the coolest kids around. (I got asked if I was a boy, several times). I went back to Greensboro after 9 months away and found my friends, my church, my college family. I started my senior year, I dropped a major and realized that I was actually graduating this year, I freaked out that I was actually graduating this year.

I blogged every single day for a month. I decided to be a woman of valor and worked on my brave. I found blogger friends and laughed in front of my twitter. I found a home in this internet space and wrote my heart out and learned and dreamed.

I saw a cousin get married and selfied with the extended family. I listened to Maya Angelou speak. I baked a lot of cookies. I danced with all I had. I read a lot of books. I knitted some things. I successfully fed myself for an entire semester, and kept the kitchen kinda clean, too. I was surrounded by the best people you could ask for. I cried a lot but I laughed a lot, too.

So it’s been a year. A crazy, all-over-the-place, hard, hilarious, challenging, fun, insane, growing year. And here it is and here it’s over, and we’re starting a new one tomorrow.

Last year, I wrote about 2013, my hopes and fears.

I hope to live this next year with arms wide open. With a heart full of love, ready to pour out onto anyone who comes near enough to let me hug them. With total surrender of myself, or at least total surrender of a tiny bit more of myself, and a little bit more dependence on the Lord.

It’s going to be an adventure, and I’m terrified and thrilled and nowhere near ready, but maybe by the time this year ends I’ll be ready for it.

I wasn’t ready for it. I don’t think you can be ready for it. I think you just have to open your arms wide and take it as it comes. And I didn’t do that perfectly, but I think I did it. I’m gonna keep doing it. Arms wide open, babygirl. Arms wide open.

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One thought on “arms wide open.

  1. This is seriously so beautiful, Hannah. 2013 held opportunities for you that I have only ever dreamed of having. Praying that your 2014 is just as rich.

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