Day 96: A Year In Review

2019…what an incredible year. It seems as if I blinked and the whole thing disappeared in an instant. For so long I always thought 2013 was my favorite year of all, however, 2019 has by far surpassed every year that followed it. Although it has had its fair share of ups and downs, overall this year has been my favorite.

Here are some of my favorite memories from throughout the year.

I started college at Liberty University Online in January! After graduating early from high school, I decided to pursue an Associates Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Since then I have finished my very first year and am now half way through my degree. I have been focusing my studies on both psychology and business and I look forward to graduating in December of 2020.

In March, I started a new photography series which you can read more about through this blog post. With this series I hope to explore the beauty of abandoned buildings and in the future expand it even further than simply photographs. I plan on launching the second phase of this series in 2021 after I have worked more on the photography aspect of the project.

I started ballet when I was just two years old and this year I performed with two of my best friends as high school graduates. During this performance I had a knee injury and shin splints, but I truly believe that was the best performance I have ever had. For so long I wanted to pursue ballet and while I know now I do not want a career in it, I cannot imagine my life without it.

Not only was I able to ride in a train for the first time, but I had the opportunity to see my favorite story ever performed as a ballet. To say I am obsessed with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is an understatement (I own eight copies of the book). However, nothing can beat seeing the story performed live in the Metropolitan Opera House by the American Ballet Theatre. It was truly magical and a trip I will never forget.

For four years I have had the opportunity to attend the Promoting Passion Convention put on by the amazing Brooke Shaden. It was done a little differently this year and I had the pleasure of being able to travel down to Atlanta, GA for the single day event that was held this year. This convention is the most inspiring thing I have ever witnessed and the attendees have become quite like family to me.

It had been over four years since I had seen my childhood friend and four years is far too long. What started as a friendship based off of letters alone, the seven years I have known this incredibly special person have been some of my favorites. In July, I was able to meet up with her and spend a few days together. The late night conversations that turned into early morning conversations, the giggles, and the memories made together will forever be special.

For years I have always hated politics, whenever they were mentioned I would either be the first to change the subject or leave the room. However, I attended a convention to be able to see the friend I mentioned above. It was during the Teen Student Action Summit put on by Turning Point USA that I realized politics were not as stuffy and as boring as I thought they were. Because of my dear friend and this convention I realized I had an interest for pursuing politics and seeing where this passion will take me.

No trip can be perfect and while having your car broken into is never fun, a simple and short trip to the beach proved to be magical. I had quite forgotten what the ocean was like, especially at sunrise and sunset. It was during this trip that I was reminded of how much the ocean means to me, it can make you feel so small yet filled with such wonder. It is incredible how so much beauty can be found in simply watching the sun slip into or out of the rolling waves.

Scotland was a dream. I can hardly believe I had the opportunity to visit such a beautiful country and marvel in all of its wonders. The beaches and the fields and all the rain, it was so surreal. No place has ever made my heart sing as much as this country did. I cannot wait to return to the magical shores of the Isle of Skye and continue to explore the place that captured my heart.

Watching the sun rise behind the towering structure of the Eiffel Tower is an incredible moment. While this trip to Paris was less than perfect, it was no less magical. The city of my dreams in reality, it was beyond words. Everything about it was beautiful, the architecture, the language, the people, and the feels of traversing such ancient streets. It is an experience I will never forget.

After attending the Turning Point Convention earlier in the year I was able to connect with the chapter at my college. I had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people and further my interests in politics. During the last game of the season we had the opportunity to meet the founder to TPUSA and watch the game from the presidential suite at the stadium.

Just recently, I got back from the Student Action Summit put on by TPUSA and all I can say is wow. What an event. There were so many incredible speakers and so many amazing people. The memories I got from this event will always be special to me. I cannot wait for the one next year.

Over all this year has been a journey of so many ups and downs, but the two most important moments were these. The moment I realized how much power prayer has and how important it is to be strong in your faith. Matthew 21:22 tells us that “If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” I was able to see that fulfilled this year. And I realized the importance of being there for the people you love, no matter what time no matter what they need, nothing is more important that being there. Even if it is painful, it is so worth it to be there for those you love.

Yes this year has been my favorite and the memories I made during all twelves months will be ones I relive for years to come. What were some of your favorite memories from this year?

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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