While I've been 32, I've had a baby I didn't expect to have and felt my family come to completion for the very first time. I also got horrible, horrible news about another of my precious children that shook, stirred and devastated me in ways that are so close to my heart that I can't do the emotions justice with mere words.
Yup, that basically summarizes you, 32: Good and bad, joyous and devastating. Emotionally dichotomous. A year of opposites that've merged together to create a time that was nothing if not memorable. I think I've learned more about myself over the course of these past 364 days than during any other single year of my life.
I've learned that I'm both weaker and stronger than I'd ever thought. I've learned that even when I feel like I've been pushed to the edge, I can keep going. I've learned that when I can't keep going, it's okay to stop and rest in the Lord. I've learned that when I do reach the edge, it's okay to fall over because someone will be there to catch me. And that someone probably won't be someone I'd previously considered a good friend, rather someone unexpected who has no reason to be there for me other than a desire to be supportive. I've learned that there are many good people in this world, and that sometimes they want to help, so it's best to just let them do something.
I've learned that weakness isn't a fault, but a blessing because it forces you to re-discover your faith. I've learned that it's not easy to have faith but that it's essential to have it anyway. I've learned that prayer is the most incredible force in the world. I've learned to hope for the impossible and to expect miracles. I've learned to bite my tongue and smile when someone says just the wrong thing. I've learned that attitude may not be everything, but it sure means a lot.
I've learned that young children are the most amazing, resilient people on the planet.
I've learned that it's okay that I cannot control every aspect of my life. I've learned that there's good to be found in every situation if you open your eyes fully and allow yourself to see the big picture. I've learned that pain changes your perception, and not always in a negative way. I've learned that anger and bitterness are counterproductive. I've learned that I need to cry sometimes, and that if I just can't take anymore and break down where someone else can see me, I don't owe them an explanation. I've learned how it feels to cry wretched, pained, helpless tears that feel like they'll never, ever end. I've learned to be real one hundred percent of the time, even if it means that others might think I'm weird. I've learned that we all have our figurative crosses to bear, and that even if mine are larger than yours, it doesn't make yours any less challenging or meaningful to you.
I've learned what it means to feel gratitude. I've learned to hope, to feel joy.
I could say more, 32, but it seems that your time is up and I've now moved on to 33. I'll take what I've learned and move forward day by day.