One year ago today I was wearing high heels, a nametag, and felt like I had drank a bucketful of butterflies as I started my first day at a new job in a new state in what felt like a new life. Even today, I cannot believe I moved myself halfway across the country.

I didn’t know anyone in the great state of Texas before packing up my Nissan Sentra full of my entire life and settling down here. To be honest, I don’t know why I applied for this job. Don’t get me wrong, everything about it is a perfect fit for me. But there is no way I would have cognitively applied for a job in Texas. I hated Texas. I am a Californian to my bone and I never would have thought I’d live anywhere like here.

But I am here. And it was probably one of the best ideas I ever accidentally had.

Before I came here, I had one of the most tumultuous years I’d ever had. I spent the entire year working at a bar that I was overqualified to work at; I spent my days mopping up smashed olives and polishing wine glasses. And I spent my days applying for job after job that I was under-qualified for. I soon realized, there are a LOT of jobs I am under-qualified for. I reflected on the year in this very blog, one year ago. In fact, it was that post that catapulted this entire blog. I love looking back. Years have a crazy significance to me, and I don’t exactly know why. But I love being able to pause, and take stock, and see how much has happened and how much I’ve learned.

So, 2011. Wowzas. What a year! My first professional job in a field that I actually enjoy. I have had 365 days of challenge, frustration, guidance, learning, growing, and trusting. I’ve been to more meetings than I can count, written more student reports than I ever thought my little hand could write, and become a supervisor to more people than I probably should be responsible for. I’ve calmed students down from tear-streaked panic attacks, held a flashlight for police during drug tests, and  told more and more of my own story than I even knew was there. I have more than a dozen student leaders who I get the pleasure of supervising and I see myself in them more than they probably realize.

Most people get into this particular field because they want to make a difference; they want to bless the students. I entered into this job no different, but I can tell you that one year later I am the one who is blessed instead. They have made a difference in my life, and I am so grateful.

I love working in student life, I love the busy-ness. I love wearing jeans to work and baking cupcakes for staff meetings. I love drowning in college drama and living around people who average 3 hours of sleep a night. They keep me young and remind me to live in this moment, because we aren’t guaranteed any others.

I also started this journey as a single, bitter, giving-up-on-love kind of girl. I thought that by dating everyone in LA, I could intelligently decide that there was no one left who deserved my trust. I decided to focus on my career, because my career would never wake up in the morning and decide it didn’t love me anymore.

And now I’m in love. 365 days later, I can honestly say that I’ve found myself a good man. He is kind, he is patient, he is goofy, he is strong. He loves me in a way that makes me brave, in a way that makes me understand love. He puts up with my tears, listens to my dreams, and helps me process the crazy life I lead. He’s my best friend and the counterpart to my very existence. And he has blue eyes and dimples. Come on, God. You really one-upped Yourself. My super great boyfriend might not be fully aware of how incredible he is, but I plan on showing him for a very, very long time.

[Today]: 11/1/11

[Hebrews 11:1]: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for; certain of what we do not see.”

My hope in God is different now; I trust Him in a different way. It’s a hope without the jittery feeling in my stomach. You know what I’m talking about? Like when you hope your name is next at a restaurant, or when you hope that you got an A on a paper. This hope is different than that; it’s steady and strong. It is sure.

I recommend that all of you start over from scratch at least once in your life. Not because you’ll land the perfect job, not because you’ll finally get a boyfriend, not because the humidity is actually really good for your skin. Yes, those things happened to me. But that might not be your story. And you shouldn’t live your life in a way that is desperate to have some crazy interesting story; you should live your life so closely knit to the power of the story that is already true in you, that you cannot help but burst at the seams with excitement to be alive. You are the most fascinating thing in the world, and the depths of your experiences are wildly inspirational. Live your story.

Watch God take the gross and make it good. And watch the world spin madly on.