Today, I got a good reminder of how far I have come in the last year and how different my life will be in the next 365 days. This is a sad week for me because I have to say goodbye to my best friends. My country girls are leaving me. They are entering the real world and leaving me at NDSU and as much as I know my decision to stay one extra semester for judging will be worth it, I still wish I was leaving with them. I hate knowing that I only have three more days with the luxury of my best friends in the same building. I hate thinking about how I will only see my best Montana friend when we get married or have babies. I hate thinking how I can't go vent to Mary or drink some wine with Waugh. It's hard knowing it will be all gone...but it is part of growing up and trust me I am ready to do that.
Last year, ironically, I was in the same position as I am today. I was frantically calculating what grade I needed on my finals, planning my last few days with friends and packing to go home and start a new adventure, but last year that adventure was in St. Joe. Today, the new junior intern started at American Angus Association and I couldn't help but think about last summer when I packed my car for Missouri. I got in my car and left to go six hours away for three whole months to a place where I didn't know a soul. And I loved it. I met so many new people, made many new connections and had the opportunity to see cattle I could only wish would reside at my farm. I couldn't ask for a better internship and I am glad to see two new excited faces at St. Joe this year that will fill mine and Mel's shoes.
I also managed to spend another year with Mark, which chalks us up to year six pretty soon. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't showed against him that year, but I promise you it wouldn't have been nearly as great. I managed to strengthen relationships this year that I know were the ones I needed to rejuvenate. I have had "epic" nights with an amazing group of friends, had motivating conversations, and been constantly proud of the people I surround myself with. My friends now have real jobs that are perfect for them, have won awards that are nothing short of impressive and have relationships that will last for many anniversaries. They inspire me to be my best every day. Lucky for me, I have also had the opportunity to make some new best friends, most importantly my roommate who is now a strong and beautiful young lady.
I have somehow made a name for myself and convinced employers to want to hire me and because of that have had crazy internship opportunities that I could only normally dream of. I have designed things I was proud of and learned lessons that I am ashamed to admit. This year has been full of stress and dreams and failures and achievements, but thankfully, it has also been full of friends, family and loved ones that make it all worth it.
When I say goodbye to my best friends on Sunday, it's not only them starting a new adventure; I do too and that adventure doesn't even start until I come home from France. I am going to have huge decisions to make about jobs and careers and where I am going to end up and somehow still be a successful livestock judge for NDSU...and somehow I have to do it without them to run down the hall too.
I know it will all work out. Why?
Because I have faith.
Because I don't except average.
Because my best friends are only a phone call away.
Because looking back it somehow all worked out this year.
And most of all...because I am lucky.
I did win a $1,000 because a cow pooped on my square didn't I? :)