Lola O.
As always hello my wonderful readers! I hope that life has been treating you with kindness. I've got two days left here in Arizona, and I am so sad about leaving. I just know saying goodbye to my family and friends here is going to make me cry. I leave Saturday morning, and I am just wishing I had a few more days to spend with all the people I love here.

When I was coming back I didn't realize I would love being home so much. I felt like I had outgrown my life here, but coming back made me appreciate what I have here, who I have here. My family and my friends here have been by my side through so much, and this year away is going to be a lot harder than the first one. I'm still going, but my once light heart is now heavy when I think about another year before I get to see them, hug them, share my life with them. *Sigh* I just really don't want to end up crying at the airport on Saturday but I feel like I will. This place, these people are my home. They've always been, and it took leaving them behind to come back again. I know this year will be even sweeter because I know I won't stay longer in Korea. After this year I will return to my home, to my family, to my friends, and start new chapters in my story.

I'm excited for my future. For this second year of growth in Korea, the memories I will have, the friends I will enjoy, and for all the years of discovery that come after these Seoul chapters end. Everyone here has talked about how happy I look, and it is true. I am happy. Not just because I went abroad for a year. I am happy with the young woman I am right now. This 23 year old me amazes me with the strength and will power she has to overcome, to discover, to try. I'm so happy and proud of myself. There truly is beauty, happiness, and freedom in being yourself and letting yourself discover, explore, and create who you are. To know that only you can define that, and only you can change that. Only you can be the author of your life.

Sometimes I catch myself in the mirror and the smile on my face amazes me. This is what living is. This is what being alive feels like. Sincere, honest, and genuine effort. That is how I try to live my life. 2010 was my year to grow, and now 2011 is my year to bloom, and already my rainbow of colors is stretching across this world. I'm looking forward to more adventures, challenges, and discoveries this year. When I first came to Korea it was to get away for a bit and become my own person. To be the only voice guiding me along this journey of life. To figure out who I am and who I want to be. I know who I am and I know who I want to be, where I want to be, and what I want in my future.

This peace and clarity inside of me about this second year, and all the chapters to follow fills me up with joy. When I came home I prayed for answers to what my future would look like, and I got enough to start forming an image of what lays ahead for me. I'm excited to work towards that bright and happy future. I'm excited to make my dreams come true. I'm excited to learn, to grow, to try, to live my life with enthusiasm and a lot of heart. 

I'm so thankful for the people in my life who have all had a hand in getting me this far, and I know they will be at my side as I go even farther into my journey of life. I really am blessed with an amazing family, and friends who are family to me. I'm thankful to all the people who've made the past three weeks wonderful. All the memories, laughter, stories, love, and time they've given me will be saved inside of me for those moments when I really miss them. I have a feeling the first month back is going to be rough. I'm going to be very homesick, and to make matters sadder, I'll have to say goodbye to friends who are heading back home, or continuing their journey somewhere else. Instead of saying goodbye, I will just say "see you later!" I'm going to miss them, but I know the times we shared won't disappear because they'll be the memories we carry with us everywhere we go.

I'm very thankful for all the love, blessings, and amazing moments I've had these past three weeks. I'm going to make the most out of my last 2 days here, and when I do leave I'll do my best to smile and not cry. It feels like Seoul was a dream I dreamed long ago. I realize now that home is here, it always has been. I left in order to come back and realize that all along this was where I belonged. I know this year is going to be amazing. It's going to be a year of triumph, laughter, and lots of fun. I'm going to make it that way. I'm going to keep living my life and forging my future with each present day.

Be blessed,
~Lola O.~

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