This week is the beginning of the end. It’s the end of my much-needed and long overdue vacation. It’s the end of one of my busiest semesters yet. It’s the end of my first semester of being back in the classroom. Yes, I still have to teach one final lecture next week. Yes, I have one last night of class next Monday, but this truly is the beginning of the end.

As I reflect on the semester and the year in general, I think about how often I wondered if I was going to make it …. through an assignment, through a class, through a life challenge. I think back to the butterflies in my stomach during my first, second, third – and every day thereafter 🙂 – in Epidemiology II and Biostatistics II. I think back to making difficult decisions to leave both leisure and professional development opportunities behind, while also having an unfortunate experience with an endeavor that I was elated to see come and (eventually) ecstatic to have end.

As I can say for more years of my life than not, this year, this semester and this season have all been very eventful. I have learned a lot about myself and endured much more than I ever imagined I could: two to three days a week of commuting two hours; four classes and 35-40 hours of work plus homework; traffic; poor nutrition; failing exercise regimen; re-evaluating goals and dreams. BUT I am still standing and can see the end of the semester. Thankfully, there is a wonderful beach vacation awaiting my arrival as I say thank you 2015 for an awesome year, thank you to my students for an unimaginable semester and thank you to my new favorite university for helping to mold me into being a little brighter, resourceful, focused and purposed. Here is to beginnings and endings …