Have you hugged an adventurer today?

A very Happy New Year to you and yours.  It’s 2011!!  Some 367 days ago mark the inception of this blog.  368 days ago I lived the life of a completely different woman.  And, if you’ll indulge me for a few more moments for what’s left of my contribution to this blog, I’m here to tell tale.

I’ve received many beautiful responses to the work done with this blog.  People have thanked me.  Strangers befriended me.  People have spoken of great changes in their lives on account of the campaign and I humbly, honorably and happily thank you for your kind words.  But, in fairness, I will not accept them.  That is, without a caveat.  You see, I didn’t do this alone.  I couldn’t have, and, in all truth, I wouldn’t have.  I used to say, again and again, that adventurers are better shared and I truly hang on my finest of hats on that assertion.  I had support.  I had scores of support because I had YOU.  Yes, YOU: dutiful blog reader who made it to this second paragraph.  You, you, you stayed with me, with us, through a year of not only adventures but shortcomings, fears, mistakes, exhilaration, sheer madness, pure bliss, fanfare, heartbreak, pain, acceptance, good-nature AND MORE.  Do you see what you’ve done?  The movement that you helped make?  My main intent in starting this year was to instill hope in others and from the lovely posts you’ve posted and the incredible pictures I’ve seen, I couldn’t be prouder of your hard work and determination.  And it’s because of you, and the great momentum we have all built that I have been able to move forward on my own goals.  On account of all this I type before you today a much happier, healthier, braver woman than I was.  And that, in and of itself, is the greatest gift of any holiday season.

I’ll be honest: before I started the campaign some nights found me sad.  So sad that day became night became weeks of abandon.  Sure I was scared of heights and roller coasters and fish.  But I was also scared of trying.  I was tired of making efforts to redeem what felt like a lost life and I didn’t know what more to do.

I truly believe in community and I will say, with full confidence, that is was community that reinvigorated a temporarily lost hope in me.  Skydiving doesn’t define a person, sure, but the will to get up and skydive does.  And I’ll admit it: the first time I went out (say, adventure 14 or so) I didn’t do it.  I did not initially skydive.  I got scared and I backed out.  But, but, but with constant support and the determined, fanatic, and spell-binding belief of my friends and family I was able to get out there on that plane and do it.

I never knew what I was capable of until I pushed myself to limits otherwise unknown.

When once I’d look in the mirror and hate my body, just two days ago I jumped into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the early morning of New Years day in a bikini.

When once I’d pursue disastrous relationship after disastrous relationship, just this year I fell madly in love.

I learned to take care of others in addition to taking care of myself.

I learned how to repair relations with my family.

I started to see everything as a potential source of beauty.

I started to see myself as beautiful.

It’s wild, really.  Thinking of where I once was in comparison to where I am now and I am not certain I really even believe it.  All I can hope for is that you’ve reaped some of the absolutely inspiring benefits I have from this year and will pay it forward to those in your life.

Because, at the end of the day, the meaning of life is having meaning in other people’s lives.  And you sure have made an incredible impression on me.

So from my home, adventure-full and ready for more, to yours: I wish you the best of the coming year and hope to see you again, on the adventure trail.

Much love,

Kimberly Hula