For many, this time of year is one of reflection because it is the end of the year. For me it is a time of reflection because I mark the passing of another birthday, another winter counted in my years. This year is special. This year I mark my Golden Birthday, as the number of my years reaches the day of my birth. This year I also mark two decades of life. I will be 20 years old on December 20. On December 21, Winter Solstice, it will have been twenty years since I was bundled up, stuffed in an oversized stocking, topped with a tiny santa hat, and sent home. Two decades. It's hard to believe, really.

And what have I done in twenty years? 14 years of school. 7 years of Girl Scouts. 4 years of choir. 3.2 years of e2. 3(?) years of Jujitsu. 2 years of Explorer Scouts. 2(?) years of marching band. 1 year of study abroad. 1 year of Swedish scouts. How many parties? How many funerals? How many weddings? How many lovers? How many tears? How many smiles? How many hugs? How many pounds of chocolate eaten? These are the ways in which I measure my life. Also, to borrow from Jonathan Larson's RENT,

in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights and cups of coffee, in inches, in miles and laughter and strife.