In the past, I haven't taken these that seriously. Please note 

in 2010 it was Ke$ha
in 2009 it was the Dutch dude that saved that airplane 

so it'd be tempting for me to fall BACK in that pattern. but this year I wanted it to be a little different. I wanted to take this seriously. :/

Time magazine picked 2011 as the year of the protester. Well said, Time magazine. But one person's story really touched me this year. At the risk of wading into Mitch Albom territory here, this one person makes me want to be a better person. as life is short, things can change in a second, and trying to stand for something positive can mean more than we might ever know.

I had no idea who Gabrielle Giffords was before January 8 2011. And in all honesty, I almost wish that was still the case. but on Jan. 8, a psycho came and shot up her "Congress On Your Corner" event. Several people died during this uncalled for tragedy, including a little girl who was born on September 11, 2011. One of the last days I ever spent with my grandmother we watched a news special on this little girl. heartbreaking. you have to wonder sometimes....are all these tragedies tied together in some weird way? there was a man at this shooting who had survived the shooting at Kent State. it's just odd. 

Congresswoman Giffords would survive the events of the day, narrowly. Think about it:  all this woman was doing was the thing she was most passionate about. She was getting out and really connecting with the people she represented. Then, this delusional man shows up and in a matter of seconds, he ruins everything. It's just beyond comprehension why stuff like this happens. I'm sure this happens everyday- someone is pregnant and gets in a car crash and two lives are gone. Someone is shot randomly on the street and if they don't die, they're in recovery for a long time. It's just the random and senseless way of the world, I suppose.

Giffords, fortunately, has managed to make a big turnaround. Her injuries were so severe, we were originally told, she'd be a shadow of her former self. And yes, maybe she will never be COMPLETELY the woman she once was. But she's come a long, long way. <- watch this for proof

so maybe it was the support from thousands of people that helped her heal faster than expected? or simply a determined spirit? I don't know; but I hope that maybe one day we can see her in Congress again. politicians like her seem such a rarity. people that radiate a real sincerity, not this composed Washington artificiality that seems so rampant on the political scene anymore.

And I remember watching coverage of her as a politican after the fact and being like- what the hell am I doing with my own life? I don't like to use this word often (Mitch Albom aside) but I think she truly is an inspiration.

so! thus, I pick Gabrielle Giffords for my person of the year. 

I'm sorry it wasn't Ke$ha.