Wednesday, December 31, 2008

525,600 minutes...

How do you measure a year?

First off, I am not going to do a post on my trip right now. But, a few highlights...

- Sharing Korean food with Jaimee and random Canadians in a tent at 3am, in SEOUL. Oh yeah, drunk off our asses.

- Being the only blonde head on the subway train.

-Being humbled by the fact that the Koreans were much more acccomodating and understanding of me on their turf than I have been of them on mine.

- Being in THAILAND. Enough said.

-Finding a tucked away Rasta bar in Patong Beach, filled with dreadlocked Thai men and Europeans alike, all willing to let you sit in their circle on carpet-remnant squares and partake in what they were passing.

-Returning to said bar the next day with an adorable and sweet Australian, and kissing him while "No Woman, No Cry" played in the background. Forgetting the rest of the world and trying to remember the last time that had happened.

-And finally, saying goodbye to Jaimee again, crying just a little less than the last time we separated, knowing this time that we will be fine.

As for 2008....What a year. Some of you know the stories...let's just name them, shall we? J*sh, who got engaged a month after we ended. Br*ce, who got MARRIED 3 weeks after our last fight, and of course, the saga that is Chef. Well, was. Hopefully. In the romantic department, I have had my share of pain. And it spilled over, all too often, into every other area of my life. I gained weight, lost weight, lost sleep, lost time.

Some might remember that I have 2008, literally, tattooed on my body. And some might wonder with all the bullshit? Why?

Because it wasn't all bad. In fact, much of it has been so beautiful I don't even know how to put it into words. I went to Europe, and I went to Asia. I effectively tripled the number continents I've set foot upon this year. I saw these places with some of my favorite people in the whole world at my side, and met some truly amazing people along the way.

I graduated college. This idea still blows my mind just a tad. I lost friends temporarily due to geography, and some permanently because life just doesn't always stay the same. I jumped out of a plane. I went bungee jumping. I went on a week-long vacation with relative strangers and made friends who have impacted me in ways they will never know. Never in 366 days (yes, 2008 was a leap year, as you may recall) have I felt such emotional extremes. I can recall times this year when I sat in my car alone and cried harder than I ever had before. And then returned to the same person that had put me in that position. More than once. Way more than once. I can also remember times when I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. I remember being the second person (who wasn't a doctor) to hold baby Ella, watching her breathe and seeing her three-hour old eyes open and look up at me and thinking what a miracle it is just to be alive.

And it is. Every single minute. 2008 was not always wonderful. Not even close. But the times that were made the bad more than worth it. And in Roman numerals it remains, tattooed on my left hip. Because despite it all, there is one thing I can say about this year. I have NEVER learned more in one year. The pain from this year, the scars, they will fade. The good times and the lessons learned are what will stay, indelible, in my mind. And for that I am immeasurably grateful.

Which brings me to 2009. I am not making resolutions like "Lose 20 pounds" or "Run a Marathon". I am not setting myself up for failure...which, in itself, is a mistake I've made in numerous situations before. Yes, I'd like to swim more. Maybe go snowboarding. Maybe take up learning Spanish again. But more than anything, I think what I need to do is just put ME first. Not in a selfish bitch sort of way. I should eat better, exercise more, go to bed earlier. In (almost) every way, I need to first think: Is this what I want? Is this what I need? Is this what is BEST FOR ME? If I reflect on most of the decisions I've made this year, the answer to that question is all too often "NO". Yes, with capital letters. It's time to take care of me. So here's to 2009...Happy New Year everyone!

1 comment:

jon and nichole said...

i know its be an extremely rough year, and i think that you did a great job out outlining the events -- i think you have grown tremendously and i couldnt be more proud of you...thank you for being my rock -- someone that i can always come and talk to, no matter how dumb it is...and thank you even more for being there during the birth of my daughter and volunteering to come be with her when i go back to means more than you will ever know...

*heres to an amazing year! love you!