This post is hard to write because there's just so much to say that it's hard to organize. As the year draws closed, I am of course thinking about all that has happened: realising how unhappy I had become and learning to express it, a soul-searching trip, my marriage ending, moving, sorting out the kids, writing, finding my voice, stumbling, getting out into the world, learning some new lessons, realising that I'm just fine. It's been a wild ride. I think the best way to sort it out is by quoting School House Rock, "I find it quite interesting, a noun's a person, place, or thing".
People come into your life for a reason. I have always believed this. This year I made a few new friends, reconnected with some old ones, forged stronger relationships with many, and discovered hope and joy and new branches within my family.
I also met a few men who taught me a lot about relationships and myself, some of it amazing, and some of it not. There was disappointment, but for every ending something new is gained and begun. I know this even though some days I feel less than the beautiful person I am. The big one: I deserve nothing less than the best, most sincere, feel-it-in-your-gut love.
I discovered just how many friends I truly have this year and they've put up with the mania and the pity parties and the broken record affirmations and will have to continue putting up with it for a while yet. Sorry..... I am getting better.
The bigger one: I have so many people in this world who love me. I cannot take that for granted, it is something to be thankful for and mindful of. Relationships take effort and if you don't make the honest effort, you will not be rewarded. Sometimes when I'm feeling lonely and tired and down, I close my eyes and remember that I am loved in this world, that I have love, that I deserve it because I give it out every day. The people in my life are my greatest gift, every one there to help me, guide me, teach me, give me laughter and sometimes feed me. I love you all.
Not pictured, but I love you too!: Bev, Kim, Mark, Danny, Lisa, Alison, and Adriana's mom. And of course Ken, an asshole and I do not love him, but significant.
My one big sticking point is Richard, my heart is still full of the man I wanted him to be. I deeply miss that man; although imaginary, he was lovely. I know he doesn't deserve anything and that he's not that man, I'm just being honest.
Adriana's mom sent along some advice, "Fuck a issa". Says it all, really.
I was miserable, things were coming to a head, I felt trapped and I didn't know what to do. At exactly that moment, a long business trip saved my soul, confirmed my sanity, set me on the path I needed to take even though it was the hardest thing to do. The universe gives you what you need, you have to use it. After that came my new place, another gift from the universe: the right size and location. For the rest of the year I have been exploring, alone and with the kids. I did a lot of hiking, took architectural tours of the city, took a trip to visit friends in Ontario and drank my way through some wineries, went out and spent time with friends, went to concerts, lectures, let myself follow all my interests and indulge in my favorite thing - discovering. I never want it to stop......
I have discovered this year that many things are not important and I have to let go of them. Moving showed me that I don't need a lot of things - I say this even though my house still seems to be bursting with too much stuff. In any case, there were many things that did have a huge place in my life this year: Music - Bach, Vince Guaraldi, Elbow, Tchaikovsky, Bela Fleck, Stevie Wonder, Holly Cole, and anything on my running ipod. Books - too many to count, but certainly Elizabeth Gilbert, Eric Siblin, Stieg Larsson, Jane Austen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jane Jacobs, and Pearl S Buck. Thoughts and ideas, about life, who I am, what I'm doing, happiness, what is fair, what is right, what matters and what does not in my life all came to be very important and I know I overthought everything. There were also new acquisitions: the cursed car, some fabulous shoes, a camera, appliances, and now a sofa. Whether all of these were required is yet to be determined.
Some other categories also come to mind.
This is just a smattering of the food from the year. Next year brings so much more!
The most important part of my life and what has really kept me going is the support of my family and my superfantastic amazingo children. What adventures we will have next year!
What did I say? Long post? I did leave one thing for very last, which perhaps should be first: me.
I love me and will continue to love me more, love my friends and family more, love food, and music, and writing, and discovering, and even the assholes and the disappointments because they are all part of me.
Life is good.