Those who know me know that I’m usually pretty good at sending out holiday cards (which contain a self-indulgent letter briefing others about more than they probably wanted to know about my life in the last year) within the last month of the calendar year. Those who are usually recipients also know that last year, those cards were conspicuously absent. I do apologize for not contributing to clutter of your holiday mail (and for not supporting those dedicated postal carriers). However, I do have a good reason. In the words of my sister, I was “a bit of a zombie.” And truthfully, I was too embarrassed to write the letter. I really wasn’t in shape to do much of anything, let alone write a letter detailing what at the time I perceived to be my failure. Oh, how many things can change in just one year!
So, what happened then to keep me from writing? Well, I had moved to Rhode Island to continue to develop my relationship with a man I loved with all my heart. I struggled in Rhode Island without my family and closest friends. I wrestled with the job I had accepted. But I was happy in love. And the challenges I faced in Rhode Island led me to focus my energies in new ways. I was also allowed to explore new avenues and opportunities at my job and discovered a passion for web design and social media. This in turn encouraged me to begin taking art classes at the amazing Rhode Island School of Design. I also decided to resume belly dancing under the tutelage of the beautifully graceful Kanina. My life in Rhode Island was improving. I was cultivating relationships outside of my romantic relationship and pursuing long-dormant passions. Things were looking up.
Unfortunately, I was spending so much time trying to make myself happier, I didn’t see that my partner was becoming unhappy. And out of the blue (to me, but isn’t that always how it happens for one half?), he ended it. I was devastated. You can insert practically every break-up cliché here – not eating, not sleeping, constant crying, and whatever else. I decided I couldn’t stay in Rhode Island. I had moved out of love for him and without him I had nothing there, or so I thought. Despite the terrible economy and high unemployment rates, I decided to quit my job and move back to California. I had no plan other than to get out of the state. The funny thing about the break-up – it made me realize how much support and friendship I actually had in Rhode Island. I had felt so lost without my family and old friends, I didn’t think about the ones I made in Rhode Island. But those people – the girls in my dance class, the guys in my mask making class, all my coworkers, and even the people in my World of Warcraft guild (yes I’m a nerd, but more on that in another post) – were so supportive. I owe a lot to those people and thank them with all my heart. And I miss them terribly. They helped me survive the month in Rhode Island between the break-up and my move back to California. Seasons of Love
(FYI – It is possible to make all the arrangements and completely pick-up and move across the country within one month – with a little help from my friends.)
So, I came back to California just before Thanksgiving last year and proceeded to behave like a zombie. I had no job. My car and belongings were in route across the country. And I was depressed. But, I was home. I had friends and family that surrounded me and forced me to smile and to laugh. And gradually I began to regain life. The healing process was sped up dramatically due to the amazing friendship which sprung from a chance encounter at a work conference. He was/is amazing and because of him I found myself (again). Seasons of Love
I started the year in Tahoe with an email inviting me to interview for a job. Within two months of being home, I was employed again. I’ve managed to find a job working on challenging issues and with amazing people. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve almost been there for a year already. I’ve made some really great new friends that help work fly. Seasons of Love
So, let’s see, what else has happened this year? Somehow, I seem to have fallen into my own little house-sitting business. It seems every other week or so I find myself at someone’s house caring for their pets. Other than the constant packing and unpacking, it works out nicely. I love animals and this way I get to meet and spend time with a lot of great ones. What else? In this year I’ve been to Vegas twice, San Francisco and Santa Cruz a few times. I’ve started volunteering at the Crocker Art Museum. My baby sister got engaged to an amazing man. And two good friends married each other in a beautiful wedding on Halloween. I felt amazingly grateful to be a part of that wedding as the maid of honor and felt so beautiful and confident – such a far cry from where I had been a year ago. And my dad danced! And now here I am looking forward to a December full of events, parties, and all kinds of activities with the amazing people who helped me remember who I am and why I’m fabulous. Seasons of Love
And so this year, as I look back on where I’ve been and all I’ve done, I can think of no better way to measure a year in the life. (You’ve probably figured it out, right?) Measure in love! I think Jonathon Larson said it so brilliantly (which is probably why I tear up every time I here the song “Seasons of Love”).
“In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure a year in the life? Measure in love.” So, as the year ends, “Let’s celebrate. Remember a year in the life of friends. Remember the love! Seasons of love!”
Happy Holidays Everyone!