Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Highs and Lows of 2011


Tonight I’ll be out with the boy and our friends up in Adam’s Morgan to bring in 2012. And I have to say—I’m ready for it.

At this point last year I was celebrating a pretty successful year. In 2010 I scored not only my first but my second grownup job, I moved out of my parents’ house, I installed a dryer, and really felt progress.  

2011 saw quite a bit of personal growth, but not as much in the personal achievement department. My biggest achievement by far this year was buying Fiona, my glorious little car and sign that I am indeed a grownup gal.

But 2011 was also a drama-filled year.

In February, the boy moved out of his parents’ house and into what can only be described as a stereotypical frat house with three dudes. At first the move was great, but it also began to expose weaknesses in our relationship that we had yet to conquer. In March, shortly after my 24th birthday, we went on hiatus. Only, at the time it wasn’t a hiatus. It was something that seemed painfully permanent.

April, May and June saw lots and lots of running. Running so much that my knees hurt and I started reading about running injuries and ignoring good advice that you shouldn’t attempt to go from nowhere to running 8 miles three times a week because that was all I really wanted to do. I lost interest in my DIY projects around the house and spent way too much money on “going out” dresses. And I started eating Lean Cuisines for like, every freaking meal.  

Those months were also full of self-awareness and reflection. I knew that I had lost interest in things that I used to love, but I had some experience in the department and knew that it was OK—that I would emerge and find those hobbies again, and that it’s OK to dive into a period of both self-preservation and reflection when your life requires it.

Around that same time I looked at the Royal Wedding through an all too personal lens.

Sometime around June, July, August?—I can’t really remember—it’s all a blur—the boy and I decided that neither of us was happy with what we would decide was a hiatus. I missed him a lot, but, like Kate Middleton, I don’t regret the time we spent apart.

Over the 4th of July my family went to see my Grandma in upstate New York. She is in her late 80s and has been so sad since we lost my wonderful Grandpa six years ago. She also has dementia. She still recognizes all of us but is more in-and-out than ever before, and she knows it. The day after we left her house, my aunt moved my Grandma into an assisted living residence about an hour away from where my dad grew up.  When my dad talks to her now she alternates between thinking we’ve institutionalized her and that she’s back in nursing school. I prefer the latter.

In August my old Camry broke down and I bought Fiona Fit. I got the loan myself (never done that before) got car insurance myself (never done that before), and even signed all the papers and everything without the help of my dad. The boy was there for moral support and to keep me company, and I was very happy to have him there.

In November, my mom and the store I grew up working in was featured in the Washington Post Magazine and I campaigned to collect as many magazines as I could from the people in my office who actually get the Post print edition.

I spent Thanksgiving at home for the first time in at least 15 years, and for the third time in my entire 24 years of existence. We used to travel to New York and stay at my Grandma’s house, but that wasn’t an option this year and all my cousins’ are growing up, so we had Thanksgiving with my mom’s family. I was happy to be home and have a bit of time off, but I was also a bit heartbroken. I know that in the next few years I’ll probably have my own family and start new traditions but this young 20-something age is a bit of a no mans’ land when it comes to ending old traditions and beginning long lasting new ones.

In December I bought a new computer and redesigned my little blog. And it is honestly the thing I do besides my DIY projects that makes me most happy. It makes me so happy that I stayed up till 3 am on a Friday night playing in Photoshop Elements just so that my Christmassy header wouldn’t be up too long like my Christmas Decorations inevitably will be (but I love them so who cares?).

A couple weeks ago, my cousin got engaged. I was so excited and happy for her and immediately overstepped my bounds by sending her an invite to Pinterest and the link to one of my favorite blogs, Oh So Beautiful Paper.

So this year has been one of many highs and lows. I think I know myself better than I did at the beginning of 2011 and I hope that to always be the case at the end of every year. But I am definitely looking forward to 2012. I am looking forward to entering a time in my life in which the end of eras will be more tempered by weddings and babies and new beginnings. I am looking forward to turning 25, and to continuing to figure out what I want to do with my life and career. I am excited to celebrate my siblings’ graduation from high school and college, and my dad’s 60th birthday. And I look forward to reading this next year and reflecting on 2012.

Cheers to a New Year! May 2012 be your happiest yet. Thank you so very much for reading and I’ll see you in in 2012—with all the projects I’ve been working on, I swear! 

P.S. Here's a great song to bring in 2012!

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