This past year was in one word: Awful.
I mean there obviously were highlights, some of them also lead to lowlights.. and so many times I found myself saying "God.. How long?!"
So, with that being said, this has become my staple blog each year.. reviewing what happened this year, and then what I am hoping for and looking forward to this next year. This is my favorite post because this is when I really detail and lay bare what I have learned, how I have grown, and the various things I have gone through.
I started out ringing in the new year in Times Square in NYC. Had an absolute blast, and treasure the memories I have from that trip.
(this is a really long post.. but I am not sorry since this is my blog :)
Two weeks into the new year my boss left for more reasons than is a good idea to discuss, which then suddenly launched me into a totally unstable year.
One of my roomie's and I had a falling out of sorts... and it began several months of avoidance, frustration, and ultimately the death of a friendship by the time we moved out of our house several months later.
I discovered that because of the absence of my boss, who I had grown to really enjoy working with, respected, and cultivated a mutual trust when it came to thoughts and ideas, I now had to attend a couple day conference in DC... That ended on the day I get off, my birthday. But!.. It was going to be ok because me and various friends had the birthday of all birthday weekends planned.. It was going to be awesome.
Then, snow destroyed every single plan as I drove the 3 hours home after the conference. My Friday night plans to go Salsa dancing and have several other friends from around the state had to be canceled, my Pedicure/manicure with another friend, canceled. Getting my new tattoo, canceled. And, unknown plans for Sunday, canceled.
Instead, I arrived home to a..... well meant (sorta) birthday prank done in my bedroom, that took 45 minutes to clean up. A "make up" birthday party before the majority of the snow hit, and then I got snowed in with 7 people in a very small house... When all I wanted to do was be left alone and sulk.
However, after a solid day of sulking, but pretending I was not actually in a bad mood, a couple people I was stuck with began helping me unravel my frustrations.. and we ended up with some HYSTERICAL pictures and videos of us.. "working of" the cabin fever by using each other as weights for a Cross Fit exercise. It was awesome, and left each of us with lots of laughter and fun memories... By far the best part of the weekend!
I began this month leaving the Leadership team I had been a part of for the last year. It was time to not be involved, and through an unfortunate series of events throughout several months I realized not only did I dislike helping, I was feeling beat up and frustrated... It was time to leave as gracefully as I could. But, it unfortunately did not completely solve some of the issues that had started it in the first place. I am however very thankful that resolution of the individual issues took place, but it was clear that things would not go back to the way they were before, which was very unfortunate.
My family dealt with a whole lot of drama at home, and I was stuck 12 hours away helpless.
A guy who had positioned himself as significantly important friend in my life left for GA for military training and Ranger school. Which meant inevitably that it was the beginning of life never being the same once again. I was both amazed at how much I dreaded him leaving, and how much I was worried he and I would discover we were not actually friends after all... and we would lose total contact. He surprised me with a letter he had given to his cousin (one of my best friends).. and the letter made me cry. It was just very sweet and mixed humor and jokes with a very serious amount of establishing our friendship as important even though it would be changing dramatically.
At a sunday school get together I officially met and began talking to a guy I would later date for a short period of time.
I continued random mishaps and stress at work.. had several minor car problems.. and became a bridesmaid.. All in one day.
I went to the doctors and discovered my normal "girl" cycle was not actually normal in the symptoms and was put on medication to assist. It was also discovered that I have a lump, maybe two, and even though they are small, and could be caused by several things, we would wait until my next appointment to see if there are any changes... I only told my cousin, and began the process of coming to terms with the idea that I might have cancer, and I would find out March of 2011. It took me several months to tell anyone else, and 9 months before I would inform my parents. Discoveries like this are something that are probably among the most closely guarded for several reasons, the main one being that it is highly emotional by nature, and before I give the information to those around me and subsequently have to deal with their emotions I first want to have a handle on my own and figure out what I think and feel... So that, I can assist those around me with however they feel. And, the other big reason is, if it does end up being a worse case scenario, I want to make sure I am in a state at which even though it would be happening to me, I can help those around me deal with whatever would be coming... It really is all I feel I can do, so I wanted to be calculated in how I handled it.
Just after all of that two of my best friends and I disappeared to PA and went camping, rode 4-wheelers, and literally did nothing... We all were stressed out like crazy and needed a break. It was an absolutely amazing weekend!
One of my best friends and his wife made their what has turned into annual trips to see me for Easter.. Which was much needed. I talked to them about the new guy I had met, and all of the various things I liked, was not sure about, and all of the surrounding thoughts.
I disappeared to Charleston with two of my best friends for Spring Break. We spent most of the time laying on a beach or walking around, it was awesome and another much needed break... that of course brought a WHOLE lot of memories. The guy and I began talking quite a bit more and I found myself struggling with being scared that I might like a guy, and excited that a guy might like me.
We began dating not long after, and I was entered into the world of cars, military, and a whole lot of additional stress... That I willingly chose because I did in fact like this guy, more so then probably many of the other guys I have dated. My dad eloquently put it that I had "nothing to gain from walking away from him, and really nothing to lose by trying and seeing where it could go." So, that's exactly what I did. Resolved that I would pray myself through, and let God deal with the specifics... especially my terrified heart at letting a guy get close to me.
I was in the wedding I was made a bridesmaid for a month earlier. Met a girl (another bridesmaid) who I absolutely adore and cherish my time with her!
My boyfriend and I officially broke up, but we did not tell anyone for a bit, because of trying to figure things out... Which lead to a lot of tears when I finally did tell my best friends...And, then... we acted like we were still dating, only without the stress of everyone asking when we were getting married.
I moved about a mile in a half away from where I was living to a house one of my roomie's bought.. We painted, moved, and I left for a wedding in OH all in a 3 day period.. in which I did not actually help move the furniture!.. (whoopsie).
The day I got back two friends were in town from various military places... So, I made a point to see them and spend time with them... even though I was totally and completely exhausted and worn out.
We hired a new boss, and while thankfully it was the one I liked better, it did nothing to relieve the stress at work.. and in some ways increased my stress because people came into my office daily to unload their stresses and worries on me.
My roomie and I established a fantastic home, and I was sad that her schedule required her to spend most of the month gone traveling.
I began having almost unbearable back and neck pains and began going to a chiropractor 3 times a week for almost 3 months some fairly extensive treatments.
I went to New Hampshire and New York for weddings of some great friends.
I had my emotions jerked all over the place and finally decided that I had had enough, and I felt like God was telling me to walk away, so, I was no longer going to seek after my (not) boyfriend. I explained how I felt, and that if he "wanted me, come get me" that I had no intention of running and hiding or playing hard to get, but that I was no longer going to seek him out. It was his job to come for me... if he wanted me. He made it pretty clear pretty quickly that he did not actually want me, and he made no attempts to come get me... Which realizing that you are not wanted in any capacity in someone's life is a significant blow, especially when you really like and care for them... And after they have told you repeatedly things indicating they feel differently.
I went and saw my bff in Atlanta for the first time since November... I arrived feeling totally broken and hurting. I had finally arrived to July of '10.. and while I knew God had told me in a dream 2 years prior that something significant this month, all I felt was pain, hurt, and like I had just spent the last 6 months getting beat up from every direction without reprieve. My bff and her recent fiance spent the weekend just loving on me, and we spent 4th of July with the Zacharias family, and it was awesome.
I ran in the the ex a couple time in the beginning of July, and while the interactions were "fine" with no significant drama, there was a decent amount of hurt because of realizing I had been lied to (regardless of the reason) about how he felt, and the fact that his actions made perfectly clear he did not want me.. That's a hard pill to swallow since I believed what he had told me before.
My roomie finally returned home to spend a couple weeks home before being gone again... Man did I need her around. We had countless talks sitting on the kitchen floor.. She was such a blessing.
I went home for the first time since Christmas for a whirlwind weekend for my Grandpa's wedding. Received more hugs then I knew what to do with, and ate it up.
I left July and entered August on a trip with work to Myrtle Beach. I was co-in charge of one of the boys cottages, and really loved the time with my kids... And the beach.
My family had another bout of significant drama that I could do nothing to help.. in South Carolina... Ugh.
Ironically through it all, I entered August feeling totally still inside. Somehow, through it all God heard my cries in July and stilled my heart, whispered He was in fact here, and He did hear me. All I needed to do was be still and trust Him.
I researched, and despite my better judgment enrolled in a double masters program.
Found out a week in a half before my 2 year anniversary that I was going to be let go in December... Which meant my feeling of "two years" was accurate... as was "July of '10" in terms of being significant in my life. When friends found out I am fairly confident they were certain I would have a mental breakdown and several of them I think inadvertently acted as though they were on suicide watch... Even though I told them over and over that I was at total peace with it all, God told me this would happen, and I believed Him.
I commenced to apply for what turned out to be 70+ jobs... Praying that I would hear back from just 1 saying they wanted to hire me... I also began covertly training people at work on how to do the job I had spent the last 2 years creating. Knowing the entire time that if I mentioned anything at this point it would make the entire situation worse, and people would sabotage their jobs or become bitter... Which is the last thing I wanted for my kids.
My friend graduated from Ranger training, and I was able to go see it, and see him. It was an awesome visit!
I started school... once again, slightly excited, and slightly bitter that I was back in this situation.
I spent pretty much all of my time working, job hunting, and doing school... It was not fun.
I had a job interview, and ultimately was offered a job in DC... Well, technically Alexandria. I decided to take the job, and start November 1st.
I began packing my life up for the second time in a few months, I began training people for real on how to do my job, and tried figuring out how to pack, move, finish a class, start another class, and start a new job all in the same week.
I also began saying all my goodbyes... it sucked and I was not prepared for it.
I moved, again.
I started a new job, and began a class I came to disdain, loath, despise, etc...
I moved in with three girls I did not know, in a huge house, and discovered once again I am so very different then most Christian girls.
Work clearly is going to offer me lots of experience, but quickly established itself as a fairly stressful and aggravating entity in my life... God clearly put me here, but I am still a little unsure why.. But, here I am Lord, send me is still my mantra.
I realized how much I made Lynchburg my home, and the people there my family.
I got to skype with my bff who was traveling abroad with work for a month.. Man did I need her!
I went to TN to visit my dad's real dad and new wife for Thanksgiving... dragging one of my best friends along... It was, interesting, and I felt like I needed to be there, but still am not totally sure why.
A good friend from MI began going through some absurd and ridiculous things.. which then affected my family.. and yet again.. I am hours upon hours away, able to do very minimal to help... *sigh*
I loath my online class.
Decisions at work were mirroring rookie mistakes and actions... Causing a significant amount of aggravation. And, here I am again repeating some seriously stressful situations at work that I went through last year... Again, I am not sure why, but I am supposed to be here, so.. here I am.
I went to Atlanta for a weekend.. and loved my time there!
I went home and took one of my new roommates with me. It was so good to be home, man was it hard to leave... I also told my parents about the medical situation I have, and everything I know to date, and figured giving them three months to adjust was probably a good idea.. just in case.
This was an awful year filled with more crappy crap crap then good by a long shot, and while I know things "could be worse" I certainly feel like I am ending this year with more bruises and scars then I care to admit, and an overwhelming amount of awful memories then good ones this year... However, through it all, I still praise God's Holy Name. I still give Him the glory, and I know I do not deserve better.. but I certainly ask for Grace AND growth for 2011... Is that even possible? I am not broken merely because my Savior is a good God. That is all, that is the only reason.
I hope this next year is full of countless more adventures, more laughter then I can store, and while I never want to whine so much about the pain that I forget others have it worse, and I would never ask for less pain and hurt.. I would also never ask to repeat this year. I am made stronger, this I know. Praise be to my God and my Salvation.