The year is winding down, and 2008 is dawning. As I am a big fan of “closure,” around this time I tend to want to recap the year. Pour yourself a cup of tea, sit down. Stay awhile. This is my version of a Christmas letter.
Let’s begin the year with heartbreak. I was living in Seattle at the time. I was broken up with, shattered into a million pieces, bought a next-day ticket to LA, and flew out to spend some quality girl time with one of my best friends, Muggs. I soaked in the sunshine and bawled my eyes out, but smiled for the camera just the same.
While I was there, I wrote this. The response and outpouring of support and love from my friends and family was so overwhelming that I started thinking, “Maybe I should write more.”
Whenever I am sad, I become as unyielding and tireless as Forrest Gump – except for instead of running, I walk. I started walking upwards of 10 miles each day, every day. I cried most nights, and most mornings, too. But the sweet boys that I used to nanny for held a “Pink Party” in my honor on Valentine’s Day, and we ate a pizza that they had cut into the shape of a heart. Laura, my best friend since childhood, came to visit from Colorado and provided good distraction from my agony.
Oh, and “Lost” made it’s triumphant comeback, which meant that I lived from Wednesday to Wednesday. [By the way, have you been watching the “Missing Pieces“? I’m FREAKING OUT. And for the record, Juliette is kickass, and Ben is my favorite character.]
My internet friend Sarah from Nashville came to visit, and our connection was solidified. My sister Sarah and her 4 cute friends drove from the Midwest out to Seattle for their spring break, so we spent 5 days with 6 girls in my tiny studio apartment.
I continued to walk and walk, and run, too. And out of the ashes of my heartache and need to talk about my feelings, this blog was birthed.
And there was great rejoicing in the land.
April was weird. I think I was emitting pheromones. In an effort to “get back out there,” I had 6 dates in 10 days – and it was the most stressful chain of events. I don’t really ever want to repeat it – ever. My apologies to those poor men for my whacked out state of mind at the time – I was in a very odd place.
My family reunited in Greeley, CO, for my sister Becca’s graduation from UNC.
I was graced with a visit from Chuck and Keri from Colorado, the first couple I ever nannied for. And my sweet friend from high school, Jenn, came to Seattle for a visit.
I was the skinniest I’ve ever been. I feel like mentioning it because I didn’t realize how good I looked at the time. And “Big Yellow Taxi” plays in the background…
With the decision to move away from Seattle came the reality that I had to be out of my apartment by the end of June. I started listing my furniture on Craigslist, and pawning off my beautiful things one-by-one. It is among the most heart-rending, deeply sad months of my life. I’ll never see my red bookshelf again, or my perfect little pull-out loveseat.
But I saw the Police in concert, and then Tim and Faith. I started a couple of recording projects. And my trusty friend Scott offered his services as my sherpa, and carried every single heavy item out of my apartment for me. I repaid him with a trip to Canlis. I still think I got the better end of the deal.
I moved in with the most wonderful family from church. I flew to Maryland for my grandmother’s funeral, and had an amazing reunion with family. I hung out a lot with my adorable friends Greta and Meridith.
I sang for a couple of weddings. I felt really good about life. July was good.
I turned 25, and almost barfed off the edge of a boat. My friend Christina came to visit from Boston, and we had a glorious long-weekend reconnecting. I started going to hot yoga – my stint was short-lived, but if I had more money, I’d be a junkie. I finished recording my demo. The reality that I was truly moving away from Seattle started to sink in.
A flurry of last-chance get-togethers, and just like that, I was gone. I left Seattle. I still don’t know how I did it, and I don’t know that the full actuality of my decision has become a reality yet.
I went to Colorado and climbed mountains.
I went to Denver and met a rugged man who had climbed Everest. I went to Kansas City and obsessed over my nephews. I went to Austin and helped my sister Becca move.
The month began with a stint as Auntie Annie the Nanny for the two cutest boys in the universe. For as much as I love them, and as much as I am looking forward to being a mom, there is no better form of birth control than an extended period as a “single parent.” I can wait; “auntie” is good enough for now!
I embarked on a whirlwind of travel: Kansas City, Southern California, Nashville, Seattle, Nashville again. It was fun.
How did I survive November? Nashville; Blacksburg, VA; Norfolk, VA; DC; Morgantown, WV; Asheville, NC; Durham, NC; Hilton Head, SC; Tuscaloosa, AL; Nashville; Kansas City; Richland, WA.
At this point, I was really good at living out of a suitcase – and growing very weary of it. When one is changing homes every other night, and sleeping on couches and futons and all manner of surfaces, it’s difficult to find any stability or structure. And we all know that I hate that.
A fantastic urban experience in New York City, and the beginning of what I feel is going to develop into a torrid affair with the city of Boston.
Yes, that is me in a limo. That’s how I roll.
And now, here we are – as the song says, “Christmas time is here.” I hate Christmas music, by the way. If I hear one more soul humming, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” I’m going to punch him in the throat. And don’t even get me started on “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago… Stop it. Stop it, with your big grin and and lifted eyebrows and Broadway-smiley voice.
But my days in Kansas City have been filled with nephews and cookies and dogs and singing, and this is what makes Christmas wonderful for me. We’ll drive to Colorado on Christmas day, and spend the week in a cabin in the mountains.
And on January 4, I will move to Nashville. Lord, help me.
– – – – – – – –
I look back over the year, and am struck with all that I have packed into 12 months. For whatever hard times I walked through in 2007, the good times stick out more. The friendships, the gifts, the surprises, the adventures. God has been faithful, just like he always is.
May 2008 bring joy and health and goodness. That’s my prayer for all of you, my wonderful friends and family and… strangers…