I can't even remember what I did last year on New Year's Eve. Maybe I should keep better records of my life.
But I DO remember a lot of things that happened through the course of this year. A lot of firsts, a lot of finals, a lot of hurts, a lot of good friends, a lot of laughter.
I became an officially single woman again in March. My divorce was finalized and I was on my own, working my butt off and loving every minute of it.
I moved out of my room-for-rent in Saugus and into an apartment in Newhall with my sister just before summer. We both still live there, but our numbers have increased, and so has the level of fun. I rarely go out to the bar anymore because, frankly, being at home with my friends is more entertaining (and cheaper!)
At the beginning of the year, I was taking a bus to work every day and hitching rides with co-workers or friends to get home every night. In August, I got my drivers' license (thanks to my good friend Corey, who spent several months teaching me how to drive and trusting me behind the wheel of his Jeep!) and I bought my truck, my Phoenix, my freedom.
In October, I got laid off from my job at The Signal ... not a fun experience, but one that has opened up a new world of challenges and opportunities. I also embarked on a road trip across the southwestern U.S., including a stop in Phoenix, AZ to see my good friend Bradley and a stop in Hatch, NM to see my paternal grandparents, finally ending up in Texas to celebrate my 24th birthday with my parents and baby sister. I spent a little over a week with them, catching up on everything in our lives and enjoying each other's company. I love my family!
On the way home from Texas, I drove through northern New Mexico and up through Denver, just for the hell of it. I'm glad I did, too, because I fell in love with the Mile High City and vowed someday to move there. When I finally returned home after two weeks on the road (thankfully there was a LOT of music involved in that trip!) I made an effort to find a way to move to Denver immediately, but a fear of freezing to death while living out of my truck, coupled with an unwillingness to leave my sister behind (and maybe few other factors), kept me grounded in sunny southern California. And I'm glad I did. I'm happy here, and relatively warm. :)
After Thanksgiving, I started seriously looking for a job and found a part-time temp assignment at City Hall doing administration for the Department of Building and Safety. I started in mid-December, and so far, I'm pleased with it. The assignment is only for six months, so I know there's plenty more change in store for me in 2010, but that's more than OK with me.
This has been an overwhelmingly positive year, despite a few minor challenges and setbacks. I am incredibly lucky to have my sister as my best friend AND roommate. I have accomplished many of the things that were on my "To Do in '09" list and I've made a few new goals for the next year. I have made new friends (and given several people "roommate" and "honorary roommate" status) and reconnected with some old friends. I've had conversations that don't matter at all, and conversations that changed my life. I've been to places I've never been before, and I've returned to the places that I've been missing. I've been touched and moved by new sights, new music, new feelings and new people. I've learned a lot about myself this year (although I think I say that every year ...) and I'm on my way to whoever I'm becoming. I've made my share of mistakes this year, and I've come to terms with them.
For everyone who played a role in my life, whether it was as a friend, a family member, a co-worker, a roommate, an acquaintance or a stranger who smiled at me on the street and brightened my day ... you are appreciated. For everyone who gave me a hug when I needed one, for everyone who saw me cry, for everyone who laughed with me over something inane and hysterical, for everyone who was there for me when I went through my "firsts," for everyone who changed my life in one way or another ... you are my lifelines. For everyone who became my surrogate family, for everyone who accepted me as I was and allowed me to become who I was becoming, for everyone who understood what I was trying to say when I couldn't find the words, for everyone who loved me ... you are loved.
And remember this as you start your new year: the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Now let's make this year AWESOME!