They say, just as a trapeze artist cannot swing from one bar to another without letting go of the other, that one must release the old in order to embrace the new. Happy Twenty-ten! With a previous year that started in a state of anorexia, the last 365 days have brought me around 180 degrees to a new mindset, or so I’d like to think. 2009 has been a year of learning, self-reflecting, tweaking, and fine-tuning. With my incessant habit for comparison, I can’t help but think, “At this time last year, I was: (fill in the blank with some negative emotion and relative behavior to match).” Happily, that has changed.
An honest self-analysis is always helpful to gain clarity and the New Year seems particularly fitting to do some reflection. 2009 was a noteworthy. That’s a given. As I devoted 2008 the year of discovery, with a resolution of experiencing and seeing new things, 2009 could be doted the year of recovery.
In a nutshell, I gained some new and amazing friendships which brought me out of my stubborn disordered thinking. I kept the old “classic” friendships, too. I started enjoying dance again and as the weight returned, my strength did, as well. I performed. I quit my second job doing neurofeedback in realizing I needed more “me” time and a moment to catch my breath. This was followed by getting serious about graduate school and researching programs to fit my interests, and of course, attempting the GRE. There were incredible vacations from New York City to Morro Bay, and Palm Springs to weekend get-aways in San Diego. There was an addiction to Greek yogurt and Encinitas that led me to a Trader Joe’s, where I stumbled upon a very special and supportive person. Coachella, a Padres’ game, blueberry cookies, wisdom teeth surgery, county fairs, Lola Gaspar, and a Chargers’ game were all firsts for me. And who could forget Fantasy Football?! Family relationships were repaired and strengthened as we learned acceptance of each other’s quirks versus trying to change them. My relationship with my parents became the strongest to date, as they were more than supportive through my "issues" and desire to move abroad. Saturday mornings at the gym soon changed to Saturday mornings with friends. Girls’ nights, date nights, and going out were all reinstated. I lost roommates, gained some, kept the important ones. Themed parties, stopping to smell the flowers (all fifty-something bouquets of them), weighing difficult decisions, therapy, and commitment issues were all included. I gave up my condo, my job, security, desire for perfection, and sense of normalcy that I created, in order to follow my dreams… and then I boarded a plane to France.
I found myself again, the version of me that I like, anyway. The Lauren who loves short jokes, puns, and “boy” humor; who spends hours on end in dance classes but can’t pick up my own feet when walking down the street… who isn’t afraid to admit that Lady Gaga is on my ipod, next to Britney Spears, Radiohead, and The Beatles…and who can appreciate Nintendo just as much as a good novel. 2009 became focused on living, enjoying, and finding beauty in life’s imperfections.
With 2010, I welcome the adventure, the firsts, and the adjustment of living somewhere new. I’m not one for “new” resolutions but there are a few to make the list:
- While packing up my life for a year, I realized I have an unnecessary amount of clothes and shoes. 2010 will include the lack of clothing purchases. I think I can do it.
- I want to add pins to my “been there” map. There are a few “must see” places but the rest are up for impulsivity.
- Dance classes in France. Pretty self explanatory.
- It took hip tendonitis and the inability to run in order to realize that I actually do enjoy jogging. I want to recover from this so I can start running again. Plus, I hear that there’s a European marathon that has wine stops instead of water stops and is done wearing Halloween costumes. Umm, yes, please.
It’s now 9 am in France and time for le café to make up for the lack of sleep and jet lag. Fingers crossed that 2010 also brings my lost luggage from the airlines!
Happy New Year!
1. I am adjusting well to France.
2. The American family lives right up the way and they’re awesome.
3. Kids snuggy.
4. There’s a hot water maker for tea. I had to contain my excitement when I discovered this at dinner last night.
5. The kids aren’t too bad. (knock on wood)
6. This past Christmas/holiday season has been the best I can remember.