Thursday, December 1, 2011

It Is December, Today.

You know, if you scroll back through time in this here blog you'd probably notice an overwhelming recent theme. Gratitude: it is strong lately. I can't say for sure but some of the earliest posts here were probably pretty tongue-in-cheek gripe sessions. There was a time when I fancied myself a bit of a sharp, quick-witted, sarcastic soul. Now, it's hard for me to be that way. Don't get me wrong, I love to read sharp sarcasm. But what was once my most natural disposition has become a chore to maintain.
I realize that might make me a bit boring at times. But it's nice. Cynicism is... hilarious when executed properly. But it is exhausting to live that way day-to-day. I'm not a teenager, anymore--I am washing my hair with $7.00 shampoo, now. I am waking up hours before I need to be at work. I am not drinking coffee after 5:00 pm. And I am allowed to love things, now--I'm doing it.

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." Martin Luther King Jr

Gratitude begot a weepy woman in me. In the past seven days, I have cried at least six times. And only once was because I was frustrated. Last week, I learned that a friend of mine will be moving away for a fun, new, life-adventure. A few nights ago, I learned that another friend of mine is going to have a baby and I teared up a little. On Tuesday, I watched a preview of Adele's Live at The Royal Albert Hall (which is no longer on Vevo--sorry that I can't link it) and I cried a little bit at the end when she sang "Rolling in the Deep" and the glitter fell from the ceiling and you could tell that she was just living out a dream. Not just a bucket list type of thing, either. A far-fetched, big-deal, die-happy kind of dream. And I was really happy for her. By the end of 2012, I'm going to be the lady who cries at Folgers commercials. I'm not trying to make it happen--but I'm not interested in stopping it.

It's December, today. This year is almost over. And (I really am going to try to say all of this without crying--not that you'll ever know) God, it's been good. It's been an incredible year. I remember this time last year when I was feeling very much on-my-own. I was intentionally taking a single-lady stance on life. That is to say that I spent a lot of time pretending like I wasn't lonely. I spent a lot of time keeping myself busy in the daytime and hoping to fall asleep quickly at night so that I didn't have a lot of time to think about how I wanted things to be different. But sometimes I did. This time last year I felt very selfish when I had the secret thought, "I want 2011 to be my year. I want it to be my turn." And I really didn't think it was going to happen but it has been. In ways that I didn't see coming and I didn't think were possible for me.

I have felt my heart stretch and move and tear and break in a lot of ways that I wasn't certain it was capable of. It turns out that a heart has a good amount of elasticity in it. I've learned that a person can feel two completely different ways at once. One month ago, I felt madly, hopelessly, safely in love while at the same time, scrunched up in a ball on my bed--howling in grief. It's quite an exercise. Like any mind-bending exercise, it hurts like hell for a long time but then one day you wake up and realize that you're still here and you're going to be okay--just very different. We're still here and we're going to be okay. Just very different.

When I moved to McPherson in the summer of 2009, my life was very small. It was me and my books and my clothes. And that's what I came into this apartment with. I had one niece and one nephew and Adam and Arryn lived downstairs. And sometimes when I was feeling particularly bold, I would even talk to Ryan, who lived in the basement apartment. Except not that often because our conversations were excruciatingly awkward.

As of December 2011, I have three nieces and four nephews. Sarah lives only a few hours away and Andrew lives only a few blocks away. Adam and Arryn still live just downstairs and... oy, that guy who still lives in the basement apartment is my favorite part of most days. And friends, so many friends. Honestly, when I left college, I thought I'd never find anyone who'd ever truly get me again. But that's not the case. Sometimes you just click with people. And they're everywhere. The internet makes it easy to find them. How did adults make friends before Facebook?

I've been looking through my planner. I like writing little, one-sentence journal-type entries in with schedules. It's fun. Let me take you on a short journey of 2011.
  • Saturday, January 8: I got a little drunk tonight, and a little sad.
  • Tuesday, February 22: I made this weird sausage/ lentil thing for dinner.
  • Saturday, March 5: I went to The W, tonight. I kissed two boys.
  • Sunday, April 10: ...he touched my hands and my hair and at one point I actually considered that I could be dreaming. But I wasn't. 
  • Friday, May 13: All Schools Day! Eat a pronto-pup! ...Did not eat a pronto pup. Ryan and I went to see Bridesmaids, instead.
  • Tuesday, June 21: Mustache Night at Applebees. Make friends with Doug and Staci. I can't wait to be friends with Staci.
  • Monday, July 11: "Girl, take it easy, take it slow. You're a hazard to yourself."
  • Friday, August 12: Secret Birthday parties! Buy gasoline and beer (priorities).
  • Saturday, September 24: Royal plays in Manhattan. It's fun to overhear girls talk about how cute your boyfriend is.
  • Monday, October 10: Go to Kansas City with Alyssa! Have the time of your life.
  • November only says stuff like: Work 9-2:30 in Vision Center and 3:30-6 in layaway. November got kind of boring?
2012 is going to feature some seriously un-fun things. There will be a lot of things to change. If everything goes according to plan, half of my siblings and all of my nieces and nephews will move away to other states (not particularly close states, either). I don't want to think about it too much, because since moving here, I've grown impossibly close to my siblings. Closer than we've ever been, even in childhood. But they're going to go away and that's how life happens. It's certainly not unusual to have family all over the country. It's just a change from what I know, now. I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm going to just keep doing what I do until something presents itself. I'm much less concerned with myself for now--I've gotten the lion's share of happiness. I want to see other people take it, too.


Anonymous said...

"Tuesday, June 21: Mustache Night at Applebees. Make friends with Doug and Staci. I can't wait to be friends with Staci."

You put a tear in my eye! I'm so lucky to be friends with you :)

Katie said...

I love you. 2011 has indeed blessed us all!!!!

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