2011 was a very tumultuous year filled with several ups and a very steep down. I started out the year with a lot of snowshoeing and took a very wet trip to Zion’s National Park. Then, in early spring, I met my boyfriend Cute who, by the way, still is not a fan of his Internet name (so if you see him, by all means, call him by it). In early June I backpacked through the Grand Canyon, something I am still amazed at myself for doing. I spent the summer very carefree with lazy Sundays by the pool and weekend hiking trips with Cute. In August I backpacked in the Uinta Mountains and in September I hiked Mount Olympus. Both adventures took my breath away, only in completely different ways. After that I spent 10 days in Mexico traveling from Guadelejara and Puerto Villarta with the most amazing Mexican family in the world (I never got around to blogging about it, but you can see pictures of me looking tan and happy here). When I returned from Mexico, my year of ups took on a new direction. Within the span of two weeks I moved in with Cute, was laid off from a job I loved, and found out that my mother had breast cancer. My world felt like it was a snow globe that a three year old got a hold of. On one hand being laid off was a blessing because I had more time to spend with my family (which is exactly what I did). On the other it left me with insecurities and questions of my worth. I struggled to accept that I am more than my career, that what I do for money does not define me as a person, all while wondering daily if my mother’s treatment plan would be successful and trying to let go of not having my own place – a place where no one see me cry or drink too much while watching junk TV.
It was hard times, y’all!
Then, as quickly as the snow globe storm rolled in, it was over. Well, not over over, but better. My mother’s mastectomy was hugely successful. She is now cancer free. Cute and I settled into a rhythm of cohabitation that works well for us. I am still technically without a job, but the things 2012 has in store for me are nothing short of life changing.
My love for myself, my family, and my relationships has grown more than I knew was possible. I see life with a strange new set of eyes now. I don’t want to take anything or anyone for granted. Almost losing a loved one, coupled with no longer being able to afford the lifestyle you’ve grown accustom to, will do that to ya.
I suppose looking back now, that 2011 was actually a great year for personal growth. Now that it’s over, I can say I’m thrilled to be moving on to a year with a little less growing pains.