2012. Damn. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a year end in a more different spot than it started.
Let’s recap. On 12/31/11, I was living in LA, as I had (for the most part) since 2003. I was in my fourth year at the same job. I was in my fourth year living in the same apartment with my (awesome) roommate of seven years. I was just about to celebrate my one year anniversary with my then boyfriend. I was the same weight I had been since 2006. Yep, pretty status quo.
And where do I stand today?
I live in Austin, Texas, and I’m a student again. I work 30 hours a week in two different positions; both of which are pretty different than my old career. I’m single and doing the whole ridiculous dating thing again. I’m 35 pounds (well, 33-37, depending on the day) lighter than I was in 2011, so I look pretty different. I work out 5-6 days a week, versus the 2-3 I was averaging for a long time. I have new awesome friends, as well as all the old crew who I’ve now been friends with for almost TEN years (holy moly).
And the crazy thing? Most of this massive change took place from the end of June until the end of July, so the year was split into almost exactly even 6 month parts. When I look back on 2012, it will always be a year split in two. The before and after Texas.
So, was it a good year? It was a hard year. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a harder one. Leaving all the good things I had behind me in LA for an uncertain future in Texas almost made me lose my mind. There were lots and lots of tears and near anxiety attacks. Going back to school was tough, and I worked my butt off this past semester with all the outside work I was doing alongside my schoolwork.
But you know what? I think I’m a stronger person for all the angst. I have made big, grown-up, disgustingly hard decisions, and I think they were for the best. I’ve moved to a completely different state and have started to find my place (well, at least for now) there.
Just to say it again, I lost 35 pounds. You know how much ice cream I didn’t eat to lose that? Ugh. I’m about 2 dress sizes smaller than I was before. I’ve discovered my physical strength. Exercise has become my therapy. I can run a whole lot longer and faster than I ever, ever thought I would. I ran my first race in 2012, and I’m excited to run even further and faster in 2013!
I discovered again and again and again just how awesome my long time friends are. I really truly think I’m the luckiest person in the world when it comes to my crew. This year they celebrated with me, patiently listened to me bitch, moan and cry, made me awesome Spotify playlists, forced me to see Magic Mike when I didn’t want to peel myself off my couch, made me laugh harder than anything, went to fancy and not so fancy restaurants with me, helped me to discover Austin during their visits, and have given me tough love when I needed it. I had a super long conversation with one of the first friends I made at UCLA the other night (who reads this blog, I believe. Heyyyyyyy!), and, not for the first time, I realized that I now have friends with super grown-up, successful careers and real adult relationships. We’ve all grown up, moved away, started new things…and yet I know that we still have each other’s backs. It’s pretty much the best thing ever. Dude. You guys. Aw.
And my new friends? I had been so comfortable with my long-standing crew, that I was nervous about having to make friends all over again. I spent a lot of nights staring up at the ceiling in the weeks leading up to my move, contemplating whether I’d be the library school loner. I shouldn’t have worried. My new friends and I have been slowly discovering the whole Austin/grad school thing together, and it’s really nice to have people to support me through the whole school process…and the whole going out in Austin process. That’s nice too. And then I have my engineering guys that I work with, who are going to be my friends whether they want to or not. I’ve always loved having a crew of guy friends, and I was a bit bummed when my program ended up being about 80% female. But when you get a job in the Engineering department? Men. EVERYWHERE. They’ve become my default dance partners, theater friends, happy hour crew, and, of course, petro-engineering tutors. Thanks for all that, guys.
Oh, I also started this blog after years of dithering. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and ritual of posting every weekday on this thing. And I can’t believe that there are people out there who actually read my ramblings! So weird and fun! Thanks to y’all for bring a really bright spot in my year.
So yes. I’ve never had a year be so tough, so challenging, and yet so rewarding. I’m still working through a lot of emotions and anxiety about all the changes that seemed to happen overnight, but I’m beginning to feel more balanced…even if the balance is coming a lot more slowly than I would like.
I’m really looking forward to 2013. I’m pretty sure it can’t be any more cray than 2012, and hopefully it’s just as fun.