I could write at length about how this was the hardest year of my life so far or how happy I am that it’s almost over. In fact, if you know me and have been reading this blog throughout this year, you’re probably expecting it. But instead, I’m going to force myself to take a minute to focus on what I learned from all of this and look at the ways my life is very blessed. I lose sight of that sometimes, and what better time to remind myself than the hours before a new year begins. A new year with a new hope to rewrite this journey. Maybe in 2011, this road won’t be so tumultuous.
So here it goes. The top 5 things that made 2010 worth sticking around for.
There were times during the lowest moments of this year that I wanted to run away and the last place I wanted to be was in my house. It didn’t feel like mine. The walls were bare and the couch uninviting, the entryway not welcoming and the kitchen not a place to gather like it should be. The concrete floors left me cold and even my bed betrayed me, leaving me awake and restless night after night. But after the miscarriage in July, something changed. Of course, the phobia of social situations and my fear of running into pregnant women have somewhat forced me inside, but it’s not just that. Sometime in October, I started nesting. If I couldn’t control what was happening inside me, I could at least make my surroundings more happy. And now I never want to leave my home. It’s safe here and warm. It means family and love — a shelter from the world that is sometimes painful to face. I made our house a home.
2. I realized true friendship
When you go through a loss like this, you realize the friends you want close. You find the ones that give you the support that you need, and you’re disappointed by the ones that seem to pull away. Or maybe you pull away because you just know it’s the not the same. I’ve made decisions this year regarding my friendships that I’ve never had to make before. And still, there were women in my life that showed me more love than I possibly could have known, even when it was impossible for me to give them anything in return. I will never be able to show to them how much they really mean to me, how much I’d give my life for them if they needed it. I am beyond blessed with my friendships. And even though I didn’t need any further proof of that, this year gave that to me. Thank you with a thousand and ten hugs. You are my life.
Tim and I have an ongoing joke about how I once said the first year of marriage was the worst. I did say this (and I still stand by my statement that it was difficult), but now we joke every year that, no, this one, this year is by far the worst. But in all truth, I refuse to say that this year was the worst. This year challenged our marriage in ways I never thought it would be challenged….and we survived it. Not only did we survive it, I love him more now than I did when I married him. Despite our frustrations during all of this, he still loved me even when it was difficult to do so. Despite my anger and depression and fear, he still stood by me even when I wasn’t easy to be around. For years I searched for what I thought was love, but this year I found out what it really is. It’s something so much better than I ever could have imagined. I’ve found my other half in this life. I’ve found the man that will stand by me through thick and thin. I’ve finally learned about love.
For four years I’ve struggled with the role of being a stepmother. It wasn’t something I had ever imagined for myself, nor did I ever realize just how difficult it would be. Even when blessed with such a sweet and good little girl as I have been, it is still an incredible challenge. I haven’t liked who I’ve been around her these past few years. And then going through what I did this year, it made that challenge of being a stepmother that much harder. But that girl…she has such a good heart that is filled with so much love. And even when it was the last thing I deserved, she still showed me how much love she had for me. And finally these last few months I can honestly say I’ve started to enjoy being her step-mom. I’ve found peace in our family for what it is now. I know it’s not complete just yet…but for now, it’s pretty damn wonderful.
I’m not talking biceps and free weights. In fact, I gave up going to the gym all together about half way through the year (oops). What I am talking about is something even better than physical strength: I found out what I am capable of enduring and I can’t help but be proud of that. Because of everything I went through this year, I finally know who I am as a woman. It’s funny, before I turned 30 I was looking forward to this decade because I always figured this was when I would really feel confident in who I was. I just never thought that this is what it would take. Maybe I would’ve gotten here without going through all this, who knows. But if there is one thing that I can take from this year, it’s me. I made it through all of that. It feels good to look back and feel proud of myself instead of the shame I felt for so long. I think that’s a much better way of heading into the new year than the alternative, don’t you?
Bring it on, 2011. I’m ready for you.
All my love,