So in the spirit of the season, I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions. Like many people, I tend to use this time of year to reflect on my relationships, lifestyle and personal goals. Year after year I come up with a list of things I want to accomplish for the next 12 months. Looking back, I can see that some of these goals may have been slightly overenthusiastic. I mean really Julia…how exactly were you planning on competing in that marathon? PLEASE. You KNOW how you feel about running. I do have to say that I accomplished way more in the past year than I ever thought I could. I think it’s important to remember as we are making these new goals for the coming year, all that we actually did accomplish..things that might not have even been on that original list. While it is great to look forward, sometimes we need to look back first to help us truly understand what we are capable of and how far we really can and should be reaching. 2013 for me was a year of growing and stretching and pushing myself out of my funk and into a place that is kind of well..awesome. 🙂 This was the year for me to become a badass.. let’s think. This year I:
1. Bought a new car all by myself. Yes that’s right ladies and gentlemen..my whole life I have been blessed with wonderful vehicles that have kept me safe, brought me to my desired destinations and gave me the freedom that comes from being able to go where you want to go, when you want to go there. I had first kisses in those cars, shed overly dramatic teenage tears, built lasting friendships, made embarrassing memories, sang Mariah Cary at the top of my lungs and had my heart broken in those cars. My very first car was an old Volvo we nicknamed “The Swamp Mobile” after it floated down the street in a freak rainstorm/flood thing. This lovely old gal was filled to the brim with muddy rain and sewer water and yet somehow just kept on running for us..that is..after the flood subsided and my dad and neighbor pushed it back to our driveway. It always had a slightly damp feel to it and smelled like the Everglades on a hot day. I loved that car. My subsequent other cars, another Volvo, a Jeep and finally..my beloved Honda CRV were all at least 10-14 years old and as much as I loved them, I couldn’t wait for the day when I had something a little more up-to-date. I strolled right into that dealership and walked out with exactly what I wanted. With only a few phone calls to mom (for moral support) and dad (because the man pretty much knows everything about cars)…It was the single biggest purchase I had ever made and while I was totally freaked out (as you should be with all major decisions) I kept my cool and got a deal. Driving away from the dealership, I totally felt those badass points rising.
2. Lived by myself for a whole year! I have never ever lived by myself. I was afraid I was going to hate it. Afraid of being lonely…afraid I couldn’t afford it…afraid of the ghost doing creepy stuff when I wasn’t looking (and yes..I just said I have a ghost. The little old lady that owned my cute 1940’s Cape Cod before me just so happened to have died here and she frequently did things to let me know she was still hanging out. That is, if you believe in that sort of thing).
After Jeff, one of my coping mechanisms was to spend hours redecorating my house. I painted my living room and dining room (now turned into a reading room with a big overstuffed chair) a soft grey/blue color called driftwood and my bedroom was transformed into an oasis after I painted it a gorgeous sea-foam green. After a particularly illuminating conversation with my neighbor, in which I found out that a certain blonde girl had been seen coming and going from my house after I left for work, I finally snapped. This *B had been in MY house..had sat her trashy home-wrecking self on MY couch…looked around at all of the pictures of friends, family, the life Jeff and I had made together, and felt no remorse for what she was doing. And finally, the last straw, she TOUCHED MY DOGS. I wanted to rage. I wanted to punch something (ahem..someone). I wanted to light that couch on fire in the back yard..I was certain it would burn a little brighter in the spot where she once sat.
I decided to paint the kitchen instead. (I’m not saying this was a rational thought but it was the best I could do under the circumstances..plus..it wouldn’t get the fire department called out to my house.)
So there I was, driving to the nearest Home Depot, trying to relax my death grip on the steering wheel..when I saw it.
A furniture store. With big yellow signs out front advertizing a sale.
I yanked the wheel to the right, tires squealing (ok ok..maybe I just added that for effect, but you get the idea) and barreled into the parking lot. Here’s how the next hour went.
Me: (grabbing the closest sales guy I could see) “Hi. I’m here to buy a couch. And maybe one of those chair and a half things..I don’t want a love seat (and here’s where I got a tiny bit dramatic) I DON’T WANT ANYTHING WITH THE WORD LOVE IN IT!”
(Adorable 60-something year old man who was now momentarily stunned by my emotional word vomit moment) “Well golly, I’d be happy to help you find just that my dear.” (did I mention this man was a saint? You’ll see why in a minute.)
He brought me to a cream-colored sofa covered in a soft micro-suede and a matching chair and a half just like I had wanted.
“I’ll take it!” I blurted out. And a short time later, I walked out to my car, receipt clutched feverishly in my hands…having paid less than half of what the sale price was for these two pieces. I don’t like crying to get my way..I think it’s stupid and girly and manipulative..I couldn’t help the tears though when I tried explaining why I needed these new pieces of furniture. Soon I had the finance girl and 6 salesmen surrounding the little table I was using to fill out paperwork. They handed me tissues and patted my back reassuringly. I’m pretty sure I hugged every one of them. The sweet man who was helping me told me I reminded him of his daughter and after talking with the store manager, he let me know they would be adding in the 5 year warranty and delivery for free. Saints I tell you…saints.
With the addition of my new furniture, the fresh coats of paint (I never did get to that kitchen) and every last bit belonging to Jeff packed up for Goodwill…my house became a sanctuary..even my ghost agrees. I don’t think she liked Jeff very much. Smart ghost.
3. I started (and ended) a new relationship. My first serious one since my break-up. So what it didn’t last forever. It was a damn good start to figuring out what the new me wanted from another person.
4. And last but not least, I figured out how to take care of myself. How to trust myself. How to LOVE MYSELF again.
All this in 12 months? I’d say I did pretty damn good. 🙂