Glancing back and gazing forward

This blog has been a work in progress for a few days now. First, in my head, as I tried to sort out what exactly I wanted to say, how I wanted to end 2012/start 2013 with this blog. Then in a rough form in Word, as many of my blogs do, just to make sure things flowed well and stayed on topic.

 
I think I’ve found the best thing to do is to start by taking a look back at where I’ve been, and then get a glimpse at what I have to look forward to this year. This could be long. Bear with me.
 
2012 started off in way a year had never started for me. The (then) Boyfriend and I went to Houston for the Northwestern/A&M bowl game, and stayed for New Year’s Eve. We went to a wonderful restaurant, had one of the best meals of my life, and rang in the new year with champagne and lots of kisses. We had a wonderful time. New Year’s Eve day, we even spent all afternoon between the game and our dinner reservations lying on the bed in our hotel room just talking. I had never talked to someone for so long about so much, nor did I know I could have so much in common with another human being while also having so much to learn from them.
 
But. By the end of the weekend, I still wasn’t sure where I stood with him. After our amazing weekend, and all of our time together, he still hadn’t come out and told me how he felt about me. I was on the verge of having myself convinced that this wasn’t going to last much longer. That he just wasn’t ready for what we had the potential to be.
 
Fast forward three weeks to January 22nd. The end of one of his weekend trips to see me. And maybe hours before he was set to leave, he finally uttered those three words I had been dying to hear, had been dying to say to him myself for months. And our relationship was so dramatically changed. We were both so much more open with each other, and we connected with each other in ways I never dreamed possible.
 
In March, we took a trip. The trip of a lifetime, as far as I’m concerned. I had wanted to visit New York City for as long as I could remember, and when a little extra money came my way, we booked it. Spent almost all of my Spring Break exploring the city. I saw Rent live, a show I’ve been in love with since the movie was released in 2004. We saw an opera (Don Giovanni, in fact) at the Metropolitan Opera. We ate at Craft, an amazing restaurant owned by the head judge of Top Chef. I ate a hot dog on the steps of the Met Museum of Art. We walked through Central Park on a lazy Sunday afternoon. We managed to figure out the subway system without too much trouble. I hailed a cab! Trip of a lifetime.
 
The last months of the school year were filled with the ups and downs of a job search. I knew it was time to go home, to my family and the Boyfriend. Many rejections were finally met with an offer in Austin. I took it immediately and began the process of moving home. But it was bittersweet. I had met so many amazing people during my first two years of teaching. I was leaving behind one of the best friends I have ever, and will ever, have. It was tough.
 
The summer was a period of adjustment as the Boyfriend and I figured out how to cohabitate. Luckily, it didn’t take long for us to fall into a comfortable routine. It’s like we didn’t even miss a beat, just kept moving right along.
 
August came, and the new job started. Turns out, it was very different than I was expecting. I wasn’t prepared at all. The students were rough, and I nearly immediately felt like I was drowning and there was no one there to throw me a rope. It was not at all the teaching experience I was used to. I was used to tough times, but at least being excited about the material I was teaching, or the funny things the students would say, or sharing some interesting tidbit with my students that would catch their attention and keep it for a little while. I wasn’t used to being yelled at, having students in my face, and generally being afraid to be in my classroom.
 
And then came the breakdown. I kept everything in for so long, kept trying to tough it out, make it through, until I just couldn’t make it anymore. The breakdown, I’ve since learned, was a necessary part of a larger growing process for me. Was it tough to experience? Of course. Is it still? Yes. Every day. It’s hard to not know who you are professionally. But in the grand scheme of things, I have learned so much about myself in the last two months. I have finally grown into a person who can do things because they are what are best for her and her family, not because they’re what everyone else wants her to do. It was hard to disappoint people with my decision, which I know I did. But I can’t live my life for everyone else. I can only live it for me and my family. And that’s what I will do.
 
Last, but certainly not least, 2012 was the year of the engagement. The Boyfriend became the Fiancé, and we could not be happier to be marrying each other. I never would have imagined, a year and a half ago, when I was going on a basically blind date with this guy from eHarmony that we would end up getting married. I never would have guessed, hoped, imagined he would be the one I was made to be with.
 
Looking forward, 2013 is going to be an even more amazing year, if that’s even possible. This is the year I marry my best friend, the love of my life, the man I was born to be with. We are planning a beautiful wedding that expressed exactly who we are. And no matter what happens on that day or the days leading up, no matter what little things go wrong, if, at the end of the day, he is my husband and I am his wife, I will be the happiest woman in the world.
 
This will be a year of change for me and for us, for a lot of my friends as well. Babies are coming into this world, couples are getting married, we’re growing up. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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