Blue Ridge Mountains (Almost Heaven)
Blue Ridge Mountains (Almost Heaven)

Lists are a great way to wrap things up at the end of the year. I don’t have anything cool like “The Most Important Hedgehogs of 2013,” and Buzzfeed probably already has it, but I like to wrap ish up by looking back at what happened to me or how I happened to the world via Facebook and twitter.

But, in the interest of looking forward to my new life as single, almost 30 something, “yeah, I left a teaching job and moved across the country to waitress at a barbecue joint, but I actually really like my job, and life’s gonna be great” kinda gal, I’m only going to collect the fun moments between when I started to get out of my depression, and get my happy back together again.

  • Dec 27 – one time i had to eat a whole ice cream pie by myself because no one else was home. best day ever! (today)
he loves me.
he loves me.
  • Dec 24 – Merry Christmas from me and the cat. Nailed this photo.
  • Dec 19 – Announcement- it took four months, but I am at a bar with friends in Durham.
  • Dec 2 – Taking myself on a date to see Hunger Games. You can butter your own popcorn!!! Life is good. But.
    If anyone sits next to me in this empty theater I will freak out.
  • 1461134_10102833114812037_1706574808_n-3Nov 29 – Trying to take one of those “I’m a white girl, so I Instagram throwing leaves at myself in Fall after drinking a pumpkin spice latte” pictures. Am I doing it right?
  • Nov 18 – The internet makes me want a baby owl and a hedgehog and to work out and to make tiny snacks and to watch tv and to hike and read and cry and laugh all at the same time.
  • Nov 17 – Probably my favorite place to have emotional break downs is a dressing room.
  • Nov 16 – You know what’s really cool about Facebook? Being able to “see” people I haven’t actually seen in a long time – they’re happy, traveling. married, raising families, etc. Its just nice.
  • Nov 11 – Miracle week continues – just remembered to grab my reusable bags *before* going into the grocery store.
  • Nov 8 – Does putting on spanx count as a workout? Because I’m now out of breath and hate myself, very similar to a workout.
  • Nov 2 – Not even an extra hour of sleep can keep me from being late to church. That’s how good at being late I am.
  • Oct 24 – Apparently just buying the shower cleaning products and placing them in the bathroom isn’t enough. You must actually *use* the products.
    This is a huge disappointment.
  • Oct 18 – I am so amazing. If I ever left my room, I would be unstoppable.
  • Oct 16 – I am happiest at the beach.

    wilmington, NC. home of the secret mailbox.

The thing about a break-up, is that so much of your life becomes tied to someone else. So many of my memories and moments and happies from the last year+ are irrevocably entwined with a person I no longer speak to. So it would feel weird to look at things before October 16th, when I went to the beach for the weekend, and realized I needed to end our time together.

And it isn’t something that makes me angry – I don’t regret a moment of our relationship – but what I hope to do now is build another life that is my own again, and embrace where I’m at in the journey I am on, which does not appear to have any sort of clear direction. The weird thing about the world we live in today with social media, is that it becomes public, and can be painful on a whole different level. And for that, I am sorry.

But at the moment, as I type this on New Years’ Eve, feet swollen and aching from work, prepping for a double-shift tomorrow by drinking a glass of wine and eating cookie dough ice cream, texting my best friends before they leave on a trip to Belize, ignoring my roommate’s demon cat at my window, surprised to find out I have lost ten pounds without really trying, but by simply moving my scale to an uneven part of the linoleum, and finally doing something, even if that thing is just charming people into buying cocktails and barbecue pork…I feel like I’m happy again.

Shite. I started crying as I wrote that. I guess that means I am happy again.

IMG_7866I’m happy because I am busy. Even if “busy” is just picking up doubles, slinging pork and bourbon, and then pouring myself into bed at night to continue my affair with Netflix and tumblr. Because my only day off out of twenty was Christmas, and that was only because we were closed. But I got in my grandma nightgown, ate See’s candy for breakfast, watched a million movies, never washed my face or brushed my teeth but I made it through.

I’m happy because I have friends – a great group o’ guys who treat me like a lady, but say all manner of inappropriate things in front of me, and I get to laugh a lot. I go to bars and karaoke. I’m making money. I’m out of sweatshirts and yoga pants and in real clothes, putting on makeup and doing my hair again. My sister visited – and just to see how far Jenna and I have come in our relationship with each other is a happy thing all on it’s own (I love you, Jenna! :) ). Leana is coming to visit from Brazil and I get to plan a road trip. I have friends from around the country who love me and send Christmas things – flowers from Katie, a package from Cindy, who I barely know from church, cards from Seghers, nightgowns from Gma and candles from Ma.

that one night i legit won 1,000 tickets at Dave and Busters!
that one night i legit won 1,000 tickets at Dave and Busters!

Because I finally started writing a book I’ve been thinking about for forever. I went to Ireland and Spain, like I always promised myself I would, and thinking of travels past and travels ahead makes me happy. I’ve hiked practically all of North Carolina, and spent precious time with my brothers.

I’m happy because every person who has heard my “tale of woe,” to quote Mr. Rochester, is so encouraging. They tell me that Durham has an awesome community (agreed) and we all should move someone completely different at least once (agreed) and that I am learning even when I feel like I’m not (agreed) and, most importantly, I will always be glad that I tried.

So…this is not the journey I had anticipated. There are things that scare me about riding a roller coaster that does not seem to have an end, does not tell you when it will turn a corner, or who will be in the seat next to you. But the difference now is that I feel strong enough to handle it.

More than that – I will enjoy it.