It seems like I just celebrated your arrival yesterday, but so much has taken place since then. I have to say that you've been a year of self-discovery, changes and progressions. I hope its not to soon to day it, but 2010, I think you have been my best year to date!
It all started with a silly resolution. "No free refills" or "Stop kissing/ calling boys who you have dated before because if it didn't work then, it won't work now and its a waste of time and energy". Sounds silly but I tell you I think that resolution put some major life changes in to motion. How was I planning to move forward and find a meaningful relationship if I kept taking steps back every time I felt lonely.
In addition to that resolution I felt this new feeling, a feeling that came as a result of graduation. I felt like I was no longer preparing for my life, but actually living it for the first time. I felt like the things that I do now that I am not in school were the things the mattered. I had always been in school in some form or fashion and that was always in preparation for a "better life". But as of January, 2010, the preparation was over and the living had begun! I thought that I had better start living it because I was no longer waiting for anything.
Granite was also only 4 months away from going undersaddle as the ball dropped at midnight on January 1st. I knew that I was out of shape and over weight and could not do my fabulous horse proper justice in that condition. Losing weight wasn't a resolution or even a goal, but finally having a reason bigger/better than my own self-imagine to get into shape is exactly what I needed to get my butt in gear... literally.
These factors put into motion all of the things that have come to fruition this year. I deleted phone numbers of exes and cuddle buddies. I depended on my girl friends to text when I was lonely and I learned to, for the first time in my life, enjoy alone. I got to know Rachel and who she was and what she liked to do when there was no one else around to ask for attention. I realized that I love candles and Jack Johnson and Red Wine and tidying up and reading and enjoying peace and quiet. I dabbled in yoga for flexibility and pilaties for strength. I got very acquainted with some really neat parks and relished in my runs with my dog and the exhilaration I felt when each run was longer and faster. I developed new healthy habits like eating only when I was hungry (what a concept!) and not worrying about what I was eating so long as it was only when I was hungry. I challenged myself to exercise 4-6 days a week regardless of the circumstances. I sought out opportunities to volunteer with young equestrians, to learn more about horses through Horse Management courses and reading, to give blood, to help others. I felt fulfilled and empowered like I never have before. I went out with my girl friends once a week and enjoyed a weekend night with myself once a week.
March Madness came and went and April was upon us. My 4-Hers competed successfully and I got to help Eva find her horsey soul mate. Then Granite was put to the test in training! I was starting to lose weight and truly enjoyed runs. Before I knew it, I had lost 22 pounds. My favorite days were those when Eva came to visit her horse and me and we would run and then go spend time with our critters and talk about our plans the horses and their careers.
In May I watched 3 friends graduate. I cried tears of pride and took pictures. I celebrated and toasted to the success of those I love. I also met TK at one of those celebrations. He took me out on our first date soon after and I knew that this man was for real. We became inseparable almost immediately. As perfect as he is for me, I don't think it would have happened like it did if I hadn't gone through those changes earlier in the year. I knew exactly who I was on the day TK took me out. I knew what I wanted and what I wouldn't accept; in myself and in those around me. I had erased all the meaningless men from my life and truly gave myself time to love me and be a better person. I was ready to find love and then it found me!
The summer brought a whirl wind. I had to get a second job to pay for student loans. I worked all the time and spent the hours when I should have been sleeping developing my new relationship with TK. I went to New York City and experienced the big life then went the the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and experienced the simple life. I became someone's girlfriend and gained a dependable ally in my life. I spent the summer in highs and lows. I dreaded waiting tables and swooned in the excitement of getting to ride my horse for the first time. Granite was amazing. Then he was terrible. I felt at the end of my rope but then slowly inspired by progress.
With late summer and early fall came some normalcy but I wasn't quite satisfied. I was running less, still working at a miserable establishment, felt less fulfilled in my career, I was also still having trouble with Granite's training but had run out of money for professional help. But as per advice of friends and bloggers, I just "kept swimming". I worked. I hated it. I paid the bills. I kept riding and took all my timelines and threw them away. I relished in "just going forward" and felt liberated that Granite had no more deadlines for his progression.
Then Granite got sick. Training mattered a whole lot less and my life became dictated by snot and antibiotics. I missed my family but felt secure and happy with my boyfriend. Reno left the barn. Granite finally got better. We just kept going forward. I applied for jobs and schemed of ways to get out of waiting tables. I interviewed and interviewed and kept coming up as honorable mention in the race for the jobs. I just kept going forward and enjoying my new progress with Granite.
As the leaves fell and the cold approached, things got better. I threw caution to the wind and quit the horrible restaurant without much of a back up plan. I consolidated student loans and TK and I decided to take the leap to moving in together a bit sooner than we had planned. It would save me money and save us both time and energy every day. We searched for a place and found one. I interviewed for another job, a position I had always hoped for in a nice municipality. I got to spend time with my family for the holidays.
Come December everything started coming together. We had a date set for moving and all of the details in place. I wrote a new budget to insure I could make it financially through the new year without two jobs. Granite began to blow me away when he took easily to small crossrails and simple lead changes. I got a second round interview for a job.
2010, you culminated in a insane and deliriously exciting Christmas Holiday. I packed my old apartment and then accepted a conditional job offer that would land me in a wonderful position and with 36% more income. I spent 6 lovely days at my parents house and enjoyed celebration of togetherness and successes. The Outer Banks experienced 9 inches of snow and my boyfriend earned his sainthood by managing to arrange everything to make sure we were moved into our new home together on time. Our home is coming together and I will soon give my resignation at my first "real" job to move forward to bigger and better things.
I only hope that 2011 will be 1/2 as good to me as you were. I hope that I can accept and excel at the challenge of a new job. I hope Granite and I can find a barn that will treat us as kindly as Becky's has. I hope TK and I continue to grow forward together and as individuals. I hope to live within my means and save money for a better future. I hope to continue gaining knowledge in my career field and about horses. I hope to give back to my community and my county and my friends. I hope to get back to running because I found so much joy in it but have put it on the back burner. I want to read more. I want to chase life and live every moment. I wish you all the same good fortune in the new year.
Thanks for everything 2010. I will never forget you. You changed my life and I plan to continue working to make it the best life it can be, after all, we only get one.
Best Wishes and Happy New Year,