I found myself today reminiscing about the past year. Dreading the accumulation of mass inches of snow and willing for a speedy Spring, or at least a beginning winter thaw.
A year ago at this time, Ex-Bf and I were still together, the second time around. I wasn't happy in the relationship and knew that it needed to end. But when? There wasn't a right time. There wasn't a good time. What I thought was there was a bad time...Christmas holiday. So in order to not ruin his Christmas, we spent the holidays together and I ended the relationship after New Year's. He was more than shocked, although I honestly couldn't tell you why. I suppose now I should know, but I think that there was a lot of denial on his part, maybe both of ours. It's approaching the year anniversary of our break up. It's still very hard for him. I think the holidays are especially difficult for him. I suppose you are either a very traditional holiday person or not. I was talking to a friend of mine this evening that felt sad that I would be spending Christmas Eve alone. I'm not sad about it at all! I'm actually looking forward to it. I have gifts to wrap, movies to watch, sleep to catch up on, etc. To me, tomorrow is just Wednesday. For many, that isn't the case. Throughout the year, Ex-Bf and I have kept in touch, sometimes more frequently than others. It's been a lot more as of late due to his father's medical condition and of course my being single. There have been many times throughout this year that Ex-Bf has professed his seeing of the light and his changed personality. However, one thing remains constant, while I love Ex-Bf and he will always hold a special place in my heart and my life, I am not nor will I ever be in love with him, again.
Last December I found myself with a new temporary job assignment in Lansing, Michigan. I commuted to work for ten months while maintaining my regular caseload as best as I could and occasionally worked overtime. I had the opportunity to financially prosper as well as rekindling relationships with friends while staying mid-state. I returned back to my local office in September not really learning much, but having a new desire to do something. To do something different. I still am looking for different.
My New Years Resolution to myself was to travel. I was finally going to start living my dreams and get out there and do. Relationship free, I wasn't going to let anything stand in my way, no excuses to do what I wanted to do. This was the year that I was going to value my needs, wants and desires. That I am important to myself and I need to validate and recognize. Travel I did. I started the Spring off with my trip to London, England and Europe - Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. It was a whirlwind "sample" vacation that wet my whistle and allowed me to travel and meet some fabulous (and a few not so fabulous) people and to learn to be more comfortable with strangers and with myself. August found me on another trip, this time with my mother and son to Grenada and Trinidad. Where disappointment and dishonesty ran rampant, it reinforced my need to trust less. But it was a fabulous multi-generational trip with family that we will never forget. In October my girl friend and I went to the Riviera Maya, Mexico for a quick four night all-inclusive haven. Due to all the international traveling, U.S. traveling was reduced to a minimum. I did spend a few weekends traveling - Cedar Point, OH, Traverse City and even hit the Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival. I enjoyed wonderful, lifetime experiences and memories. I hope that this is just the first of many years that I will be traveling internationally although there is still much in the United States that I would like to see and do.
On the home front, last year ended with the remodel of the basement. The kitchen had a minor overhaul with sink, counter tops and flooring as well earlier last year. This year the house didn't need much. I did have the exterior painted as well as adding concrete to extend the driveway to allow for a car to strategically park. I also had the shower surround replaced. While it's disappointing that the value of homes has plummeted not to regain value for potential decades, there has similarly been a decline in taxes yielding an end of the year escrow refund! I'm still loving my house although I long for a second bathroom, always. It's nice to know that I have the comforts of home, employment and family that allow me to live the life I do.
In June I decided to try the dating thing again, six months after the break up with Ex-Bf, traveling, finding myself and enjoying my friends and hobbies. I quickly found myself in a relationship with a very sweet man trying to make the impossible possible. All in all, it just wasn't and I will leave it at that. He holds a special place in my heart. To this day, despite everything, there is something about that man that I can't explain. Something that because of him, I felt and I found. Maybe it wasn't him. Maybe it was me. Maybe I learned how to love again. Learned how to enjoy and be open, to be in a position to want companionship and a partner. And for that, I'm truly blessed to have had the relationship.
I've found myself back in the dating scene, after swearing it off prematurely. Because I do know that I have the capacity to love and to be loved. To want to have someone in my life and to be able to share it with someone. If it happens, it happens. But I also recognize what I don't want and that understanding how to avoid what isn't right or healthy is more important than being in a relationship, ever. I'm not needy or desperate. If and when the time comes, I'm sure that I will be willing to openly embrace it from the other side of my highly guarded walls with my bull dog mascots and armed forces!
In regard to my parenting and my son, our relationship remains a constant force to be reckoned. We have an extremely strong bond and relationship, one that often scares me. One that I worry will affect his ability to be independent, to seek friendships, to learn how to fall and get back up. He is a fabulous youth. He is intelligent, athletic, compassionate and honest. We have gone through several firsts along the pre-adolescent ride and we have survived. We will continue to survive.
Last December seems so long ago. So different. My year journey is coming to a close. I'm thankful for my family and friends. For my health and wellness. I'm thankful for employment and housing. I'm thankful for the things that at this time last year I may have taken for granted but do not any longer due to the declining economy of the United States. I've grown a lot, or maybe it is obtaining more maturity. I've looked inside myself this year and have made changes that I believe have made me a better person.
Happy Holidays everyone, to you and yours. May the Season bring you happiness, health and all that you wish and desire. Bring on the New Year!