Tuesday, December 31, 2013

As One Story Ends, Another Begins in 2014!

Here we are ladies and gents.  New Year's Eve, 2013.  For many, this is a time of reflection on the year past, while others focus on the year to come.  I prefer to do both.

Looking back on 2013 requires revisiting both the bad times and the good.  It was my first full year in San Diego.  The holiday season of 2012 came at the same time as my move to San Diego, making the start of my life here very turbulent.  To say the least, I was utterly miserable at the beginning of 2013.  I was exhausted from school, from student teaching, from hosting holiday dinners and traveling for others.  My poor health management caught up with me and I came down with a nasty bug that felt like it was the end.  I had no friends here, no job, and no motivation.  After living on my own for 18 months, I had to acclimate to sharing my living space with my husband again.  It wasn't just my way anymore.  I had to consider someone else again.  It was a rough adjustment.

Somehow though, that low point merely acted as a springboard for a phenomenal year.  My incredibly patient and loving husband did not fret when my moods were all over the place.  Never one did he falter in his support.  When I finally figured out what I thought I needed to improve the situation, he did not hesitate to help make it happen.  He was there holding my hand the whole time.

As I navigated this new territory, I found myself as a long-term substitute.  Although the experience was challenging beyond imagination, it was also extremely rewarding.  However, the job had to come to an end.  I continued to substitute with various schools and tutor on the side.  I met amazing people and fostered valuable network connections.  Yet I still felt disconnected from the life I was living.

I found myself traveling, a lot.  Traveling  is not a bad thing.  In fact, it is amazing if done for the right reasons.  My best friend helped me realize I was not helping myself though.  My travels weren't just for vacation and to visit friends.  My travels were more about me running away to more comfortable situations than trying to build my life in San Diego.  I realized if I was ever going to be happy here, I needed to dig in and make it happen.

Then came kickball.  I never thought that a schoolyard game could change my life, my outlook.  Kickball filled that vital piece I needed to grow...friendship and community.  I had a reason to leave the house.  I had people to celebrate accomplishments with.  I made some wonderful friends.  I didn't feel so alone and isolated anymore, and this gave me strength to launch into the world here.  Even when things were rough, I had people I could call on now.

Now, I have opportunities to give back to my community and charity.  My tutoring business has continued to grow and my network grows more every day.  As 2013 comes to a close, 2014 is shining bright ahead.  My chapter of emotional struggle is giving way to a chapter of motivation and determination.  This new chapter will bring many challenges as I work to start my new school, increase my fitness, and continue improving my diet and overall being.  I look forward to more opportunities to give back to my community and neighbors.  And hopefully, I look forward to welcoming a child into our home.

2013, Thank you for the lessons you taught me and the strength you built in me, but our time is now down.  2014, Bring it on!