I’ve spent some time this week reading other peoples’ year end posts wandering what the hell to write about this year.
I have a real love-hate relationship with 2009. It has been, undoubtedly, one of the most tremendously difficult years of my life, but from that struggle, it has also become one of the most rewarding. I feel like I’ve grown as an adult, a wife, and a woman in so many ways, but also, in that growth, I left behind parts of me I never intended to.
If I had to describe this year in one word, there is no question that it would be bittersweet. It just seems like all the good has been coated and surrounded in bad, ugliness. It seems that all the things I want to remember have faded to the memory of those things I would rather forget.
In January, my very last cousin was born. He is the most gorgeous, precious boy and the light and love he has brought to our family has been immeasurable.
In February of 2009, I ended up in an emergency room with a CT scan that said I had a tumor. A small one, but in a bad place. A tumor that my neurologist said is either something totally benign or something we’ll notice problems from later. So so comforting.
In March, my husband matched in a residency. His dreams and his hard work paid off right before our eyes. And as he promised my mom 3 years before, he got us home to California. And because of that, I was able to accept admission to the best graduate program in the country.
In April we found our new home. (In December we found out that part of it is going to become a dorm for the college nearby. Don’t even get me started).
In May I finished teaching. I finally managed to leave that noble career that drove me bat-shit crazy. My husband graduated from medical school and became a real doctor. And shortly thereafter we packed our entire house to leave New Orleans. 2009 will always be remembered as the year I left New Orleans for California, a move I thought I desperately wanted. But it’s also the year I realized how much I’d miss that rough-and-tumble city. How much it had become a part of me.
In June, I got a new kitten. A new kitten who has subsequently ripped up every single corner of carpet in our new apartment, bitten holes in the vertical blinds and spilled pomegranate juice on the carpet. He also cuddles and is adorable.
In June we also celebrated our first anniversary and thankfully stopped having the arguments every single damn day that plagued our first year of wedded bliss. It’s like someone switched a light switch on our marriage. I am truly happier with Slappy now than I have ever been.
In July I went to a conference with 10 trillion women, felt totally overwhelmed, yet also so welcome by so many wonderful people. I may or may not have taken part in a super secret pizza party in which I met a group of women (and Mike) that I still count among my friends.
It might seem ridiculous, but BlogHer was one of the highlights of my year. I felt like me there, I felt like I was among people who “get” the internet. I listened to a panel all about health blogging and realized that though sometimes I feel alone in this, I’m not. I was inspired, challenged, and I laughed until I damn near cried. And also helped Megan cross something off her bucket list. And you know, meeting Valerie Jarrett and listening to other women who weren’t stunned into silence talk with her about healthcare didn’t suck either.
August birthed this headache. The one that has carried through to December at the very least, and plagues my every waking moment. August was also the month I began graduate school and took up full time whine blogging. You’re all welcome for that.
September, October and November are a blur. A big suck filled blur. They involved a new neurologist, a horrible lumbar puncture, a spinal headache, 2 weeks on my back on my couch before a blood patch, a cisternogram which revealed nothing and a lot of tears. The only good thing I can even begin to say about those months are that they are done, they are in the past. And I know that’s terrible because some great things happened those months, but my mind was so burdened with pain and worry that it’s all I can remember.
December has been a roller coaster ride. I passed all my classes in graduate school, which still amazes me. Especially considering that this month I also lost the ability to sleep through a night. December is the month where my neurologist finally reached the end of her ability to help me and the month where I found a new doctor who is going to try.
It is easy for me to say that I want this year to end. Because, truly I do. I desperately I want a fresh start after the beating I’ve taken this year.
But as much as I want to start anew I also realize that after the clock strikes midnight tonight, the world is not going to magically change. There is no slate that is actually going to be wiped clean as I keep imagining it in my mind. The clock hitting a new number won’t change my life, it won’t change my health, it’s just a new day, like every other. And like each new day, I hope tomorrow brings something different, something less painful. Something like what I used to have.
I hope that 2010 brings days without pain, days without fear, days without sadness. But I also hope that the lessons I’ve learned and the obstacles I’ve traversed in 2009 will give me the tools and the grace to handle this new year and it’s inevitable new challenges.