Hey 2009, thanks for being you.
I know a few of you look back on 2009 with a look one usually reserves for the person who just cut you off while talking on their cell phone and eating their over-priced scone from Starbucks, but not me. I look back on 2009 with the warm and fuzzies and sort of want to tuck it into bed after reading it a good bed-time story. Hey, it was that good.
I started out the year in Indiana; the first time EVER that I wasn’t home with my parents for the ringing in of the New Year. I was in good company: my best friend, his family and their friends. We ate tons of food, drank bottles of beer, and played some mean rounds of CatchPhrase. And for the first time ever I watched the Ball Drop in real time. I know this may seem like a silly thing to recall, but it was more than noteworthy for me. I mean, wow, I actually watched it drop. How could 2009 NOT be an amazing year?
January 2009 –
It was a month of uncertainty. For the first month of 2009 I sat and wondered what was going to happen that year. Would I finally move out? Would I finally finish school? Would things between me and him finally be what I knew they always should be? Only time would tell. January was a month of questions, with very few answers and a roller-coaster of emotions.
And then it happened…
February 2009 –
It was a month of dreams-come-true. Over a long distance phone conversation with him questions were answered. A life would be planned. Things would change forever. The second month of 2009 changed my life in the best possible ways I could ever imagine: he flew across the world to be with me, to marry me, to love me. It was perfect. All the questions that had kept me up at night with wet cheeks had come to the conclusions I daydreamed about…life was coming together. I could see a future that I was excited about.
March 2009 –
It was a month of more questions, but ones that would help build my life instead of slowly tear it apart with their painful unknowing. I was excited for the days and weeks and months to follow. I turned 26 and cut off my hair in an attempt to have a real hair style. I danced nights away with friends and family and was in complete awe of all the gifts that I was being given.
April 2009 –
It was a month of planning. I was about to move out of my house for the first time, across the world, to a country I had only briefly visited. I was moving in with my husband, and for the first time ever we would have no time limits on the time we spent together. I had a lifetime of boxes and old trash and treasures to go through to prepare for this, and I didn’t think a month would be long enough to do it, but I would make sure it was.
May 2009 –
It was a month of movement. My cousin walked down an aisle with a beautiful woman, and I married them in front of our family and friends. I signed on the line and made their dreams come true. I packed up my life into small boxes and suitcases and hopped onto a plane; the ticket said the destination was Italy, but I knew that was just the first stop. We would be going so many more places.
June 2009 –
It was a month of learning. It was my first month of living with another person, my husband, and learning how to dance the fine line of compromise. I learned what it felt like to spend more time alone than I had ever wanted. I learned what it meant to be a military wife. It was hard, and I cried to myself and to my husband. I fought hard to make it through this uncomfortable newness and I won. The tears were not worthless.
July 2009 –
It was a month of new friends. As I learned to handle the alone time, I made friends. I spent time with them and their families and they became a part of my heart. I ate food with them, laughed with them, washed dishes with them, talked about the world with them. Our lives intertwined and now when I stepped up to their door I didn’t feel like a guest, I felt like a part of their family.
August 2009 –
It was a month of settling in. I had slowly come to realize that I wasn’t dreaming, and that I was indeed married to my love and best friend, living in Italy with 2 cats and plans for a life well-lived. The initial disbelief that this was my life had worn off and it felt even better than a dream. Sure there was a house to clean, cats to take care of and a relationship to nourish and continue growing but I was ready.
September 2009 –
It was a month of growth. I was back home for the first time since May and for the first time I had a completely different perspective on my life and the people in it. It was amazing what the time away had taught me. It taught me to respect where I had come from, but not to let that stop me from wanting something else. It taught me that some people weren’t meant to be in my life the same way they had been. It taught me that I had limitless possibilities and that there was no limit to who I could be and what I could do.
October 2009 –
It was a month of travel. With my husband, my brother and my generous new mother-in-law in tow, we saw a side of Italy none of us had experienced; old cities on top of hills that looked like they should crumble under our touch, but proved their strength with the mere fact that they were still there after all these years; food that was so good we ate until we were 3 belt notches past full and then had dessert; history and culture so rich that it proved to us why some of the most brilliant and amazing artists came from this country.
November 2009 –
It was a month of relaxation. After months of moving and learning and seeing and experiencing we took a month off for ourselves. We watched movies, picked up pizza, read books to each other and snuggled on the couch with our cats. We took a break to let our brains catch up with our bodies and just enjoyed the quiet of our home. We just breathed.
December 2009 –
It was a month of family. I experienced a family so similar yet so different from my own that I was equal parts comfortable and excited. I saw ways of life that I wanted to adopt and appreciated ways of life that I never experienced before. I got to see how he grew up and how he became the man that I love so much. I got to return to my family and sit around the same kitchen table I had been sitting around for 14 years and remember what I loved so much about my life growing up. And I got to do it with him by my side.
2009 was a year of extraordinary places, people, lessons and emotions. It was a year that will forever be one of the most amazing years of my life. It was a year that makes me so excited for the rest of the years of my life.
It was just right.
So thank you 2009. Thank you very much.