Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's Been a Year

Well here we are on the cusp of the passing of yet another year.  Out of all of the years of my life, this is the year that I will be most happy to see coming to an end.

It's been an incredibly tough year. It's been a year of challenges.  A year of frustration.  A year of heart break.  I've cried in more places - both public and private - than I have any other year, and the year has certainly held more sorrow than joy.  It's been a year that has exhausted me.

But I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the year has contained some good things.  I passed the CFA exam.  I hosted one of my best friends for a girls weekend in Charlotte, and traveled to many wonderful places.  I got a promotion at work in the spring.  I made new friends and strengthened existing friendships.  I co-hosted another successful Julia Child Night.

But I look back at who I was in the early days of the 2013 before I knew that the year would hold an unwanted move, a break-up, a stress fracture, a lack of running, and the diagnosis of a chronic disease, among other difficult things - and that person is unrecognizable to me. I know she's buried somewhere underneath all of the layers of sadness and defeat that I have accumulated over the past year, but she feels a little bit lost to me right now.

But I see glimpses of the person I used to be when I am away from Charlotte, and those glimpses are encouraging.  They tell me that previous, better version of myself is not completely lost.  And at least I know how to get back to the person I was before the move.  I know that the way I feel right now is situational and when I get back to the Midwest, the clouds that have been hanging over me for the past year will be gone.  I will get that spring in my step back, smiles will come more easily, and the number of days that contain tears will dwindle.

Recently someone asked me if I would make a different decision if I could go back and do it all over again.  And as much as I'd like to say I would, I know that I couldn't.  I won't bore you all with the circumstances that required me to make this unwanted move to Charlotte, but trust me when I say if I could have avoided it, I would have.  But I couldn't, so here I am, picking up the pieces from a year of challenges and hoping to cobble back together a life I am proud of in 2014.

So here's hoping that 2014 contains more joy than sorrow.  More smiles than tears.  More laughter than anguish.  And more than anything, I hope that 2014 includes the closing of the chapter of my time in Charlotte - and the start of a new chapter back in the Midwest.

Tonight, I will quietly usher out 2013 (and honestly give it a metaphorical middle finger), but I will welcome, with joy, a New Year.

I wish everyone a very safe and Happy New Year!

17 comments:

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Here's to 2014 being better! ;) I selfishly was thinking the other day while driving through town, how awesome it would be if you would move to MY Midwest town but I don't think it is big enough for you. But we have an awesome running community and our downtown is becoming awesome and there are just so many gems I know you'd appreciate.

Jeanie said...

I have a feeling that 2014 will be a much better year for you. When you get into the bottom part of the barrel, where can you go but up. And you did have some good things in 2013, which helps (a little) balance it all. If nothing else, you have learned exactly what you want, where you want to be. And that's pretty darned important. Happy New Year, Lisa.

Marlys said...

Praying that 2014 will bring great experiences and better health! But even in difficulties, we do grow, so I am sure you will be a stronger woman in spite of the troubles this year brought you.

melissa said...

I can't believe everything you went through in 2013, honestly. It MUST mean that there is lots of good for you on the horizon because you have been one hell of a tough cookie lately. Wishing you all the best in 2014, if anyone deserves it, it's you!! <3

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Ha! I am totally with Emily. I am selfish and would LOVE it if you lived in my hometown. ;) That aside though, anywhere in the Midwest would be lovely and I know it will happen soon for you. We can make almost anything happen that we really want, IMO, and this is totally doable. I agree you made the wise decision and I hope this step in life pays off for you twofold.

A friend of mine is a recruiter her in Des Moines and it might not be a bad idea to check into them! You never know, right??

Happy new year, you're in my thoughts!

Hugs!

Linda said...

You charming and sassy girl giving 2013 the middle finger.
- Linda

Gracie said...

You've born the many trials of this year with your chin up, which is impressive since you had to be pretty tough to not break down. Here's hoping for a 2014 that offers more comfort than it requires toughness!

Raquelita said...

It seems like 2013 has been a bad year for many of my friends -- it definitely hasn't been my favorite year (though, like you, I admit it held some good things). Here's to a much better 2014!

Leigh said...

Sending you positive thoughts that 2014 is going to be a MUCH better and happier year for you :)

Stephany said...

I am giving 2013 the middle finger for you! What a sucky year this was for you - nobody should have to deal with as many trials and tribulations as you had to in the space of 12 months. I can only pray 2014 winds up being your best year yet!

CharisFaith said...

Happy New Year! I know that you are happy that the calendar has turned! Just as I prayed all last year know that I continue to pray in this one. Hugs!!!

Abby said...

I don't know how to put to words how hopeful I am that my sister has a better year in 2014. 2013 was way too rough on you...it basically beat the hell out of you.

And Mom is right, the one good thing is that it will make you stronger. But, a note to the world, "Lisa is strong enough! She need not be tested anymore!"

Lindsey Dunmyre said...

I sincerely hope that 2014 is your best year yet! I'll be praying that it's better than 2013 in every way imaginable.

And for selfish reasons, I hope it's the year I finally get to meet you in person!!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

2014: The Year of More ... I can get behind that! You might not believe me, but I think you handled that damn 2013 with grace. It challenged you in too many ways; but, with every challenge, you trudged on, knowing things will eventually get better if you can just ride out x (or, in many cases, x, y AND z). And, I'll do all I can (with my severely limited power) to make sure 2014 treats you right! =) Happy New Year, friend.

Amber said...

Oh my first comment got ate. Grr. Anyways, I just said that it has been A YEAR for you but I really do hope that one day you can look back and think "oh that's why that happened" and if not then well at least this year is BEHIND YOU! Here is to a much much better 2014. I hope that you are entering this new year feeling hopeful.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Happy New Year! You had a year that really tested your mettle and I think you passed with flying colors. Here's to one that is not as strenuous and stressful, one that tests you in good ways rather than bad and hopefully one that brings you just the things you need/want, because you have earned it!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Here's hoping you have a fabulous year!! All the best to you in 2014!