I began composing this post many times throughout this year. In my head, at least. When we lost David's grandmother and I cried and cried because I missed her and my own sweet grandmother, too. When I found myself in Sevilla and felt like the world was attainable if I was patient and let it come to me. Whenever I stepped onto a plane-- all 30+ flights-- and was tired of flying but never tired of being up in the sky. When I failed at safe, and learned that I can never succeed making someone else's dream come true. When I let go. And when I was on the other side of the world again, this time following my own heart.
Each of these moments, individually and altogether, made for one of my most difficult years. I don't know how I made it. In a previous draft, I'd written with resent and reaffirmed notions of distrust, but that's not how I want to remember the year-- let alone bring in the next.
So in no order in particular, these are moments I treasured and cried over and that helped me make it through. It's the small things, after all, that always do.
My Uruguayan, French, and Catalán friends introduced me to new parts of my home state.
I managed to surprise David for his birthday. It required scheming with his mom and secretly packing some of his things and it was wonderful. At this spot along the 17-mile Drive, we saw dolphins in the distance.
I got to introduce my family to Portland. Around this time, I'd already been up north for about 90% of the time so it was nice to have a piece of home in the place I'd soon call my own.
Friends old and new trusted me to share their stories. It was my greatest pleasure and biggest honor.
In a time when I felt abandoned and defeated, my friends saved me.
But for most of the year, I was alone. I learned that in the end, you'll forget what you were angry about and only know that you miss them.
I took walks and made my own luck. Or tried, at least.
I followed my wanderlust and traveled alone. I was nervous about driving alone in a foreign country, technology-less, but it was great and absolutely worth it. Croatia took my breath away.
I made it back to my second home. I couldn't believe it. Florence, Tuscany, and Italy will always have my heart.
I couldn't stop looking at the sky.
And I couldn't be happier to come home.
A dear friend told me, "You are worth it-- don't ever lose sight of that." When she told me, I teared up because it was something I'd stopped believing. It's my mantra from here on out.
In 2014, I learned that this life is mine.
Wishing you all the light and love in this new year.