Phee's Memorable Stuff From 2012:
1. I learned to snowboard. Ok, I sort of learned to snowboard. I spent a day learning, and by the end of it, while I could not feel most of my body except when I moved and excrutiating shots of pain went through me, I was still thrilled. I was not that old yet! I could learn new things! Physical new things! I was never going to shred up the slope (or down the slope?) but I could get up and down and move all around, and damn if I didn't look cute doing it.
2. I survived a year without Gunny. A year ago at Christmas, after 4 months of slowly being frozen out of his life and after 6 years of being intertwined rather solidly within it, I knew things were over - and that I was going to have to be the one to walk away. I had to admit to myself that I wasn't going to get married, and that the last few good years of my being able to have a child, were now over. I would never be a mom, at least not via giving birth myself. Two huge blows, right at Christmas. This is stuff I tend not to write about here, but it's worth mentioning now, because I made it through. I kept going. I didn't give up, I didn't spent months and months crying and bemoaning the fact that a huge part of my life was over - two huge parts of my life, actually. I admittedly had a breakdown in front of my mother in a hotel room in Salt Lake City on 12/28/11. I lost it. I was broken. Trust me, I cried. But I got up again on 12/29/11, and I got on the plane to come back to Washington DC, and I got up again on the 30th, and the 31st, and the 1st of 2012. I kept going. I stuck my chin out, and I thanked God above for all my many blessings, and I let go. Slowly, yes. But I let go. And here I am, a year later. Do I miss him? Sure. I might not have ever had the certificate of marriage, but I feel like I got divorced just the same. Will I ever fully recover from having to admit that my chances of having a baby are over? Probably not. BUT - I can know in my heart that I didn't go out and do things that I, personally, think are stupid- like having a baby on my own just to prove I could, or getting pregnant hoping he would have asked me to marry him, etc. I don't personally believe in those things - more power to those who do, but I, personally, do not. And I held fast to those beliefs, and I'm still here, and I'm still going, and it's all going to be ok.
3. Despite the end of my relationships ith Gunny, and feeling that I never wanted to date again, I met a cowboy. He was a surprise, and he was great. Or so I thought. Our brief romance and infatuation lasted only 5 short months, but it was a great 5 months. I danced. I camped. I drank beer. I made new friends, and had new experiences. A hole in my heart healed up just ever so slightly. He met my parents and shared Thanksgiving with us. I talked more on the phone to a man than I have in years, and loved every minute of it. I wrote long letters. I smiled again, and most importantly, perhaps, I rediscovered the truth - that I am a beautiful, intelligent, has-her-shit-together woman and that I am worthy of having love in my life. We are still friends. At least, I hope we are. He's going through a rough patch now and we haven't spoken since early in the month. Her name is Ginger - she's the wife I had been told was "ex". Turns out she hadn't quite signed the papers yet, and decided to move back home after living out of state for over a year. Phee doesn't have time for that kind of bullshit in her life, so I got the hell out. Hugely disappointing. Admittedly shocking. Blindsided is a good way to describe how I felt and still feel. But you know what? It's all good. I'll walk away with the GOOD stuff, and let go of the bad ~ especially on this, the last day of the year. I choose to remember and learn from the good, not focus on the bad.
4. I graduated from a very prestigeous program at the Department where I work. I had to apply. I had to be career-boarded to get in. I was one of only three in my entire agency who made it. I had papers and programs and readings and trainings to do. I had presentations to make. I had to find myself a new job, basically. I did it all, even though at times I was miserable, and lonely, and confused. Emotionally, I had a lot going on in 2012, but I plowed through. I graduated in August. I turned my TDY into a full-time gig. They want to hire me permanently in 2013, and although leaving my HQs position scares me, as I've been there for 7 years now, I think it's time. There are new challenges to meet, and new friends to make, and new things to learn. All because of this program. All because I set my course and didn't deviate.
5. I got invited to test for the rank of Master Instructor in my martial arts association. 2013 will be a telling year, because at the end of March, THAT is when I actually will go and test. I'm scared. Hell, I'm petrified. The excitment and shock of being invited has worn off, and now I'm almost frantic in terms of working out, and trying to drop weight, and re-learning all the words, and terms, and forms, and weapons work, etc. But I got invited! 18 years of my life, 18 years of playing the games, and doing the training, and teaching, and doing taxes for a business I NEVER intended to own, and putting up with ALL the bullshit from people with egos, etc. It all paid off, in that I GOT INVITED. There are 175,000 people in my association. 14,000 of them have become a black belt. 5000 have become a 3rd degree black belt, and out of that 5000, only 270 are Masters and/or candidates. I am now a candidate. I'm one of the 270. And you know what? Out of that 270, only 45 are women - 20 of that 45 are actual Master Instructors, the other 20 of us are candidates. Talk about a fucking boys club. But I DID IT! I GOT INVITED! I put in the time and hard work, and I never gave up hope and faith, and I am now one of those 45 women, out of 175,000 people around the world.
Obviously, lots of other things happened in 2012. I got to see one of my sisters, whom I haven't seen in a few years, and we actually got along. The bonus? My niece and nephew now know who I am, and we bonded. I had opportunities to spend time with my lovely and wonderful parents, who are aging, but who are without question some of my best friends. My beloved great aunt passed away, and I learned about family dynamics as an adult - the ugly side of family. My friend got engaged to her girlfriend, another friend finally came out, and my colleague at work got engaged to the man she has 4 kids with. I was thrilled for them all, and astounded at how varied and special and different all my friends are. I am richer for having so many interesting people in my life. I got to see old friends down in NC this past July and in August/September, I got to go back to Yellowstone - one of my favorite places on earth. I started taking vitamins, I got my first crown (ouch!) and I was given a diruetic to take for my blood pressure. Ugh. I finally started coloring my hair, not just highlighting it, b/c the blonde is turning to gray. I started using a FABULOUS new skin care line (Rodan and Fields) because - well - time keeps passing, and my face is not just filled with freckles across my nose anymore, but lines under my eyes and on my forehead.
I grew up, I think, in 2012. We all have bigger years, where certain things happen to us, and we look back and go "yeah, now THAT was a big year." For me, 2012 was one of those. I faced pain, and I faced endings, and I faced fear, and I faced uncertainty, and I faced challenge. I found joy, and I found a new sense of self and happiness and I discovered a new type of personal contentment. I progressed down the road of discovery of self, and for the first time in a very long time, I liked what I found...... and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Happy 2013 to you all out there ~ may the year bring you joys, sorrows, challenges, defeats and successes, and may you face ALL of it, with truth, light, hope and faith. God Bless.