nIt's been a big year. I've decided to highlight it since I have time and am on vacation, this time will be something of a mystery very soon, and I'm not sure when I will have more. Maybe the next holiday.
First, the year started with a big move. I decided to go back to school after some career changes gone wrong, plus an incredibly telling and fruitful trip to San Francisco visiting a pal of mine...happening to get his PHD in psychology. We had many walks up and down those San Francisco hills, and I feel as though I finally came into my own during that time. What a great trip. I need to go back again soon and visit the Marina, Haight-Ashbury, and various other districts of the city soon.
I moved in with my parents shortly before 2007 started. I drove halfway across the country with my best friend and sister, who, soon after, was found to be mentally ill. She had many symptoms when we were together, but it seemed to be just stress. I spent much of the beginning of the year dealing with the fact that my sister was bi-polar, and it had nothing to do with me leaving her. It was a tough time for the entire family.
I rang in the new year with an old acquaintence from high school. At first it was a little ackward, but we had a good time. Once he realized nothing was going to happen, everything turned out fine. ;)
The rest of January was spent finding work in my old hometown, and finalizing all of my school plans. There was a lot of paperwork to do, and I am thankful I had the time to dedicate to it. I was also quite ill at the time with a terrible flu, and it was nice to have mom take care of me for the first time in many years.
After getting in touch with many old pals, I really connected with one from my high school show choir. She was wanting to start a band, and needed a bass player. I decided I wanted to re-learn what I had learned and commit to the band. I had a bunch of instant friends from this project, and it helped keep me busy socially. This was really great to have.
I found a waitressing job at a local restaurant, along with working at the University's rec center to teach Cycle classes, along with aerobics. My boss was very helpful in getting me started, especially with aerobics since I didn't have a lot of training. She has turned out to be a mentor of mine and a person that I look up to a lot. I have the highest respect for her, and would not mind if my life turned out similar to hers someday.
The band, work, and school kept on trucking. I picked up the bass quite well again and was able to progress with my bandmates. We were excited and were able to get a lot of press since we were an all female group. Things were looking great there. At work waitressing, I was soon promoted to be a manager, which was okay. I was starting to get pretty excited my other job teaching fitness classes at the university, so the waitressing thing was losing its steam. I started getting certified in more specific classes, to include Cycle, Pilates, and Zumba. My new mentor taught me, and participated in all the classes.
Life at home was difficult and weird for me. I essentially had moved away from home at 18, and other than a couple of summers, had been away from my parents. They were not happy with the choices I had made as an adult, and I was not sure how to act around them. My sister's issues with bi-polar disorder, although painful and difficult to go through, helped us discuss our issues with each other and get everything in the open. Even though we still have difficulties, as all families do, we are in a much better place than we were before. In fact, our relationship has never been better. In the early summer, I moved out to my own place, with a couple of roommates, and it has been a positive change. I am able to have more social time, with friends and my parents, and it is working out fantastically so far. During the semester, I eat lunch with my mother every day, and we are getting along better than we ever have been. We still have our struggles, but overall, it's fantastic.
The band kept on trucking through the spring, although we ran into one pretty major snag. It seems that drama within musical groups is inevitable, and our group was no exception. The lead singer's husband was having an affair with our drummer, so we made the executive decision to find a new percussionist for our group. This was a big strain on all of us, since at least from my perspective, were pretty starstruck with our success that we had up to that point. It felt like we had to halt all progress. Another part of this was that I felt that I was obligated to make a stand morally in this situation. I let our old drummer know that I was no longer interested in any sort of friendship with her. The things that she did made her a disloyal and untrustworthy person in my eyes. Even though the marriage between the other friends was splitting, and it had to do with more than just the affair, I felt right about my decision. I still do.
Work started to change too. I started getting more jobs in the fitness field and felt that the restaurant industry was beginning to hold me back. So by the end of June, I was solely working in my desired field and had quit my other position. This was a difficult decision to make since I didn't have enough work to cover expenses, but I knew I could make things work, and I did. I am proud that I was able to make it work and worked hard, especially through the local YMCA to make things better for my life.
In the spring, I re-connected with an acquaintence from high school and we began to date. We were caught up with excitement for each other and made some pretty rash decisions. It did not work out, and he lied to me about his intentions for several months, dragging out the entire relationship through the summer. This was one of the most disappointing aspects of the year, but helped me realize some things about myself. I have had a lot of struggles with relationships in the past, due to several reasons. My tendencies for latching on to something, anything that will come along is quite strong, and this experience helped me recognize it and tackle it head-on. The fact that I was raised to be a wife, coulpled with some other very terrifying experiences in my adulthood altered my sense of reality in relationships. It will be a constant struggle to overcome my past in some ways, but this year, I was able to learn a lot about myself and how I react to relationships, especially romantic ones. In the fall, I ended up meeting someone that I feel is spectacular, but we have given ourselves the time and patience to develop a relationship over time. I do not know what will happen, but what I do know is I feel like we are doing things right....and that is a great start.
My work started to pick up speed in the fall. I had taken the plunge on a latin dance aerobics certification (Zumba) and it really started to pay off. I also started establishing myself as a depndable instructor in the community, and was getting enough work to support myself easily. I was teaching at 5 different sites around the city, and even working through the Sherriff's department teaching inmates at the county jail. I have been able to learn a lot from this community, and am happy to say that they are my favorite population to instruct. One snag happened there, though. My kickboxing class was so effective, they had me discontinue it. It seems as though I teach such a great kickboxing aerobics class that the staff at the jail was scared the inmates were developing skills that were too violent. So I have had to re-design the program. I guess I have to chalk it up to learning experience!
School both semesters were successful. I have qualified for the Dean's list both semesters, and plan to continue the tradition. Intially, I thought I would like to pursue a degree in Community Health Education, but I have since changed my major to Exercise and Sport Science, with a Strength and Conditioning emphasis. I still have to be accepted to the program, and will be applying in the spring. I hope that my good grades, even though not 4.0, will help, along with my extensive experience. This will be a telling semester, as my financial aid depends on my acceptance. One of the biggest struggles of the fall was dealing with the financial aid office, appealing different aspects of my academic and fiscal life. I am still unsure of my future, and not sure if I will stay at the institution at which I'm currently studying. I will know more in a few months.
The band found a new drummer, albeit male. He is much better than his predesesor, so that is definitely a positive aspect. We have been successful on our own with him and have been working hard to make good music despite our changes. It has been a hard road, and I will not say it has been without difficulty. I have found that it is especially hard to work with individuals and their egoes, especially in a creative setting. Most of the time, people have different goals and objectives while working in crative groups, and at times, it is difficult to come to an agreement. Sometimes people don't understand each other, or they might be suffering from paranoia from other relationships. All in all, I hope to never be surprised with other issues with creative partners. It will always happen, and I find that with honesty, things will always work out.
With my studies, I found myself intrigued with Buddhism, and it connects with many aspects of what happened through this tumultuous year. It helped me re-connect with my spirituality in a way that is less abstract than other paths I have found. I feel that I do not, and never will align myself with a specific religion, but if I had to pick one that helps define to others how I feel, this is the closest thing that I've got. Between Buddhism and Altruism, I feel I have found where I belong.
2007 has been a year of changes. I feel the changes will continue. I find myself on vacation, in a place that I practically ran away from, feeling right at home. The things that will happen to me in 2008 are still a mystery, but the one thing I do know is that I've never been happier. And that happiness is bound to continue, because it always has.
I hope that the few of you that read this blog, whoever you are, have had as good a year as I have just had. I also hope that your life continues to be as lively, surprising, and vivacious as mine, because I know that it is what has made me so happy. I know life is so hard sometimes. I am constantly surprised with life and the twists and turns it brings, because even though some of those twists become challenges, they always make my life better.
I wish you the best year of your lives. 2008 will be even more amazing than the year before it!