In three days, 2013 will be over.
This year, I finally crossed the border and entered Canada to see Ben in Toronto and visited the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. I traveled to Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, Springfield, Hannibal, Charlotte, Charleston, Savannah, Milwaukee, Newport, Providence, and Cleveland. I took a business trip to Los Angeles to do training, went home to San Francisco four times (which has never happened before in a single year), and spent Thanksgiving in Germany and Christmas in Melbourne, with a side trip to New Zealand while in the Southern Hemisphere. I hosted two visiting friends from other states, had Ben and my in-laws stay with us multiple times, and prepared coffee at 5:30am for them most mornings. I hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner at my apartment. I lost between 10-14 pounds after taking up rigorous morning workouts, committed to writing on this blog every day, read one book a month, and started the 1 Second Every Day video project. I left my job of over four years to join a tech company that offers a social media marketing platform, took up Bikram yoga, saw a lot of theater, and jumped off a cliff. I discovered delicious Cambodian food in Cleveland, ate one of the best burgers of my life at B Spot, and achieved my personal culinary goals of making pad thai, appam, and empanadas – all from scratch. I helped reunite my dad with his high school best friend. I lost my beloved Ed this year and wrote and delivered the most painful speech of my life. I got mad at my entire family and decided that I would stop investing as much time in people who were ungrateful to me and the things I have done for them. I decided to start seeing a therapist to deal with my anger. And I made a promise to myself that I have the right to be happy.
A lot has happened this year, and a lot of pain will continue on. But the only choice I really have now is to continue moving forward with my life despite the tragedies I’ve experienced and the pain I endure. Every day is hard in its own way, and there are moments during the day that hurt more than others. I know I’ve been very fortunate in ways that Ed never was, and so for him, I will keep going. I will try to be happy for his sake and his memory. And Bart will keep me company along the way.