One year ago Chuck and I were asleep on a nest of blankets on our apartment floor in front of the TV. I think I woke up first at about 11:58pm and nudged saying "Babe, the ball is dropping, it's midnight." Happy new year, we both mumbled and then stumbled into bed. It was an anticlimactic ending to 2011.
365 days later, I'm sitting on my couch in my childhood home which I now own, 7 middle-schoolers are upstairs making a video in ridiculous costumes and Chuck is in theory power-napping but I think he's out for the night. It doesn't seem that different, it's at home, it's fairly dull, it's reasonably quiet, but it feels like a whole new life is starting.
I own a home. Not just a home, the home I grew up in, that holds all my memories within it's walls and on one crawl space it literally has it on it's walls. (There is a spot that at some point between 1st and 3rd grade I wrote "I hate Andy" and "I love Garret" in crayon. Must've felt the need to document those emotions at the time.) The structure is the same, all the same walls form all the same rooms, but the color is new and the girls' heights are now written in the livingroom doorway.
It is such a fuzzy feeling to be here again. Mom always said she wanted me to have the house, but I thought I'd move back in when she was old and needed help. We'd both be hunched and wrinkly and wondering who was going to gripe the other one to death first. But life works in curious ways and love shows up when you least expect it. Mom's in love and in suburbia and as luck and love would have it, I'm back home.
Thanks Mom. Thank you for the house. I will never be able to say that enough to convey how grateful my family and I truly are. Thank you.
I feel like a post like this should have a list of "Things I learned" or "Greatest Accomplishments" or "Top Moments of the Year" but I'm more in awe of where my life has taken me the last 4 years and where I am at this very moment. I may not have a list to sum up the year but I do have a word; Happy. It's a great word, it sounds like what it means. Say it. You smiled at the end, didn't you? It's a smiling sort of word. And smiling's my favorite. I didn't think it was possible to love love this much.
I had hoped for a partner that not only was my equal but also pushed me farther and encouraged me continuously. And who we both still like coming home to the other. It's the best part of my day. Well that and my first cup of coffee. I didn't think someone else's children could make me feel so proud and aware of myself. I never thought I'd be in a job that I love that isn't theatre and yet 9 days out of 10, I enjoy going to work. I thought I'd be apartment dwelling my whole life. And here I am. Happy and happy some more. (You smiled reading the word, didn't you?) Happy in my heart, happy in my head, happy in daily life. Happy joyful cheery. Just like the holiday season.
I'm looking forward to this coming year. It's going to be another good one, I can feel it.
Cheers, friends. May you be happy too.