2009 was a big, big year for me filled with love, change and stupidity. I assumed this year would be quiet in comparison. Turns out, I thought wrong...
So, here it is. 2010 in words - the setbacks, the stumbles and the smiles.
I started this year expecting great things. Instead, I quit my job, had to go back to graduate school, said goodbye to Friday and Saturday night fun by taking a weekend graveyard counseling position and ended up having surgery for a very painful fractured kneecap.
You see, this is the year I had to do the things I didn't want to do. In other words, this is the year I had to suck it up and grow up.
It started with quitting my job of almost a year. After several months of unhappiness and poor treatment, I made the decision to leave (because nobody puts Bailey in the corner). After applying to Nevada's Board of Clinical Professional Counselors, I was told that I needed to take one extra credit in five additional graduate level courses. So, I went back to graduate school and if you happened to read my blog around that time, you know that I had a really hard time accepting this. Oh, and then I found out I needed surgery. A surgery that ended up being far more complicated than I had ever anticipated with months of physical therapy, immobility and pain. Finally, there was the weekend graveyard shift and a Christmas without my family.
Each of the aforementioned items were things I did not want to do. I didn't want to leave a job where I felt as though I really made a difference (and got a great paycheck). I can promise you that in no way did I want to RETURN to graduate school and read more books and write more research papers. I never wanted to have surgery and I never, ever, ever wanted to work the graveyard shift or work the holidays. EVER.
Here, however, is what I have come to realize. Big girls suck it up, do the things they don't want to do (at least some of the time) and acknowledge all their blessings. And even during the hard parts, I am a very blessed person... Everyone needs to have the opportunity to stand up for themselves and find a workplace that values how much they care. As hard as it was to leave, I always knew - in my heart - it was the right decision... Everyone has to be tested; is this what you really, really want to do with your life? Do you want this so much that you are willing to do anything for it? It turns out, I did want it that much... If I had been in Washington when I had my surgery, I would have turned to my family and they would have entirely taken care of me. Although I certainly had people help me, I was forced to learn to rely on myself in ways that make me proud... What else can I tell you? My days working the graveyard shift are numbered and I know for sure that unless I find myself with 12 mouths to feed someday, I will never work these hours again. Why? Because I value my mental health... And as much as I hated being away from my family for the holidays, I felt a part of myself strengthen from this experience.
What else? I'm glad you asked...
Fake eyelashes. Sushi. Growing pains. One ugly gym. Seeing Phoenix at the Hard Rock. Trips to California. A perfect Valentine's day. A birthday surrounded by new friends. Autumn Vegas. My karaoke debut. (Even more) puppy love. The art of happiness and costume parties. The return of Mary Poppins. Pop Culture. Falling in love with San Diego. Wearing fake moustaches on the strip. Twice. Embracing my inner gay man. Zumba. Giving up cheese. Realizing that a cheese-less life wasn't one worth living. Personal trainer pain. The crazy bird lady who lives next door. Going to see my first love, Huey Lewis. Celebrating my one year anniversary with Las Vegas. Bloggers in Sin City. Fracturing my kneecap. Loving my boy. Quitting my job. Lake Tahoe. Kings of Leon on a summer night. New jobs. Major letdowns. Recovering from said setbacks on my mom's deck on the bay. Little boys I love. Finding myself in the desert. Going (back) to grad school. Hosting my best friends in my new city. Surgery. A Madonna Halloween costume. Graveyard shift. Intake Counselor. A redheaded soul. A new beginning.
I am going into 2011 having just told my boss that I am looking for therapy work DURING THE DAY, having finished my papers and received my extra credits with an almost healed knee. I also just returned from a few days with my adorable family. I can't think of a better way to bid 2010 farewell. If this year has taught me anything, it's that you just never know what waits in store for you. However, I still expect great things.
In 2011, I see a career I'm passionate about (instead of just a job), a whole lot more love and travel, a little less candy and a puppy by 2012. That's right, Jenner, a puppy.
To great expectations, rolling with the punches and the setbacks that make us stronger... To 2011!