New Year

Hello 2015

I haven’t done one of these posts since 2012 because I got lazy with my blog, so time to start again. It’s been a banger of a year for sure. 2014 sucked but it was also awesome, it’s definitely the most complex year I’ve ever had and hope never to have again. It’s tough when you have something like a cancer diagnosis take up 1/2 the year because it’s easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but there were too many good things that happened to do that, so instead I’m just going to record my year’s highlights.

1. Work. I got promoted towards the end of 2013 and finally caught my title up to my experience. It was a discouraging process and I am grateful that I found an agency who recognized my experience and didn’t just string me along as I’d had happen a bit with past employers (amazing how often places love to work you far above your title, but are so reluctant to pay you for it). I was only there for three months out of 2014 but I accomplished a lot. I traveled for work more than I ever have which helped me feel more independent and see new places. I made awesome new friends and spent quality time with existing ones. I worked on probably the most complicated project I will ever work on and am really proud of how it turned out. Professionally I felt very fulfilled and sad to leave.

2. Thailand. A. and I decided since we were moving across the country we would take off for a month and bum around Thailand. It was amazing. We played with elephants, rode hundreds of miles on scooters, ate everything (except curry for me), snorkeled, swam in beautiful places, and best of all, got to see a whole new part of the world. We could have easily stayed another month and not gotten tired of it.

3. Leaving SF. This was easy and hard to do. It was easy because we’ve been talking about moving to New Orleans for most of our relationship and it was really exciting to finally be going. For me I’d reached a bit of a rut in terms of wanting to not live in an apartment anymore, get a dog, be closer to our families, and start thinking about kids. SF didn’t feel like the right place to do this and it felt like life was on hold. However, it was also so so so so hard to leave our friends and family in SF. These are the people that we grew into adults with and have been able to take for granted and enjoy their company almost the entire time we’ve lived in SF. Moving to New Orleans is not a little move and leaving everyone was really hard. I also miss burritos.

California Thanksgiving

California Thanksgiving

Screen shot 2015-01-01 at 5.16.18 PM

Totally the best breakfast burrito in SF

4. Cross Country Trip. Our car didn’t break down this time! We got to do everything and see everything we wanted to and it was all amazing. The driving wasn’t too rough and we had great weather for the whole trip. I especially loved Portland and it will be on my list of regrets never getting to live there. Yellowstone was another huge highlight for me, I love animals. Hiking over 7 miles in Glacier was a big accomplishment for me and one I’m glad I got to do before getting laid up the back half of the year.

5. Coming home again. Although the extended circumstances sucked, I still got 5 months in Vermont where I really got to feel home again and see and do everything I could want. I reconnected with some old friends, spent lots of time with my family, and had a beautiful summer and fall.

6. Cancer. Cancer sucks. I’ve got nothing positive to say about this one. It’s still mind boggling to me that I had cancer at 30, how does that even happen? It’s insane. It has taken a lot from me in health, days, and experiences and I’ll be looking to make up for those soon. A family friend told me to look for the gifts and this is one I go back and forth on weekly/daily. Some days I think of all of the support and love I’ve gotten through this and all of the friends that have made time to see me while I’m down and out. It’s been amazing and wouldn’t have happened without this. I feel very very fortunate I have you all. However, I’d trade it all in a hot second to not have gotten cancer which I know isn’t the point, but I think it’s hard to think of it as a gift related to my diagnosis and more of a gift in my life in general (hopefully you’d all love me still with no cancer even though I’d hear from you less). Feeling grateful in relationship to cancer is an up and down experience too, sometimes I’m flooded with it and sometimes I want to tell the world to fuck off. I’m still in the thick of things though so only time will tell on how I’ll eventually reflect back on this.

Yar

Yar

7. New Orleans. We finally made it here. I feel really good about how I planned things out. In the beginning my doctors were pushing me to get chemo before surgery and I am so glad that I pushed back and did it the way I did it. Chemo was worse than surgery and I can’t imagine mentally having to go into surgical recovery after getting through this and I also think one of the reasons I’ve healed so well is that my immune system and body were in fighting shape when I had surgery which is certainly not the case now. I’d also be in the position of probably still being in Vermont where it’s cold and dark and isolating as opposed to being down here where we’re moving into our place, getting a dog, and starting a new life. Everyone’s treatment plan is different and one of the few things I feel very secure about making a decisions on is my treatment schedule. I picked the right one for me.

I usually don’t do resolutions, I’m more of a no pressure or maybe things I hope for in the new year rather than try and set up a strict list of things I probably won’t follow through on. This year is different though. Given my more fragile lease on life I think it’s appropriate to come out of this and have something to focus on. I don’t have to resolve to be more healthy because that’s a rule from my doctor. Since my cancer is triple negative (no hormone receptors) I won’t be able to take any medication to prevent reoccurrence. Those meds tend to have all sorts of fun side effects (like causing cancer) so I’m not sad about this, but it is more scary because I just have to hope my body can do a better job this time around and that the chemo worked. The only thing I can do is keep a healthy BMI through eating well, exercising, and drinking moderately. So this one doesn’t count as a resolution because I actually medically need to do it.

Anyways, my resolution for 2015 is to say “yes” to more things. I’m not a big “yes” person. I tend to not like a lot of plans and be just as happy staying in on my couch or in my bed. However I just moved to a new city and need to meet people and experience things. I also have had 5 months of having to say “no” to a lot of things because of my health and I think it’s time to reclaim my life through saying “yes”. Please notice that I said “to more things” and specifically not “to everything”. I’m not trying to be a new person, just more of a person.

We’re moving into our new place tomorrow and hopefully obtaining a puppy this weekend so 2015 is off and rolling.

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Hello 2012

Last year I didn’t make any resolutions. I was wrapping my head around getting married and planning a wedding and felt like setting up any personal goals would be unneeded stress. However, I did manage to get some things done:

  • I started doing yoga and loved it. I’m still struggling with making a commitment to do it often, but it’s something I want to make a more regular part of my life. It’s one of the few things I do where I truly feel like I’m doing something really positive for myself. It makes me feel spiritually lighter and physically better. The week and morning of my wedding I used it to keep calm and carry on.
  • I finally got promoted from account coordinator. After starting at a job that took advantage of me and broke promises and then struggling to break into the industry I wanted to be in, this was the year where I made progress. I have a new goal of where I want to be in the near future, but it felt really good to finally be moving up instead of working to get into the industry.
  • I spent a lot of time with my friends. Not nearly enough, but with my bachelorette party, our wedding, and my college reunion it was really great. I’ve also finally hit that age where my friends are traveling for work or have enough money for a visit and I’m getting to see more people. It’s been really great.
  • I married A. After over 6 years together we promised to spend our lives together in front of our friends and family. It was an amazing day that I really don’t have the words to describe all it meant to me.
  • I went through something really scary with hurricane Irene attacking my hometown and came out of it with a lot of Vermont pride and respect for my family. I’ve never been more proud of my Dad than I have for all he did helping people. It helped me realize what a part of my heart belongs to Vermont and it always will.
  • I spent my first Christmas with A. Normally we spend it with our respective families, but since we spent a lot of time in Vermont for wedding prep and the wedding itself, we spent this Christmas together in New Orleans. I thought I might feel sad and bit left out not spending it with my family, but I felt really good spending it with A. and his family made me feel like a part of their’s.

I am really enjoying not planning a wedding and with my free time I want to work on some things this year:

  • Find a regular way to exercise . Figure out what I like, what I can afford, and commit to it.
  • Be a better friend. Last year was really great seeing everyone and this year I want to spend more time on my friends. Especially without a wedding to distract me.
  • Grow my career. I’m taking an editing class this spring and really working to challenge myself and grow in experience and title.
  • Breathe Easy. I want to let more things go and spend less time being upset or worrying about things.
  • Be happy. I want to spend as much time as I can enjoying my life with A.

(Nichole Drgan Photography 2011)

Happy 2012

Goodbye 2010

If you read my Thanksgiving post you’ve realized I like to reflect, especially when there’s a holiday to remind me to. So handy!

Here’s my goodbye to 2010:

  • Most random ring into any New Year I’ve ever had. A and I ended up at our friend’s house who is Russian, which means that New Years is sort of like their Christmas and involves lots of food and drinking. After a negative Dartmouth ‘blast from the past’ I was ready to do anything that night but stay at the party we were at. We arrived, may have eaten horse salami (no one is sure), had muzzled muppet looking schnauzers want to eat us, and were merry.
  • The dark days…. The months after new years were some of my toughest I’ve had in a long time. I was off and on unemployed/broke since getting back to the states Oct 1st. It had been long enough I was doing the whole not seeing anyone and sulking around my apt. I was super fun. I had a lot of interviews that would mostly get put on hold and I had a freelancing gig that could have gone permanent but it wasn’t what I wanted to do and the women were as welcoming as a pack of jackals.
  • I had one of my best friends move to the city which helped me get out of my funk and really brought me a lot of happiness and much needed silliness.
  • I started the job I have now in advertising. It took me about 3yrs, but I finally made it into the industry. I got really lucky and also work on a team that I really like and an account that’s fun/interesting. It does leave me Facebook posting on the weekends, but I’ll take that over managing directors grabbing my thigh any day of the week!
  • In a whirlwind weekend I turned 26, got engaged, and moved into an apartment that doesn’t remind me of a dungeon. My head was left spinning, but it was pretty rad.
  • Best friend who moved to city broke our friendship off mid-summer without explanation. That was another really tough moment, but one of those tough moments where the sun shines unexpectedly. It made me reach out to other close friends and I believe it made us all closer and really gave me an appreciation of the wonderful people I have in my life. Friendship is like any relationship, it’s a choice.
  • Speaking of friendships, thank you M&A you guys make our lives better. Whether it’s doing something or nothing, we always enjoy being around you guys. I feel very lucky.
  • We went to two wedding which I think helped us both feel more comfortable about our own. They were both a lot of fun and also relaxed. I also just think as I get older, I have more of an appreciation of being at weddings and being a part of that major moment in someone’s life.
  • New Years 2011/11: This year we spent it with a couple that we’re friends whose wedding we attended this year as well. It was great, lots of champagne, music, silly conversations.

So in conclusion, 2010 was one of the best years I’ve had in a while. I noticed a lot of FB updated on New Years being glad 2010 was over, but I had a good time. I did fail at quitting celeb gossip and coffee (although I might count that as a 2011 failure), but I’m not perfect.

I wish you all a Happy New Year