I know this is overdue, but I think it’s important to fully chronicle what was, in my short life thus far, the best year I’ve ever had, which immediately succeeded the worst. To give you a good idea of where I was coming from when I entered 2012, I’ll have to describe 2011 for you.
My father died after a four year battle with cancer. To date, it was the single most defining moment in my life and probably always will be. I changed after that. For better or worse, it’s hard to tell. But I’m not the same person I was. Maybe I’ll write a post about that someday, but this isn’t the right place for that.
I graduated college, which, sure, is a big achievement, but it didn’t feel like it. It didn’t feel well-earned. I was just sad to be put in a monstrous amount of debt with nowhere to go. That’s what college is nowadays… a lie, a place that tells you you’re going to be something someday when you actually won’t. Your GPA will never be an indicator of your future pay grade, and that’s just the way the world works. Again, I could continue with my disdain of postsecondary education, but this probably also isn’t the right place for that.
My boyfriend, with whom I lived and adored and wanted to marry someday did a very bad thing to me and we had to break up. Explosively, more or less.
And then there are the little things. My obsessions were the worst they’d ever been. I was the fattest I’d ever been. My apartment flooded. I didn’t have a working car. I was in massive credit card debt. I didn’t have a drinking problem, per se, but I probably drank too much.
Oh, and I had really, really awful hair.
Now, on to the happy times…
I left 2011 with a bang. I was in a terrible place in every way, even literally. I rang in 2012 in my sister’s bathroom, having drank far too much, and spewing my emotional demons for the world to hear. I had hypothermia. I thought, in my drunken stupor, that I was going to die. I think I may have wanted to. I wasn’t going to, of course. I was in the loving hands of my sister, my best friend, and my ex-boyfriend, all of whom were incredibly concerned for me, and rightfully so.
I made it through that night and welcomed the first day of 2012 feeling like I could leave the burden of 2011 behind me. I apologized for my behavior as much as I could, vowed to never get that drunk again (and I haven’t since), and moved forward with an inexplicable and renewed faith that everything was going to be okay.
Favorite Facebook post:
Lauren: You know the coldest I’ve ever been was this one time when we were babysitting and we left at like 2am and had to wait in the station wagon while it warmed up. I was so cold I was nauseous.
Me: You know the coldest I’ve ever been was that one time I had hypothermia in your bathroom. Three weeks ago.
Rob: You know the coldest I’ve ever been was that one time I was stuck on Hoth.
Nothing very interesting happened in February. The weather was nice. I got a raise at my job and they promised me full-time employment (but it didn’t go into effect until July). It was kind of a rough month spent mostly recovering over the emotional trauma that was 2011.
This picture describes that month pretty accurately (and it was also the first of my now traditional sad Ralph Wiggum Valentine’s Day post):
Favorite Facebook post:
This winter is a filthy tease.
March was when everything started really looking up for me. Spring came early. I was successful at work and impressing everyone, throwing major events and handling more work than one person ever should.
My sister, best friend, and I started going to trivia every week. It was a small thing, but I realized the second or third time we went, it was the first thing I’d looked forward to, been excited about doing, since I could remember. It was refreshing to feel that way after what seemed like years of perpetual dread and anxiety.
I chopped my hair off and pierced my ears. I always hate how in movies, women cut their hair off as a symbol of empowerment, but when I finally did it myself, I realized how empowering it actually was. It’s hard to describe. I’ve never been one to put much importance on my image (obviously), but it was an accomplishment nonetheless for me, after years of telling myself I would look awful and fat and disgusting with short hair. I didn’t, it turns out. In fact, I look pretty damn good.
Then something bad happened. I won’t go into detail, but even though it didn’t happen specifically to me, I was witness to it and it upset me. The next day I woke up, hungover as hell (but still not as bad as New Years), and just sat for a really long time. Then I put on my shoes and went out for a run because I was sick of my destructive behavior, my terrible eating habits, and my abysmal self-image. There was no 12-week plan, no diet, no consulting a trainer. I just decided that I was going to start moving more and make my health a priority.
Favorite Facebook post:
I love being 22.
The day I went pixie.
April was when I got full-swing into fitness. I worked out all the time, started lifting, going to Muay Thai and Kali classes, hiked, danced. Anything I could do that would involve me getting my ass off my couch and moving. I started eating right. I felt great about myself. Nothing bad happened. Life was just lifting, working, and socializing in moderation (something I have quite a bit of trouble with).
Favorite Facebook post(s):
- The difference between martial arts and Zumba is that if I get raped, I’m not going to dance my way out.
- My sister told me that my mind is like the time-traveling phone booth in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I have never received a higher compliment in my entire life.
- One of the most important things in my life is knowing what time every single restaurant stops serving breakfast.
Dayton Dragons game.
May was a fun month. I spent the first half of it training for the Zombie Apocalypse with my best friend. We went to an edible plants class (our instructor was appallingly handsome and we were so distracted we didn’t end up learning much) and an archery class and hiked miles and miles and miles.
The second half of it I spent in California with my eldest cousin and grandmother for my cousin’s graduation present. I’d never been to California before, and even though the entire state is overrun by hipsters, I spent the time away to relax and take a lot of pictures and work out.
Favorite Facebook post:
So I was browsing Kindle Edition Sports Biographies & Memoirs, and after about three pages in, having found several books I wanted to buy, I stopped at one on Arnold Palmer. Then I thought, “Hey, that one looks cool too– Oh dear god I’ve become my father.”
(It reads: “May the 4th be with you!” and another post-it says “geek”) “Found this in my cubicle today. Coworker 1 showing her acceptance of my geekery. Coworker 2 showing his lack thereof.”
San Diego Zoo. Probably my favorite place we went on my California trip. You know, besides Denny’s.
Proof I went into the ocean.
Proof I went to Disneyland. It was my first time there and it will hopefully be my last.
Some of my California trip overlapped into June. Against all odds, I made it home in one piece.
June was probably my favorite month. I finished my first 12 weeks of exercising at least 3 times a week like I promised myself I would and I was finally seeing results. I got a bleach blond underbang. I was lifting heavy. I was on top of the world in June.
I went to Bronycon in Secaucus, NJ for what turned into one of the best weekends of the year. I’d never been to a convention before and I’m really glad this one was my first. It was a con for bronies, the adult male fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. My D&D friends got me watching it, and although I’m not into it as much as they are, I do recognize it’s a good show, and more than anything, the culture surrounding it is endlessly fascinating. So when my friend sent me a text at 3am asking me if I wanted to go on a trip to New Jersey for a massive brony convention for $75, the adventurous and curious spirit in me couldn’t say no. There were so many amazing costumes and I had a blast video taping and taking pictures of my friends in what seemed to be their natural habitat. The great thing about the con was that you could walk up to literally anyone and you knew you could be friends with them. Everyone was happy and there were random bursts of song and dance. The con caught on fire at one point and all several thousand of us had to evacuate. It just turned into more song and dance, like a damn musical. I thought this kind of stuff only happened on TV. There was a dry rave. A dry rave. With pony music. It was a wild time for being a completely sober weekend.
A documentary was made about bronies (I’m in a bit of the footage if you look for me) at the con and the phenomenon surrounding them if you’re interested in knowing more about this crazy sensation. Or you could just Wikipedia it. Or better yet, watch the show. The first two seasons are streaming on Netflix.
Favorite Facebook post(s):
- I always forget how much I love Dayton until I leave. Nothing beats the feeling of coming home.
- I haven’t slept in days. I’m on hour 19 of a 24 hour fast. I’m sore all over from my workouts this week. And I’ve been listening to Call Me Maybe on repeat. I must have died on vacation because I’m pretty sure I’m in hell. I should have guessed I’d end up here.
- New Jersey is the worst place I’ve ever been.
“I’m in a steel cage hundreds of feet above ground. I told myself I wouldn’t let that happen again.”
“‘I’m still kinda drunk, but I’m gonna go to the gym anyway.’ Thought those would be my last words, but ended up just being dumb enough to increase my weight more than I probably should have. But I did it and got a picture of it because moving to the big plates looks impressive, yeah?”
To be continued.
July through December will have to be saved for later. It involves even more of my travels, my first tattoos, and the biggest accomplishment of my life.