Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Guess who's back, back again

Swishy's back! Tell a friend!

OK, so for REAL, I am back. I told you--new year, new devotion to blogging, that's what I'm all about. This was my living room yesterday:

This was my living room a few hours ago:

MUCH better, MUCH more manageable, which means MUCH more time for other, MUCH more fun things. Yay! (I also, by the way, braved the DMV ... IN THE SNOW ... BEFORE WORK ... which took a huge weight off and all-around made me feel like a freaking rock star.)

So ... New Year's. You know what I said this time last year? I'll tell you. I said, "I don't want to be one of those people who always talks about doing things and never does them. So I guess in 2008, I want to be more of a doer. More proactive instead of reactive."

Ha. Ha ha ha. I guess you can say that's one resolution I kept. I quit my job, found a new one and moved halfway across the country, plus a whole bunch of other stuff mixed in.

It has been an interesting year. A year I'd like to live again? Not particularly, but it was a good year for figuring out who I am and where I want to go and how I think I might be able to get there. I think (I hope) I am a little bit better because of it. And as hard as the whole thing was sometimes, I am glad I didn't make myself a hypocrite. I'm such an idealist, such a "go get the life you want" kind of person. I get so frustrated when I see people not living up to their potential and living the life they should--could--be living. So I'm glad I backed up all my idealistic talk and took a risk when I had the chance, even though it was (and still sometimes is) super scary and hard and I'm not exactly sure how it will all turn out.

It was also a good year of lessons. I learned a lot about life. Stuff like ...

* The time leading up to a decision is far, far harder than the time after the decision. That's not to say there isn't a lot of really tough stuff that comes after you make a hard decision, but I think the days and weeks and months leading up to it can be excruciating, much more difficult than actually going through with it. People can agonize for years over whether to stay in a relationship or stay in a job or whatever--that's the hardest part. There's a certain peace and relief that comes with finally deciding, no matter what the decision is. It's like you're holding your breath the whole time and you're finally able to let it out.

* Sometimes you'll never be sure. I would like to think that deep in your gut you'll know if a choice is right when you make it, but sometimes you don't know until after you decide, and maybe not for a long time after that. Sometimes you just have to jump and hope there's going to be something at the bottom, even if that something is nothing more than a loyal friend frantically blowing up an air mattress to cushion your fall, or at least to try to keep you from breaking your neck.

* Change is horrible. I mean, put all the cutesy spins and platitudes on it you want, it just flat-out sucks and there's a reason everyone hates it. But it's also the surest way to make a person grow and I think it's also one of the surest ways to give a person hope, which, at the end of the day, I think people need more than they need to feel comfortable.

* Sometimes you just have to let yourself feel it (and also embrace who you are). I am a sensitive girl, an emotional girl, a passionate girl. You can tell exactly what I'm thinking when you look at me, and I spent a lot of time the past couple of years thinking that was a weakness. But you know what? I LIKE that I feel things so deeply. I like that little things are important to me. I like that I can immerse myself totally and fully in a moment and let myself feel it, even if it feels kind of crappy. Very soon after I moved here, one of my coworkers said it was easy to see I had a soft heart. Really? I said. Yeah, he said, you're a lover. I laughed, because it's TOTALLY true and it TOTALLY gets me in trouble, but this time last year, I would have thought that was a bad thing. Now, I'm glad people who barely know me can see that. (And, on a side note, I also tend to believe that everything catches up with you eventually, so would you rather process something now or later? A lot of times, I *think* later sounds better, but really, it's now. Always now, because that keeps later free for something else.)

* Sometimes it doesn't matter how much you love someone, it's still not enough. I guess that's one of those tough life lessons everyone has to learn at some point, but I still don't like it.

* It is so much better to try than not to try. I'm a big "what if" girl, and the "what if" of trying and crashing spectacularly is a lot easier for me to handle than the "what if" of not trying in the first place. There were a lot of times this year when something went badly and after the dust settled I thought, "Well, at least I tried." Knowing you tried makes doing hard things easier. And it also gives you the freedom to try something else.

* The friends that are like family will always be like family, no matter how far apart you live. Although it sure is a lot better to sit in their living room to gossip and watch trashy TV than it is to do it over the phone.

* No matter how vastly people's musical tastes differ, everyone can agree on The Beatles.

* A bubble bath with Godiva chocolate and the latest issue of InStyle magazine is absolutely fantastic no matter where you live.

* People are good. I've always believed that, but I love reminders, and this year was full of them. I can't tell you how many times I started crying not because I was sad or upset about something, but because someone was just SO NICE to me I couldn't believe it.

That includes you guys. Thank you so much for sticking with me over the past year. Thank you for the kind comments, the emails, the words of encouragement, the funny things you say that make my life better. I am so grateful for the goodness that I see all the time in my tiny little corner of the Internet world. I hope you all have the best year of your lives this year, and I can't wait to hear all about it. Happy New Year, everyone!

(P.S. Contest winners Monday!)


At 8:32 AM, Blogger House of Jules said...

I'm totally impressed with your living room progress, and I love your list of things you've learned this year. Sounds like you're doing great, Swish!

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Beth said...

awww Hon....this was lovely. And so true. it takes some people a LIFETIME to figure out what you know already...count yourself lucky.

Love you Swishy Girl!!!!

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Midwest Gent said...

Happy New Year Swishy.

I totally agree with what you said about the "What if's" of life, but I don't agree with the Beatles. I will let that sleep as every year should start on almost all positive.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Mandy said...

Happy New Year!

Those are some great lessons and great reminders for the rest of us.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger CelticBuffy said...

Kudos to you for the brace choices you made last year! Hope this is a great year for you!

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Ree said...

I love those floors!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Mary Ann said...

What a fabulous list. You are so wise. I think you're an ADVENTURER. What you did in 2008? Took as much courage as flying solo around the world.

Happy new year, Swishy!

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Elle Charlie said...

Wow Swishy, that's a great list of really important things you learned about life and about yourself this year! I agree with them - especially the ones about change and about not seeing your passion and open heart as a weakness. To feel your feelings is a strength, for sure. And you're totally right that it saves $ on therapy down the line!

You made some huge decisions in 2008 - can't wait to read about the payoffs you start to experience in 2009!

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice perspective!!!

aaahhh....the musing and interpretations we all have on reality.

I learned something from you today.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger AlaneM said...

This is an awesome post Swishy & well worth the wait!
I must tell you though, that my hubby (the poo-head) does not agree about The Beetles.
Your living room looks great, I love those floors.
Happy New Year!!

At 5:15 PM, Blogger MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Well, you done it again girly friend! Although I do have some questions for you about your list but I won't ask them here! : )

One thing I have to kindly disagree with: I CAN'T STAND THE BEATLES! But you know I adore you and your totally soft heart you lover you! xoxoxoxox

PS--your apartment looks great! Love the hardwood floors! At least no RBs!!!

At 5:17 PM, Blogger MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

And are you watching Fresh Prince? : )

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Vanessa said...

Your progress was amazing! When I saw the first picture and hadn't read further down I thought you'd been robbed. Great lessons for the past year and I agree with you, be a do-er and go after the best life you are capable of. Sometimes love doesn't work out (that was one of my lessons this past year) but growth makes us stronger. I think of it as growth tearing us down a little so we then grow back but stronger than before. There's a reason growth (and change) hurts! Here's to a great 2009!

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Karen said...

A) "You have a soft heart" sounds like either a Hall & Oates song, or a bad pick-up line. Was your coworker trying to hit on you?
B) "Sometimes love just ain't enough" really WAS a song--maybe Richard Marx? I seriously love how your life lessons from 2008 are so musically oriented.
C)Your apt looks very cute! Can't wait to see more pics ;)

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

You know, I was *this* close to emailing you yesterday to be sure you were still fine but then decided that at 1am the lure of bed and knowledge that wee ones would be up by 7 kept me away.

Good thoughts on life, and I'm glad that you're at peace with where you are. And I'm *drooling* over those beautiful floors. Love 'em!

At 1:54 AM, Anonymous courtney said...

I absolutely adore you. I really relate to a lot of what you write. I look forward to reading much more.

At 4:26 AM, Blogger Swishy said...

You guys are AWESOME. Seriously awesome. Thank you so much.

And now, in no particular order:

- Thanks for TOTALLY blowing my Beatles theory out of the water. Ha ha ha.

- Totally Fresh Prince.

- Totally was hitting on me. Ha.

- Totally (just to make it a trifecta) was a song, Patty Smyth and someone. Don Henley? I refuse to Google it because it's bad enough that song is completely stuck in my head now.

And any time anyone wants to come over and look at the floors, you are very welcome. I will even cook something :)

At 10:13 AM, Blogger MJ said...

I agree with you on every point. You said it so much better than I could have.

I moved from Colorado to Maine a few years ago. It was for just the summer, and it was the scariest thing I've ever done, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience. I now have a "Maine family" that I love and miss and try to visit as often as I can.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger dragonfly said...

Happy New Year, Swishy! Great post (awesome list!).

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job on the livingroom! Maybe you could come work on mine too?

All the best for 2009 swishy :)

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go - your living room is looking good. I'm jealous of your wood floors. 2008 was a great year and I can only hope that 2009 is just as great

At 3:48 AM, Blogger JenKneeBee said...

Happy New Year! You sure had a crazy 2008. And congrats on the living room!

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Lainey-Paney said...

clean, clean, clean.
good job, gal.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Andie said...

Good to see you back!

At 9:10 PM, Blogger michelle said...

happy new year! 2008 was certainly a year of change for many of us, but i think you came through it perfectly ... i hope that the new year found you happy with all the changes you have made over the past 12 months. :)

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Eileen said...

Happy New Year Swish. Great life lessons. Here is to 2009 being a great year.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Tanya said...

You're new living room looks nice. I like the wood floors.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Betty said...

Woah- what a beautiful wood floor!!!!! I love it!

And I love the story of your life over the past year. It's inspiring. So many people are so afraid to take action, and you just do it.

My hat is off to you, Swishy.



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