I wrote out this epic holiday letter with month by month accounts of the many, many high points of 2013. It was long and poorly edited and took four sittings to complete. And then, well and then I scrapped it all. It's hard to describe the high points of a year that was so full, unless you have that instagram recap app thing and what I wrote out seemed small and unimportant. How do you capture a year that was meaningful in little ways that changed you?
When 2012 came to a close life wasn't feeling like poetry. And if we're putting it all out there, 2013, I wasn't exactly high on life as we rolled into your new, fresh, odd-numbered year. But what mattered most is that you, 2013, were a year of bigtime changes and the most memorable moments. It wasn't always easy, but in you I found change wasn't always something to fear, and that only I could control just how that change changed me. (whoa. ridiculous sentence. but somehow it is sensible.)
Let me break it down. (it's still a long list. SINS.)
I saw NYC and whined about the most insignificant bits of life ("what socks to wear today?" should not be something to stress about. That sounds ridiculous. I'm aware.) and giggled so much my face hurt in a bar full of PBR drinking college students. I saw grown-ass-man in a bubble wrap train do a flip on a runway. I wore a ballgown in a photobooth and a basketball jersey to Chuck e Cheese and an Iowa State shirt on several occasions in public (sorry Hawks. I like you too. Promise.) I changed my hair cut. Forehead fringe suits me better as an adult. This haircut at 13...it wasn't as cute.
My sister Jen got engaged to Nick (on a night Chels and I wore matching outfits and mixed old fashioneds), which means in 2014 I get a brother for the first time and get to see my little sister in a wedding dress. I rode a school bus to Knoxville for the second time in my life (RIP big blue bus. Muskie Power.) I spent more time in a bowling alley than behind my desk and snuck into a bar called "Whiskey Dixx" (shameful) carrying on like it was 2010 (back when I stayed at the Mile until 1am, lived for late night Fongs, wore a lot of yellow and had no internet at home.)
I shot vintage guns with Liz and Mr. Lidgett. I popped champagne when we signed our new lease. My zip code changed as did Jane's college status (GRADUATION!) I got to dig my toes in sand that looked like glitter straight from the sea and sip coffee with my two oldest, dearest friends on my 30th birthday. I watched Chase be officially called a doctor for the first time. My garden changed from one resting on a stoop to one that produced one single tomato in our new backyard. I bid a tearful goodbye to my very favorite apartment and my sweet BF. I met triplets and loved them instantly, shopped wedding venues with my sisters in Chicago and fished and fished and fished.
I got to see HBF happier than I'd ever seen him in Wyoming. I held so many babies. I danced with Alpine Jimmy behind the bar at least three times. I celebrated my favorite Des Moines night of ALL TIME with my gal Lois and my mom and dad and a tambourine and so many friends as we put the ART in party. Oh and I almost punched a parrot, but didn't. (Seriously. I didn't. It was a fear driven motion that resulted in me digging my fingernails into my hand, not harming any birds that were roaming the streets of Beaverdale on the shoulder of a girl wearing socks and flip flops.)
I toured Stranahan's distillery with my very best friend, spending a weekend in Denver in the house she owns (livin' like a grown up. whoa.). I put more effort into my teeny little business than ever, pushing my postcard empire dreams out into the universe with puns like "sup witches." (still completely hilarious.) I saw a Rothko production, right here in my city, and found my way on stage, painting a canvas in a Breaking Bad suit. I was reminded daily how proud I am of my tall, handsome roommate, and that occasionally I should send the "Sorry I've been such a Prick" card... we all should once in awhile, amiright?
I celebrated my biggest Market Day ever with two incredible gals I now call friends. We set up a Christmas tree, in a house I share with a boy who isn't my dad. I fought fights worth fighting and fights I wish wouldn't have started. I pushed myself to the edge and occasionally threw myself into the unknown. I made messes and mended fences. I printed things in gold. I worked smarter and shopped more (oops). I continued to search for the perfect egg roll and spent a lot of hours trying to figure out "what's next" and a lot of Saturdays having quiet time on the couch while watching cable (oh the Chopped marathons.) My year was better because of people like you: people who read along and experienced it with me.
You were a memorable year, 2013. A year of adventures (7 big ones + Vegas to come!) and lots of self-doubt and meltdowns (keepin' it real here. thanks for not giving up on me), a year of being honest with myself and others, a year of delights and a year of new babies, but when I look back on all the highlights of 2013, it's a bright list of so many travels and changes and celebrations of moments.
Exactly what I wish for all my blog readers in 2014.
A friend recently told me that she believes that New Year's Eve is an indicator of the year ahead.
May you spend midnight with people you love, making memories and ushering in a new year of many joys.
Cheers, my sweet friends. Happy New Year.