Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Ah, 2013. I think my life has changed more in this past year than it has in the past 25 years.

My trip home for Christmas was much needed after my first full week in the middle school. I seem to be building pretty good rapport with most of the kids. Hopefully, I'll be able to accomplish everything necessary during the last half of the school year, starting next week. The company is expecting me to do just as much as the other counselors do in a full school year. I know it's impossible, and I need to accept that, but hopefully my perfectionist tendencies will push me to excel instead of crippling me with anxiety over it :)

This was a very difficult but good Christmas vacation. I am just so glad I was able to spend time with my family. I woke up on Christmas Eve and went downstairs to help my dad with the gravy, when we got a phone call that my aunt had a fatal heart attack. It was completely unexpected. I have been through so many of these phone calls (unfortunately), but it never gets any easier. And this time, all I could think about was how I was supposed to see her the next day for Christmas Day dinner, and that I wish I didn't move so far away from my family. I know I shouldn't think like that, but when this kind of thing happens, I do. What if I wasn't able to make it back to NJ for Christmas? I would have been completely useless in Florida. Unable to attend the funeral. Unable to help my mom. That's what was really bothering me. I want to be there for my family. If I was in Florida at the time, I wouldn't have been able to do anything to help the situation.

I don't regret moving at all. I know I need to live my life and do what makes me happy. I'm just really glad I was with my family when it happened.

So, it was a sad day. I was supposed to go to Eric's family's Christmas Eve dinner for the first time, but I couldn't bring myself to leave my parents. It was a lose-lose situation, really. I knew I would feel awful no matter what I did. My dad and Uncle Al let my cousin and I cook some of the food though, so I was kept busy! We drank wine and only had one slight mishap, so I'm pretty sure we have that shit covered for years to come. And of course it's impossible not to smile and laugh with that crew. I don't think I've ever been more grateful for my crazy Italian family than I was that day.

Besides that, (and me being practically bedridden on Christmas Day due to the worst cold I've ever had in my ENTIRE life, and the funeral, and missing my gathering with the Minties that night), my trip was amazing. Highlights: Dave and Sunny's holiday party/six-pack exchange/delicious food extravaganza, Eric and I making history by placing in both the creative AND traditional categories in Eric's family's gingerbread house decorating competition, seeing Astra and Brandon and meeting baby Bashlyn, partying it up at Speak's house, and just spending time with people in general. Everyone was so generous to us this Christmas. I can't even put in to words how grateful I am. Oh, and the food. Biggest highlight of the trip, obviously...

I definitely would not be where I am today without the support of my family and friends. I know everyone says that, but I literally would not be in Florida, and I would not be the same person. I've changed so much in a year. I've tried really hard to forge a career path for myself, I ran a half-marathon, and I got engaged to a really great guy who loves me for who I am in the moment and continues to love me as I evolve.

And Eric and I both turned our lives upside down practically overnight by moving to Florida. And we're loving it.

So, 2013 has been a whirlwind of good and bad and unpredictable times. I have no clue what 2014 is going to throw at me, but, for once in my life, I'm completely okay with that.

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