And Tell Me, What Have You Learned?

Oh, 2012. You were full of surprise, from the first days of January when my sister announced she was pregnant, to the middle of September when my doctors told me I was staying in New Jersey. You surprised me with love, and sickness, and First Descents and a sense of community I've never known before.

You were good. You were rotten. You were new.

This year, I learned...

1) Patience. How to wait. How to lie here and let the pain take me, let it surround me, let it take over. How sometimes you cannot fight it. How you must let it be.

2) Friendship. I have not been a very good friend to some; I have been a great friend to others. When my friend Lauren died, I learned that there is always more you can do as a friend, and to do those things before it's too late. This year,I am learning not to take old friendships for granted; that they, too, need attention. I am remembering friendships within family are so vital to who I am and how I was built.

I am learning that anything worth a damn requires time and attention.

3) Movement. This year I took up running and hiking. I ran up mountains and down valleys in California. I felt my body move in ways it hasn't in years. And though I have been benched since the end of September, I haven't forgotten the value in movement. In owning your body. For me, this is an especially important thing. I often feel I have no control over my body. Exercise has taught me that is not true. And it is a valuable lesson.

4) Love. I feel like my heart got cracked open this year when my niece was born. There is no love like it. And then there's Joe. Who I didn't see coming. Who I didn't know I wanted until he was there and we were together and laughing on his couch.

5) Breath. This sounds new age-y and unlike KPB (bitch likes her Xanax) but this year I began practicing guided meditation and it has aided everything from my old tendency to drink my pain away to random moments of stress. When I forget to breathe, I forget myself.

This has been a happy, hard year. A year for lessons and for love and for reevaluating what's important.

I wish you all a happy 2013! Thanks for continuing to read and come along with me on this journey.