goodbye, 2014

2014 is the year I…

1. …went to southern Chile with my cousin Craig to visit my sister Phoebe. The biggest adventure of my life, both in miles traveled, new things experienced, and inner exploration. I spoke Spanish, rode horses, went white water rafting. I swam in the most beautiful rivers, danced late into the night, re-learned that I can do ANYTHING. And all this with my first two friends, who’ve been with me all our lives and know me in a way no one else does. Two of the bravest people I know who inspire me to be braver.

2. …marked the one year anniversary of my mom’s death.

3. …saw Bruce Springsteen in concert for the second time and cried remembering the first time I saw him, with my mom, holding hands while he played our favorite songs.

4. …went to Paris with the love of my life, who asked me to marry him, and I said yes. We wandered the streets of a city I’d always wanted to visit, watched movies in French, ate croissants, drank coffee, walked our feet and legs to the bone, ate pizza and drank champagne in the park in front of the Eiffel Tower. Started the next biggest adventure of my life.

5. …turned 29.

6. …buried my dear cat, Henry, who died unexpectedly.

7. …discovered I actually like oatmeal.

8. …welcomed two sweet kittens into our family.

9. …traveled to Seattle, LA, Colorado, New Jersey. Saw some beautiful people get married. Found my wedding dress in a cool vintage store with three of my best friends. Felt a baby kick in my friend Leah’s stomach. Danced with my sister at the farmer’s market on Dia de los Muertos near Venice Beach.

My New Year’s Eve traditions have varied over the years. As a kid I spent several New Years’ with my bff Shana, playing Taboo and hide-and-seek in the dark, making pizzas. In teenage years there were sleepovers at Leah’s. Our parents made us stay home on Y2K. I don’t really remember what I did during and post-college, except that I often worked to get time-and-a-half holiday pay. One year I went to Phoebe’s house in Oregon with our cousin Kristin and we saw a Pink Floyd cover band and then played charades and danced in the kitchen.

I remember my parents’ tradition: cooking lobster and writing letters to themselves, reading their letters from the previous year. The lobster tradition stopped after Phoebe and I got too upset, but the letter thing always stuck with me. Some years I’ve written letters to myself, and often forgot where they were hidden by the following year. I guess this is a public letter, to record the year that is passing and get ready for the next.

What a fucking good year.

Here’s to another one.

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self-portrait with Brooklyn mug

self-portrait with brooklyn mugWhen I lived in Brooklyn my favorite part at the end of each day was riding the D or N train over the Manhattan bridge. In the pink twilight or pitch black that ride was magical. I like walking to work now in my current life, that I live in a small place and I can walk almost everywhere. But sometimes I miss that train– the rumbling, the anonymity, coming out of the dark tunnel onto that bridge with the lights twinkling on the water and the sky fading over the buildings.

One time on the subway I was suddenly sad and started crying. I was in college then, and had just come from a particular class that penetrated an emotional wall I didn’t quite understand. I couldn’t hold it in– these big bawling sobs were just pouring out of me. I didn’t think anyone was paying attention because crazier things than a girl crying happen on the subway all the time. After a while, a woman sitting across the car got up and walked over to me. As we pulled into a station, she handed me a packet of tissues, smiled, and got off the train. I was so stunned my crying stopped. Inside the tissues was a note.

I saved that tissue packet and note for a long time. It was one of my most human experiences.