This time last year I was married.
I was 281 pounds.
Deep down, I was miserable.
I knew my life had to change.
We got a Wii.
I started exercising.
I started hiking.
I’ve lost over 60 pounds.
In May, I left my marriage.
By August, our divorce was final.
I’ve traveled quite a bit since May, all in the US and all in the Eastern coast/South.
I’ve met some awesome people from Twitter & the blogosphere in person. I’ve reconnected with old friends. I’ve made new friends.
I’ve seen places I never thought I’d see in person. I’ve done things I never imagined myself doing.
I visited the Lorton Workhouse just outside of D.C., where Alice Paul and other suffragists were sentenced to serve time after protesting outside the White House.
I spent some time in the Quantico National Cemetery. God Bless our military, especially the fallen Marines and their mourning families. Thank you for your sacrifice.
I hung out in Norfolk, VA at the beach after Hurricane Irene stumbled through and destroyed a few things.
I’ve driven through tornado damage and wept.
I live tweeted the Republican Debate from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
I hiked (a lot) in Nashville, TN. Even got lost and had to be rescued by my brother.
I hiked in Virginia too. Not as much as in Nashville, but I went and did it by myself and was okay with not finishing. Know your limits, people.
Speaking of going by yourself, I attended the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree in Roanoke, VA by myself. Went to the Taubman Art Museum that night too.
I survived 15 minutes of Go-Karting at Virginia International Raceway without wrecking or going off track.
I ate pizza in New Jersey for the first time in over 20 years. I cried.
I sat in the Village Vanguard in NYC, drank wine, and listened to amazing jazz with a hilarious new friend last week. In a dress smaller than any dress I’ve worn since the mid 90’s.
I visited Ground Zero and was filled with awe and peace as I walked around the memorial pools, staring at the names of all the Americans lost on 9/11/2001.
I ate lunch at Veselka’s (you know, where Norah eats in the middle of the night in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist).
I realized the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Plaza is MUCH smaller in real life. And how crowded it is there in December. (Related – I will NEVER complain about crowds again.)
I’ve discovered I love traveling by train and absolutely must do this more often.
But more importantly, I found something these past few months.
I found confidence. I found my passion for life hadn’t completely disappeared, it just went on vacation.
I smiled until it hurt. I smiled because I was smiling until it hurt.
I laughed. I cried. Sometimes I laughed until I cried. Sometimes I just cried. A lot.
More than anything though?
I dove into the depths of the waters well beyond my comfort zone without hesitation.
I’m still here.
I can do anything.
I believe in ME.
If 2011 taught me all of this, I cannot WAIT to see what 2012 has in store for me.
I love you to pieces, Lauren! I’m so proud of where 2011 has brought you!
I love you to pieces right back, Jana. Thank you for EVERYTHING this past year. Your friendship and support means so very much to me. (HUGS)
Oh, my darling. What a year. I’m so proud of you. All of your achievements are staggering. I love that you mention Veselka here. I used to live around the corner, and had many wee hours meals there, long before I had kids. If both of us end up going to BlogHer in NYC this summer, let’s go together, and toast to believing in ourselves and smiling until it hurts.
If we end up at BlogHer in NYC, yes, we will absolutely go to Veselka’s together and toast to believing in ourselves and smiling until it hurts.
love you, dear Yael. I am glad 2011 brought you into my life as well.
Congratulations for doing these things that are now making you truly happy! Life is too short to be miserable and not take chances!
Way to go on the weight loss and all the amazing hiking you’ve been able to do!
This makes me smile, it sounds like quite a journey, one that must not have been easy, but I hear your confidence and new found strength in your words.I am very proud to know you, Lauren! You’re a remarkable woman, and I’m not just saying that because of PPDChat.
Love. This. Very. Much.
This is amazing. You are amazing!
Awesome. You ended up exactly where you need to be. Proud of you for the progress, and happy 2012.
Oh Lauren, I love this list. I love that it so accurately reflects, pain, joy and triumph the year brought. You are one of the bright shining gems in my PPD/PPA journey. Thank you for leading as a mentor and a friend.
You will have a stellar 2012.