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.