This year has been so crazy, I had to do a more in depth year in review this time! The journaling reads (if you have time to read it all, LOL):
Lakeland, FL: 2005 has been one of the most pivotal years of my life. Not that I didnít expect it to beóin fact, as early as 2003, I ďknewĒ that that would be the year that I would finally marry Steve after five years. How wrong I was! Just three weeks before 2005 started, that idea flew right out the window. But soon, there were some better, far more wonderful ideas that wasted absolutely no time in taking its place.
As strange as it sounds, the more I think about it, the winds of change were brought in by a cute little grey kitten that I adopted in May 2004. I named her Rachel, and I quickly found out that she was no kitten! Just two months later, she gave birth to three more little kittens underneath my bed. When the time came, I didnít have the heart to give them up. The thought of sending any innocent critter to the animal shelter tore me to pieces. What would happen to them? I shuddered at the thought.
After six months, three hurricanes, three litterboxes, and the thought of three extra vet bills soon changed my perspective. Finally, on January 30, I (very) tearfully said goodbye to the remaining two sweet little kittens. I didnít know what was in store for them, but I knew that they would be better off without me than stuck in a one bedroom apartment living off of a teacherís salary. As much as it hurt, I suddenly felt so liberated and free! For the first time in months, I had a clean house! I only had two critters to clean up after instead of five! The pain of letting go of those two little boogers (who I am sure got a good home) quickly subsided. Soon, I began to realize that I could feel even better if I did some more housecleaning.
Ten days later, on February 9th, I said goodbye to Steve. (This time, I didnít even cry!) Thereís no need at this point to get into what went wrong; the bottom line is that he wasnít the right guy for me. The next day, I decided to leave Orlando. There was no other reason for me to be thereóand commuting 40 miles each way every day to work in Polk County was getting very old. So there I did itóWithin less than two weeks, I made three decisions that I never, ever, thought Iíd make. And I felt Karma smiling down on meÖ I had a hunch that my bravery would lead me to wonderful things that I hadnít yet imagined. What I didnít expect was that it would happen so soon. After half a decade off of the dating scene, my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to know who else was out there. The problem was, being a busy teacher and having Cupided off all of my eligible bachelor friends, I felt like I only had one choice: I looked online. I ended up on some ho-hum and even some scary dates before I got a response to one of my emails: His name was Bryan.
Bryan and I hit it off very quickly. Pretty soon, we were talking every day. It wasnít always the flirty kind of stuff thatís expected at the beginning of any typical courtshipórather, we were more like old friends and intellectual cohorts. Weíd talk about
everything from how our days were to the economic and social ramifications of things like global climate change and the war in Iraq. As excited as Iíd get about his phonecalls or seeing him sign on to Yahoo Messenger, the thought of meeting him nearly petrified me. I didnít want to lose my new best friend! But I did meet him, six weeks after our first conversation, on April 16th. Weíve been together ever since.
Meanwhile, I was still looking for a place to live. I had a hard time deciding between moving to Lakeland (my ďotherĒ hometown that I know and love) and somewhere near Dundee, where I work. I finally settled on a place in Winter Haven, just five miles away from school. It was a cute one bedroom apartment that hadnít been built yet, and I was so excited to have finally found something! I had been looking for a few weeks, and housing was scarce due to all of the hurricanes in 2004. I didnít waste any time on letting my old apartment complex know, but I found out that I should have. My first move in date was July 9th, so I told my old apartment complex that I would be leaving on July 23. I got a phonecall in May telling me that my new move in date was July 30th, so I called my old complexÖ. and they had already rented out my apartment! So I called Dad and after some discussion with Nan they decided to let me stay with them for that week. Soon, that week turned into two months, and followed by nearly three months. When my move in date got moved to October 1st (after living with my parents for what already felt like forever), I once again changed my mind.
But I didnít just change my mind about my apartment. For years I have told myself that I would not move in with a guy unless he was my husband, and I stuck to it quite nicely. But the fact that I couldnít stand to be away from Bryan made me feel quite a bit differently. He had to leave Orlando because he was switching to USF in Tampa anyway, and it seemed so perfect. After plenty of thought and soul-searching, I realized that it was perfect! So on October 8th of this whirlwind year, Bryan and I moved to Lakeland together. Iíve been deliriously happy ever since!
This Christmas, we went to meet his sister in Pittsburgh (as well as some other family members across the eastern half of the country) and we had a blast! I felt so welcomed by them, I had so much fun, and I came home more in love with Bryan than ever. One last note, I had to take a Masterís Level class this fall with the Superintendentís husband (also a Superintendent in Chicago) and I busted my rear end. I felt like I was destined to fail since it was such a hard class and I hadnít taken an education class in almost seven years, but I was floored when I got an A! If itís at all possible, I have even bigger plans for 2006. I want to start working on my Masterís degree in Educational Leadership, I want to lose weight (donít I always?), and I want to become more involved in my school as well as politics than I have ever been before. Will it happen? I believe that with Bryan as my partner and companion, we are going to accomplish great things together. 2005 was only the very beginning.