That is what I'm grateful for. I'm grateful for surviving this last year. I don't know what happened to my life. I look back on it and I wonder why everything had to start with this small little drizzle and end in a flash flood that wiped out my entire life.
Lisa and I were talking about how we sat next to each other for half of last year, completely unaware of what was going on in our lives. The things people deal with and don't talk about are insane.
A year ago, I was finishing up my summer classes and working at Prudential. Even then, as crazy as my life was getting, I didn't see myself here.
Things I'm grateful for surviving this last year:
1. The 35W bridge: What was that about? I had taken it twice already that day and was planning to visit a friend later that night, crossing it again. I was playing with Violet in the yard when I heard the rush of sirens. I could see the smog and dust in the air and Vi quickly got quiet and wanted to go inside. The next day was so surreal taking University Avenue in, instead of 94 and 35, walking across the bridge over 35 and looking out to see the road just end suddenly. It's that feeling that makes your legs weak or your stomach turn inside out.
2. The UM Masters program: I remember looking at my schedule before starting in June and laughing. "I'll so be able to work through the summer!" I'll tell you my laughing quit the first day, within the first five minutes. I'm grateful for this program because I've finally reached becoming a teacher. It took six years and a dollar amount that makes me ill to think about, but it was worth it. I'm also grateful for it because I met some of the closest, most fun, and stimulating people and it gave me a massive network of friends, something I've never had before.
3. Lyme disease: Ask me sometime; it's the best story I could ever tell you. It starts off with the mystery of wondering how the girl who hates camping got bit by a tick that doesn't live anywhere near the city, has medical side effects at inopportune times, and ends with an awkward ride home with a friend. Seriously, that night for my dad's birthday, I think I made everyone at the table laugh to tears.
4. Getting attacked in a deserted street in north Minneapolis at 7:00 am: One of the scariest moments of my life.
5. Crosswinds: For the entire week before Thanksgiving, the only thing I could eat all day was a sandwich bag of Chex cereal. No, not Chex Mix. Regular, boring Chex cereal. You know the kind that you've got to add a bag of sugar to so it has a hint of flavor. But it was all I could handle. Because my stress level was so high, and I wasn't sleeping and I was working too hard, I couldn't eat much of anything. So there I sat, all day, working on a Ziploc of Chex. Most of us all know how that week ended. It made Nathan and I BFFs.
6. Three car accidents: I'm not counting the ones when Jessie was parallel parking and backed into my car as Meaghan and I watched from the sidewalk. None of them were my fault and, shockingly, there was no damage to my car. Ford's slogan should be "built VW tough."
7. Student teaching: I loved my cooperating teacher, but I thought the students would eat me alive. I thought she would eat me alive. Here, I lived on two slices of bread with butter for lunch. My stomach had slightly settled. I could eat butter by this time.
8. Starting my life over: Thank you, Lisa, my parents, Hayley and Heather, Janet, Toni, Andrea, Meaghan and Jessie for your help this summer.
9. Getting a job: This one is still pending, and my confidence for the three positions I applied for this weekend is dwindling quickly.
Seriously, how am I still alive?