Please don’t let anyone die

I can’t bring myself to write a heartfelt blog about the past year which is soon coming to an end. So in true Andrea fashion, I’m going to make a list. To quote Cher in the movie “Mermaids” – “Anything else, is too big of a commitment.” At this point in the blog entry, I’m not sure what the list will contain but I’ll try to avoid putting any grocery items or to-do’s here and I’ll try to focus on things that happened, things I experienced or things I did.

Hmmm.

It’s looking to be a bit egocentric but I’ll try to be objective.

1.) The first thing that comes to mind when I think about 2010 is that it’s been an eventful year for Chile. While I don’t feel any heartstrings pulling about most things related to this country, said strings were pulled in 2010 when I saw the devastation and suffering caused by the earthquake in February. By far the most impacting natural disaster I’ve experienced to date.

2.) I was humbled in Chile more than a few times this year because, you know, sometimes people need it. I was humbled throughout my job search, humbled while I studied in my first year of my Master’s program and humbled by people who truly know how to live a far simpler life than I do. I live in a permanent state of tizzy and knot and I’ve come across several kinds of people who truly live by “little lady, let your mind go and your body will follow.”

3.) 2010 really highlighted my strained relationship with my mom. Theories and reasons exist as to why this is they case, but I’ll refrain from getting into it since it doesn’t seem highly appropriate.

4.) I learned that I could never, for the life of me, be a stay-at-home mom. Hats off to the women out there who wear that badge with pride as I’m sure it’s a challenging (and rewarding) job, but man, that SURELY is not my cup of tea. And no, I’m not concluding this because I had a baby and actually stayed at home, but I’m drawing from my days working from home earlier this year and taking care of a puppy.

5.) Which brings to mind a huge highlight in our family life this year: our first dog . I’ve had my fair share of good times with this lovable ball of fleshy fur and I’ve learned that I’m willing to defend him – tooth and nails – and am willing to tarnish my good name for him. I live in a building of (mostly) idiots who have no idea what it means to run across a Bulldog, and, well, I’m basically the bitch of the building because that’s how I treat pretty much all my neighbors. You f-ing mess with my dog, you mess with me. My mantra is: “You hate my dog, I hate your kid so please get him out of my face.” (Seriously when I drive into our parking area, it looks like a jardin infantil down there. How can I be held responsible for running over a kid’s bike in that state? But that’s six of one and half a dozen of another…)

Obi-wan chillin' in the sun.

6.) I became a U.S. Citizen this year. That’s been rad and I’m glad to call the U.S. my true home. Love you long time.

Paraphernalia from the Naturalization ceremony.

7.) Getting married comes in at point #7 as a nod to my wonderful husband. He has a thing for the number 7. There are certain things I’d definitely change about him if time, circumstance and dimensions weren’t an issue but those things are minor when compared to the wow factor that comes along with being married to him. I’m always beyond amazed that he continues to like me as much as I like him. Besides the best part, which is getting to live with him and being married to him, the wedding itself was fine. There’s one thing we’d both change about that though: we’d go back in time and we would DEFINITELY.NOT. having a wedding again. Oh we’d get married but we’d leave it at the registro civil and that’s it. In and out, done and done. Alas, that’s not how we ended up doing it and now, well, we have these fancy outfits and awesome pictures of an event we aren’t sure we really wanted. See? Even with that I’m more convinced we’re made for each other.

See? Even at the ceremony it would seem I was telling him we should have City Hall'd it instead. He was totally in agreement.

8.) Knowing myself as I do, I am in complete and UTTER amazement that I went back to school and that I did so in a foreign country. My first year of what is ultimately a Master’s in Marketing was difficult for me. Sure, others seem to think that I’m a simpleton for having stated this but compared to what I had seen and what I had experienced, post-graduate school in Chile was tough. Which is why I’m so happy to be done with the first year (which entitles me to a Diplomado in Marketing) and even more happy to say that I finished with a pretty decent grade point average. At least, far better than what I initially gave myself credit for. Along the way, I also made some great friends! Not too shabby.

9.) 2010 was the year I landed my first job living in Chile. It’s a huge multinational company with a very, small, itty bitty operation here in Chile. I’m in the middle of both of these worlds and at times it’s a struggle. The bright side is that I’m learning a lot and the brand is amazing. Another piece of good news is that in March I have a business trip to a yet-to-be-confirmed location in the Carribean!! Ga-ga-oooh-la-la!

For all of the above, I’m grateful. For point #10, I’m sad.

10.) 2010 marks the year when I felt more distance grow between me and my friends back home. I think that in part it has to do with the inconvenience of not being able to simply pick up the phone (my cell phone, that is) and call or text them the way I used to do when I lived back home. Daily life gets in the way and you watch as one hour slides right into the next one and all of a sudden it’s 10 pm and baby’s so tired. I’ve done my best to keep in touch via email and occasional Skype sessions but it’s definitely something I need to work on for 2011. I miss them and no matter how cool and nice and even brilliant the people I meet here in Chile are, I miss my peeps in CA and NYC (not that you guys aren’t cool, nice and brilliant either. Just making that clear.)

2011, you’re less than five hours away. Where did the time go? 2010, how could I have done, experienced and seen SO MUCH in a mere 12 months? I got married, became a U.S. Citizen, started and finished my first year of school, got a dog, survived a major earthquake and got a job – and those are just the highlights!

What then, I ask you, is on tap for 2011, yo? Whatever it is, I only have one request – just one. It might seem extreme, negative, pessimistic and dramatic as it’s the reason behind why I welcome each new year with a sense of anxiety and apprehension. But after 2005, the year when my grandfather, my 17 year old niece and Pope John Paul II all died within three months of each other, all I ever ask of any year is this: please don’t let anyone die.

On that note, I wish you all the THE VERY BEST for the coming year.

...and may the Force always be with you, yo (as well as the wine.)
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