The difference a year makes

Here we are again. October 29th.

I must say – if ever you feel your life is just atrocious and sh*^&y, like there is no way things could possibly look up and shine a bright shine on you – hear this my weary friend: A lot can happen in a year.

Channel Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go.”

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

2008 was a rough year for me for several reasons but two stand out. I’ll spare the details of one but will leave you to ponder just the worst stroke of luck in love you can possibly imagine. Now, take that thought and multiply it by 500 while adding a kick in the groin, a punch in the boob and a finger sliced inside an armful of lemon juice. I was involved in a situation I knew I shouldn’t have been involved in but yet I went in, blindfolded. The result? Well, all I just happened to explain. I spent the first half of 2008 playing the fool and basically not developing my FABULOSA-ness as I should have.

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

All the bad love crap was over as of June 2008 and I was on my own, no strings attached and free to feel happy or miserable of my own accord. Except the countdown was on. My mother – my dear, sweet, chocolate-covered mother – was leaving me behind in the U.S. to embark on her return to the motherland, Chile, after 28 years living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Good for her, but sad, sad and more sad for me.

I found myself in a flurry of activity that kept me busy throughout the summer. Between mending a broken heart, realizing I’m too fabulous to even BOTHER with a broken heart, enjoying my friends and my social life, going to New York, and packing my mother up for a long haul back to Chilsters, my summer indeed flew by. With that, I reached the end of August 2008.

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

…which quite describes the new state of Singlehood I found myself living. I had my first apartment alone and though there were many a times I’d find myself with just me as company, where I’d talk out loud just to make sure I hadn’t randomly lost my voice from lack of use, it was a time to roll out of the ugly dust I’d been enveloped in earlier in the year and just enjoy MY LIFE as ME with ME and not allowing outside influences dictate how I was going to feel about myself or how I was going to live my life.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

Despite learning to find myself from June to August – whether with friends or not – September and October 2008 weren’t about to allow me to feel alone for too long. It was the busiest travel season I’d had in a while at work and I was off to Tokyo, followed by Brazil, Argentina and Chile –> all for work. I’m sure those two months alone won me Elite Status on American Airlines with all the miles I accrued.

My business trips were amazing and productive and with each one, I became more and more my own person, realizing my time was my own and that I held the door knob to the door in front of opportunity. Of course I didn’t realize all THIS then, but now, looking back, I do.

Tokyo was a hoot (Sept 2008)

Brazil, with its mix of business and one afternoon of fun, was a holler (Oct 2008)

Argentina, as per usual, was fun-loving (Oct 2008)

And then, on October 29th, the same day as my mom’s 60th birthday, I flew to Chile… and the result of that trip was life-changing. It’s what bring us here. You and me. For were it not for that fateful night, when Gonzalo showed up at my mom’s bday celebration dinner, the events that followed that led to my being here, would never have happened. Had they not happened, this blog wouldn’t exist, and well, my dear reader, you and I would be somewhere completely different in Cyberspace.

Gonzalo, someone I’d kind of known for four years prior, but only via work, showed up in all his never-before-witnessed glory, and despite all efforts, reasons, logic and geography, what now is, came to be on that night, one year ago, today.

So you see? I went from one extreme to the other in ONE YEAR. From heartbreak and loneliness to happiness and awareness. The lesson to be learned is this: no matter how things look today, trust me, tomorrow can bring something completely different. And no matter where you are in life now, next year, you may very well be living it up in the last place you ever considered you’d be.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

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