1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I drove across the country. In my car. By myself (mostly). I’m still pretty shocked I did that.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
On December 30 2013, R’s dad threatened me and told me I was no longer welcome in their family. On January 1 2014, I knew I would need to leave CT for my own safety (and sanity). I told myself I would have it figured out by October, and on October 14th I was offered a job in California. So, while I didn’t exactly make an official resolution, I set a goal on New Year’s day and followed through with it.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! My aunt (she’s a year older than me), Miellyn (although we didn’t really get close until this summer), and my BFF is currently pregnant (due in a few weeks!)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, yes. My aunt passed away the day I was asked to come to California for a job interview. I couldn’t tell R or my job why I needed to travel to CA, so I feel like even in her death my aunt was protecting me. So lame, I know, but just interesting how the timing worked out.
Also, my dear friend’s brother passed away a few days before Christmas.
5. Where did you travel?
Well, I drove across the country, so I went through several states and knocked a few things off the old bucket list (Grand Canyon, Four Corners). I also went to Orlando in February, Atlanta in March, PAX East (Boston) in April, and California in September for my cousin’s wedding (and October for the interview)
My route (more or less)
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you didn’t have in 2014?
Honestly, 2014 was so painful and stressful, I’m just happy to be heading out of it. I’d like another tattoo, does that count? I’m also planning an international trip for the fall…stay tuned!
7. What days from 2014 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
September 21: The day I took (and passed!) the AFAA Group Ex test
October 14: The day I was offered the job and broke up with R.
November 13: The day I left Norwalk CT for good
November 29: The day I arrived back in California
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I still can’t believe I got a job in California while living in Connecticut and keeping it a secret from virtually everyone.
Also, getting my AFFA Group Ex certificacte, which was my backup plan to get me out of Connecticut.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Is it ok to say R? I believe everything happens for a reason, but I’m still having a hard time figuring out what the point was for me to need to be on the East Coast for so long when I just ended up back here.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had chronic tendinitis in my ankle, which is common in group exercise instructors. I had panic attacks for most of the year thanks to R’s folks. But other than that nothing major.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I moved all of my shit from CT to CA and that was pretty great but also expensive.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Melissa. She invited me to stay with her several times this year, fed me tea and wine, prayed for me, listened to me, comforted me.
Cheryl. My mentor at my last job who taught me everything I needed to get the new job. She gave me life advice and work advice and kept my looking-for-a-new-job secret, even from her husband.
Sarah Sq., Sarah Sh., Sarah M for listening to me and not judging me and being patient while I figured things out. And Brooke for the same reasons but also for the buddy pass to get me to and from the interview.
Miellyn. She’s a friend I met indirectly through R, but has been one of the greatest friends I could ask for. I spent my birthday with her and stayed with her for three days at the beginning of my trip. In all honesty, if the entire reason I needed to spend 5 years wasting away on the east coast was to meet her, then it was worth it.
And of course my parents who planned a trip to CT to help me move out before I even knew I would be moving out and also helped to fund the move.
13. Whose behavior didn’t merit celebration?
R’s parents. But mostly his father. And R himself for letting his dad say some really horrible things to me.
14. Where did most your money go?
Most of my money went to the big moving adventure – from the movers themselves to the gas stations and the hotels and all of the adventures on the road.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The first thing I was really excited about was Disneyworld/Wizarding World of Harry Potter in February, followed by PAX in April, and then finally getting to move back home in October/November
16. What songs will always remind you of 2014?
Hm. I’m not really sure actually. Can Serial count as a song? My original plan was to listen to one episode a day during my drive, but I ended up listening to the first four episodes between NYC and Baltimore. Also, how creepy/weird/awesome was it to drive through Baltimore while listening to Serial?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) definitely happier
b) about the same, actually (hooray for teaching fitness classes)
c) right now? Poorer because I haven’t gotten a paycheck since I quit my job in October. And also I’ve maxed out my credit cards in the move. But in a few weeks I’ll be back in the black.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Honestly, I wish I took more photos on my cross country trip. And spent more time sightseeing through some of the cities I was passing through. My original plan was to have ice cream in every state, but once I was on the road I just wanted to get to my next destination ASAP.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying. I know that the timing for the move was just perfect, but I spent nearly every day in tears until October 14.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We went to the beach on Christmas Eve and watched the sunset. It was 70 degrees.
Christmas Day we had a lazy morning at my parents’ house, and then went to see Into the Woods with my cousins at Downtown Disney. We snuck in wine and cheese. It was great.
21. Did you fall in love with 2014?
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I never missed an episode of Game of Thrones, Agents of SHIELD, and DWTS.
23. What was the best book you read?
Reading in general got put on the backburner once I started the big move. I’ve been trying to read Dance with Dragons for more than a year, but I keep getting stuck in boring chapters (I’m looking at you, Danerys). I loved Gone Girl, Hyperbole and a Half, and Timebound.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I didn’t really discover any new music, but in Nashville, my brother and I recorded a record together in a little music booth. It was fun
25. What did you want and get?
I wanted to move back to California.
26. What did you want and not get?
I wanted R to stand up to his parents on my behalf.
27. What was your favorite film of 2014?
I didn’t see a lot of movies this year, but I did see Mockingjay in a fun little movie theater in Austin, and that was pretty cool.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33. R took me down to see the Angels play in Baltimore. The next day we went to Miellyn and Shaun’s house for dinner (the best Thai food I’ve had in my life), beer, and tabletop games. It was perfect.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
See number 26. But that didn’t happen, so I got to move home, which was perfectly satisfying.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2014?
I wore a lot of gym clothes because I was teaching a lot of fitness classes. And Nadia Tarr / Butter dresses. They’re the closest I can get to wearing pajamas in public and I love them.
31. What kept you sane?
Honestly? I have no idea. I remember counting down the weeks until October and just focusing on how short that was.
Also, a lot of wine.
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in the world right now. I sort of lost touch with reality once the big move was put in motion. Also, I don’t like to talk about politics.
33. Who did you miss?
Miellyn and Shaun. Melissa. My students at the gym. And NYC. I know that’s not a “who”, but NYC is pure magic.
34. Who was the best new person you met?
I don’t think I met a lot of new people this year – but I have a handful of people I got closer to and reconnected with.
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Not really a lesson, but the last day at my job, a dear coworker and friend said this:
36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“It’s a comfort to know / When you’re singing the hit the road blues / That anywhere else you could possibly go /after New York would be a pleasure cruise” -Santa Fe (Rent, Jonathan Larson)
Also, not a song lyric, but this passage is quite fitting: