Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

2014 has been an awfully complex year for me. I don’t think I’ve had so many highs and lows in a single 12-month period since 1990, which is the year I got sick with ulcerative colitis, so sick I had to drop my dance minor and abandon acting. My Dad had a heart attack that year, and died of a stroke three months later. Two weeks after his funeral, his family auctioned off all of his and my belongings and threw out the boxes of pictures and slides or anything else personal that couldn’t be sold, and sold my childhood house to the first bidder, all without telling me what they were doing. So that was a rough year, yeah. Not a lot of upside there.

This year has been more like a roller coaster, with some very high highs and incredibly low lows; the kind which, if not for my wonderful friends, I quite honestly may not have survived.

I had a very frightening breast cancer scare. I threw an awesome and fun party for my son’s 5th birthday. My Mom went crazy on a combination of bad meds and I had to have her put temporarily into a mental ward. I went to a concert by car and left that concert shortly thereafter by ambulance – by the grace, skill and determination of a friend, with my life intact. I went to another concert and had a wonderful time with a sweet friend. I had moments this year of terror and tears and leaning on friends that literally and figuratively came to my rescue, with donations of food, love, calls, texts, words of support, and yes, even liquor. I separated from my husband of 11 years and began a new life. I experienced moments of pure and total love, joyous flirtation, steadfast friendship and incredible passion, the likes of which I cannot remember experiencing. I danced – in backyards and dance studios, in my living room with my little boy. I sang – in cars, in bars and on stage. I acted. I read my writing work in front of audiences for the first time. I got published. I quit a job I’d had for 11 years and started a new career. I gained new friends and lost old ones. I lost weight, broke new running records in distance, time, and number of races run in a single calendar year. The wheel turned and turned.

Looking back, I’d like to think I experienced equal amounts of laughter and tears, but I think the tears won out just because of all the pain this year. Loneliness like never before. Parenting guilt. Feeling like a financial failure. Thinking I’d never be able to talk to my normal, real Mom again. Feeling overwhelmed at work. I need. A lot. I’m glad I have the social structure to help me deal, as it’s really held me up and together, sometimes quite literally, this past year. For that I am so thankful, and so, so lucky.

2015 will be a great year. I know it will. It has to be. There’s so much to look forward to, and, having been at the bottom, nowhere else to go but up. I’m glad I still have the energy to climb. Here’s to 2015, and thank all of you who love me for getting me through this bitch of a year.

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