It's amazing the difference a year can make in your life. All of the people who come and go. Trips around the world. New faces. New songs. Adventures. Disappointments. Hope and loss and heartbreak. Smiles and laughter, days running through the streets skipping and giggling, twirls so fun that you cab it across town just to get one.
Exploring markets in Bangkok with one of your best friends in the world.
Drinking mulled wine in Munich with that same best friend, and her husband and daughter too. People who love you so much that they invite you on their family vacation for Thanksgiving so that you don't have to spend it alone.
Swimming in Jamaica with your bestie. She is a private person, but she's held my hand and touched my heart in so many ways over the last year. I sincerely don't think I would have survived any of this without her.
Playing in the snow in NYC. Wearing borrowed gowns at Mardi Gras Balls when your friends are wonderful enough to invite you into their home...and then give you tough love about being a raging psychopath during your divorce process.
Kitty cat headbands. Saint Patrick's day parades.
Roaming the streets of Rome, alone, with tears of happiness in your eyes.
Driving curvy roads while singing silly songs with your friends while on a press trip with KIA in San Diego.
Kissing handsome men on street corners in NYC. (That one is still around, by the way. We've become friends. I hope I don't ever have to let him go, he's much too special and important to me.)
Holding hands and eating Dole Whip while strolling Main Street in Disney World. Taking a boyfriend to Disney World for the first time, spending a vacation with him and your daughter, then driving straight to a concert.
Jumping up and down, singing your heart out to your favorite songs with that someone special at a concert and then never seeing them again. Seriously, only I would break up with a dude on the way home from a Disney World vacation and a Blink 182 concert.
Taking a chance on someone new, giving them the benefit of the doubt and then being disappointed. Then maybe finding out that a week after you were together, he suddenly has a girlfriend and turning into that girl - the one that cries at the bar and her friend has to be embarrassed by her, once again. Oh, you - I hope that I can one day repay you for all the crazy you've seen me through!
Life is strange. But it's also wonderful.
If we had everything figured out, how boring would life be?
I'm sitting in my home office today, listening to the rain fall while working on a post about the new Kia cars that I got to test drive back in July, and I found this random selfie I took on the side of the road in San Diego.
I was fortunate enough to share that KIA press trip with two of my best friends. Most of the trips I've taken over the last year have been with good friends, and when I'm having a shitty day, week, or month, when I'm beginning to lose faith in humanity, I look at pictures like this: I was happy.
LIFE IS GOOD, people. Not always, but it is good.
True friends are a rare commodity. There are a few special people who've carried me through this thing we call life - sometimes by standing by my side while we're having fun, sometimes holding my hand while I got lost in the sadness, sometimes with a simple, "how are you?" text or phone call, sometimes carrying me in their arms when I just couldn't take one.more.thing.
I've been disappointed in so many people this year. But I am surviving, and I'm happy. Genuinely happy.