I learned that the people you love and trust can turn on you in a second if they don't get what they want from you. I learned that people can think they know everything they need to know about your situation, without ever talking to you, based on nothing more than the word of someone who's trying to hurt you. Okay, that was hard. But I also learned how to recognize who I am, independent of somebody else's flawed characterization, how to finally stand up for myself, to say "No more", and to accept that people don't always make sense. I also learned that I have a lot of friends, a LOT of support, and that I'm okay and surrounded by love. Nothing is more valuable than that. I may not have learned that otherwise, or maybe I wouldn't have been so aware of the blessing that it is. It's all good.
Moving wasn't something we planned. If you had asked me last year, I would have said "No way". The idea was completely overwhelming. The nasty dog down the hall was the catalyst, and as unpleasant as that situation was, it compelled a change. The move was awful (though the help of friends made it less so). Planning the move was awful. Packing and cleaning sucked. It WAS overwhelming, the timing was financially terrible, and all the last-minute complications around logistics were a nightmare. But we're here. We're glad we're here. My daughter and I are both still kind of marveling at how awesome our new space is, and so, no regrets. Just more gratitude.
I didn't know I would lose Murphy this year. I suspected I might, but he was such a big, solid guy, such a presence in my life, that he felt kind of immortal, I guess. I knew when he turned 12 that every day was a gift. I knew it on a logical level. But even when you know, it's impossible to prepare. Of all the major changes that occurred this year, this was by-far the toughest. But I'm still standing. I'm still planning. I'm fighting like hell to find my equilibrium, but I know that I will. It's the first time in 25 years that I haven't had a dog (my daughter does, but I don't!) It's kind of weird. I pretty much come and go whenever, and I don't really know how to handle that. I hurt too much to get a new dog right now, but I have a plan. I'm sort of going with the flow on that one I guess. I'll know when I'm ready.
As the year wraps up and I sit here drinking my same coffee but looking on an entirely different (and much nicer) view, I feel how lucky I am to have managed each of those hurdles, only to discover a new opportunity or something better on the other side. Okay, I can't really say that about losing Murph, but otherwise it's true. I've always known it to be true. Sometimes the most terrifying and/or difficult experiences can lead to the most unexpected and amazing things. I'm keeping that in mind as it applies to all areas of life right now. I'm looking forward to Halloween (always! Spooky season is my 'thing'!), and it looks like Christmas might be pretty cool, too. Thanksgiving is still up in the air, but we'll figure it out. My daughter and I have done it alone before, and it was still an awesome day.
I feel like my world has been turned upside down and inside out, but I landed on my feet. I feel like there are surprises yet on the horizon, but I suspect that they will be good ones. I wish you all the same <3