One of the biggest life changes I had in 2010 was moving in with my bestie, Anita. One of the biggest life changes I had in 2011 was moving out of the apartment we shared. Sometimes I still have moments where I miss our little home together. Living with Anita just felt so much like home. It always smelled good and was full of pretty things and the kitchen was always a mess because it was full of food and we were constantly cooking. I miss just stretching out on her bedroom floor for no reason and talking about nothing. I only had a year of independence between living with my parents and being married and I don't think I could have spent it any other way or with anyone else. I think I'll always look back on that year and be a little jealous of myself.
And, obviously, I can't look back on 2011 and what changed without mentioning the fact that I GOT MARRIED! We've been hitched for 5 months and one week now, and the most I've learned is that marriage is a mysterious thing. For one, I always thought that somewhere in the decision to get married it'd be one of those things where you just know. I hoped it wasn't some sort of logical, methodical decision making where you have to weigh the pros and cons or somehow attempt to look into the future and assess how you could feel or what you'd want from this person years down the road. That is an impossible and improbable way to decide anything. And 5 months in, I know that I was right. Within two weeks of dating Thad I knew we were gonna get married. And it wasn't some impulsive, irrational decision. It was as simple as just knowing. The point is, I still have these random moments of feeling such an extreme peace and happiness knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be. And Thad and I are going down the exact road we're meant to go down.
For two, I think it's cute, and funny, and alarming all the things the person you're married to becomes in your life. He literally is my best friend, my roommate, the love of my life, my partner in crime, the shoulder I cry on, my cuddle buddy, occasionally my closet organizer, my academic supporter, the person that all at once can aggravate me the most & calm me the most, and I still have a major crush on him. We can switch from having a serious conversation to chasing each other around the kitchen and back to the conversation in a snap. The relationship I have with Thad is a singular one. There is absolutely nothing else like it in my life. Marriage is funny.
The holidays this year were both great and confusing. With the loss of my grandma and the changes that came in its wake, Thanksgiving for me seems to be the hardest. Thanksgiving has always been a holiday celebrated at my grandparents house, with my grandpa's cooking. Anything else doesn't feel like Thanksgiving at all. Last year, having to change the tradition was difficult but somehow this year felt worse. I suppose it was the cementing of the change. Last year represented a significant loss, and even though it was 11 months after her death I was still mourning; this year, the acceptance has set in but Thanksgiving was the official hallmark of how the holidays will be celebrated. They will never again be what I've thought they're supposed to be. Now, my parents house is the destination, and it's my dad in the kitchen. He's officially taken up the reins (and because he's good at anything he wants to be good at, the food is BOMB). Any year now there's bound to be kids introduced to the mixed, which also represents a new phase in the roles of the generations represented. It's all so strange.
But, let's face it. The holidays with my family are bound to be amazing. My dad IS Santa, except in shape. Really though. You've never met anyone that loves Christmas as much as my dad does, and it's infectious. My family LOVES giving gifts, and we all grin like fools when we watch someone open a present we wrapped for them. I've also never seen Thad so happy to get a gift as he did when he opened my dad's series of gifts. Like I said, he's Santa but better, and now Thad gets to be a part of it.
A week from today I go back to school. When I first tossed the idea around to Thad he was so supportive I was taken back. It was really just a thought and then bam--he pushed me to find out what kind of program I wanted to finish, what would the timeline look like, etc. I really didn't know when I flippantly sent my transcripts and application to ASU whether I'd get in, or if I really even wanted to, or actually how I felt at all about any of it but the second I got the acceptance letter I was 100% commited and unbelievably excited. Truthfully, I haven't given a second thought to school since I left two years ago and have felt zero motivation to go back until the past couple weeks &now I'm counting down the days.
Having Thad's support is huge. My dad seems excited too since he bought me some fancy goin-back-to-school gear, including a tricked out scanner and one of them note-takin voice-recording and note-digitizing pens. How cute.
I can't wait for 2012, no matter what the Mayans are saying to try to bring me down. 2011 was so grand, I'm sure it'll only get better from here.