As many of you know I celebrated the 26 th anniversary of my birth this past Wednesday. While the birthday itself was uneventful; I just did my daily duties at school and had a quiet evening of pilates to celebrate. Yet in the scheme of life this birthday was a milestone for me. As I look in retrospect on the last year I realize that it was as tumultuous and trying as any year thus far.
I would define the last year of my life as my year of "starting from scratch." You see I might not be the domestic diva that my mother is, but I do have a great appreciation for things that are crafted from scratch. I honestly believe that food just tastes better when two loving hands are preparing the meal. Perhaps it is the added pad of butter or the sprinkle of sugar, but nothing can compare to something homemade. I love the whole concept of how ingredients that should never go together are placed in a bowl beaten, stirred, and baked to come out with a product of sheer goodness. I guess in short, I feel like I have been a product of scratch this year; drained, whisked, and pureed only with the hope of good things to come
I feel like we grow up with this blanket of security tightly wrapped around us. It is constant and unchanging, and thus when it is ripped from our little paws we are left standing there shocked cold and unsure of what's next. I guess this is how I felt this year after the death of both of my remaining grandparents. While my relationship with both was very different, still I realize that they are irreplaceable. I think in life you only have a select group of people who are dedicated to being your biggest fans. It is quite a loss to your team when you lose two in the same year. Thus, the traditions and constants in my life are changing and I have no choice, but to start over.
New beginnings can be fresh and invigorating, and just what the doctor ordered. After spending 2 years in Bloomington this summer I was forced to pack up my sweet little apartment and move to Indy. I will never forget as the tears rolled down my eyes as I left beautiful Bloomington with all my bags in tote and headed to the concrete palace of Indianapolis. While I fell upon a gem of an apartment, there still comes a lot of unneeded stress from rebuilding and starting from scratch. I feel if we are honest with ourselves we care a great deal about what others think of us. Therefore starting at a new campus, a new year of school, and meeting a large handful of people comes with the added worry of "will people appreciate the person I am."
I think that a lot of emphasis is placed on the way we define ourselves and the people "we claim to be." As for me I believe that I would describe myself as runner and actually take a lot of pride in that. Yet, I was given a very big blow this fall after the Chicago Marathon, where I had to end my euphoric run at the 18 mile due to an injury. For future reference, this is an awful feeling. You have been working towards this one day for months and to have to fail at completion of the task in unnerving. I remember how humbling the next 2 months and even still today have been, not being able to run and hobbling around like Tiny Tim. I realized that I was starting from scratch. The girl who could go run 10 miles without a blink of an eye couldn't even fathom running 10 yds. Yet, today I realize that my running woes have forced me to slow down and take in some scenery and to appreciate the one body I have been given and to use it wisely. Have no fears I still intend on continuing my marathon wonders.
Perhaps the most entertaining of all of my new beginnings has been my own quest to use cooking devices such as the stove and oven. I too am trying to be a creative and healthy cook. And they say that some people can't change. Ha. I have found some cathartic element in my kitchen. It has become this sanctuary where I can allow my creative juices to flow and at the end have something to show for it. I honestly have no idea what I am doing with some of these utensils, I might even be making new uses for them, but hey I am trying.
Thus in closing, I guess we never no what a year will bring. We can hope, we can guess, but we will never know. What I have learned in the last year is that starting from scratch might feel as awkward as putting your shoes on the wrong feet, but in the end there has to be something gained from the experience. I often wonder what the perfect recipe for happiness might be for the next year. We all have been given the same potential ingredients for a gourmet gift of glee, but in the end in comes down to how we deal with a little burnt around the edges or the cookie that does raise. Its about dealing with the unexpected --the good the bad, taking chances, and above all making moments to remember all year long.