I haven’t written much this year.
Historically, I write something that feels profound about my year sometime in December, and then January comes and wrecks it. I’ve had a string of rough starts to years, but January 2017 started quite lovely. By February we were back on our “well what strange twists will 2017 have in store for me?” track. I really do approach bumps in the road, change, unexpectedness, with an open mind. There must be a reason. Not always is it evident, I guess that is what some people call faith. Or life.
I look back through my pictures from 2017 and it was a really good year (despite the whole politics dumpster fire). In January I dated a lovely man who I am still somewhat friends with. He’s special. And while I wasn’t the fit he was looking for, he touched my heart in a way that hadn’t happened in a long time. He changed me, and for that I’ll always be grateful. And with that started what has largely been a dating hiatus, which I think is part of what made this a very even keel year. As Halsey says “I’m bad at love”. More on that another day…
I went to simply amazing shows this year. I kicked off 2017 with K. Flay at the Hi-Fi in Indy. I love that venue and I fell in absolute love with her. I would go to Indy two more time to see both Bleachers and Jidenna in the Egyptian Room at the Murat. I can not stress hard enough that if you get the opportunity to see either of these bands live, GO. Both shows were unbelievably good. I hadn’t been to an outdoor music fest in forever so I joined some friends and went to Forecastle in Louisville. Despite a few rookie mistakes (can I call them rookie mistakes at 47?), I got to see so much great music jammed in to two days. My second to last show of the year was Strand of Oaks. What made this show one of my major highlights of the year was seeing Goshen ’97 performed in Tim’s home town with his freaking mom and grandma and high-school choir teacher in the audience. He even performed a duet with his mom and I’ll tell you man, you follow a band around and see them post all over the world but you watch them come home and perform for their friends and family and it’s a whole different ballgame. The last concert this year was with my youngest son, I took him to see Drive by Truckers for his birthday. Not being familiar with the band I didn’t know what to expect exactly except my son kept saying “you are really going to like them mom, they are cool”. What I didn’t expect was the Black Lives Matter sign they placed on stage at the beginning of the show and the extremely socially liberal lyrics. It was quite a nice surprise and made the trip that much nicer. I was happy to spend the evening with my son watching him watch his favorite band. Such a special time.
I traveled around quite a bit without really having a travel budget this year. I get to travel to ATL quite a bit for work and got a bonus trip to Greenbay, WI this year. While it was a work trip, I did get to spend time with a friend I hadn’t seen in many years who I met on Facebook in 2004. I also got to tour Lambeau field which is a totally emotional experience even if you aren’t into football. On one of my ATL trips I got to have lunch with one of my highschool friends. I didn’t get to Chicago as often as I’d like but I did have an epic girls weekend the 4th of July weekend. I spent the day on lake Michigan and watched the sun set over my favorite city with some pretty spectacular people. I snuck in a road trip to Des Moines with two of my friends to visit a Fort Wayne transplant who we love and there isn’t enough space for all of the stories from that one crazy weekend. A “haunted” school, a bar full of clowns, a brewery full of blind people and the most insane encounter that looked like it was straight out of a VC Andrews novel. Oh, and I got to be a Terrarasourous for awhile. That was fun.
On the family front, it was a year of exciting changes. My daughter and her fiance` bought a house AND adopted their first dog, Squish. My son and his wife not only moved back to Indiana but bought a house as well. While I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, it gives me great comfort to have them close by. My sister got MARRIED! And my dad moved out of the house he shared with my mom for 28 years and got his own place. All of these changes were a bit emotionally overwhelming in their own way, but all were great, great things to come out of 2017.
Friendships were the theme of the year I think. My daughter and I got a lot closer this year. Parenting adult children can be challenging, finding the right balance of being there for them and giving them space that they need. We have moved into a good space and it’s lovely being close with her. I made some new friends this year, stayed in touch with old ones. I had great adventures with my female friends, who are all so smart and funny and kind.
And lastly, this year was all about me. For the first time in a long time I wasn’t distracted by any sort of partner or paramour. By letting go of the idea of looking for a parter I freed up my brain space for other endeavors. I poured into me time, gym time, kid time, friend time. I went on ONE date, which was not terrible but was certainly lackluster. And while I won’t say there weren’t moments when I was incredibly lonely, it was also very freeing. I took myself to museums and on road trips and to movies and dinners and just did whatever the hell I wanted all damn year. And that was kind of awesome.
I don’t know what 2018 has in store. I hope good things. Or at least not bad things. I have a 5 year plan started on where I want to go and what I want to do, so I’m going to keep on plugging away with that and see what life has in store along the way. It’s never boring.