I re-read last year's blog from about this time today. I talked a lot about growth in that one and, like 2008, 2009 is a year in which I feel I've grown. Every week, just about, I'm asked to reflect on the progress I've made. Sometimes it's difficult to see or describe. And, as I said in the post I made last night, there are still really big things that I want to see improve. But, as tough as things like managing anxiety/worry are, I can objectively say that I have gotten even stronger over the past year, become more comfortable with honesty and trust, and become better able to consider my needs as a priority. And, as proud as I am of those things, I'm just as proud of the fact that I have some more tangible things to point to as progress. A year ago, I didn't have a permanent job, health insurance, or an apartment of my own. I'm thankful, of course, for all the people that have helped me along the way with these goals. Some of you were here, pushing me to see the most basic things that needed to change and helping me through the very darkest days and some of you missed out on that but still encourage and inspire me. But, at the risk of bragging, I've just plain worked hard (harder than I would've imagined sometimes) to be at the point I've reached. It's interesting, I think, what clarity comes along with this kind of work and growth. I used to have so many things crowding my mind, wanting to be accomplished that I didn't know where to begin or how. Financial and emotional stability are obviously big pieces that I didn't have for years. Having those things makes it possible to see dreams stop being ephemeral. I can see the steps I need to take toward them more clearly now. It's easier to prioritize and keep in mind the realities that time forces on me.
In some ways, I feel like the year has flown so quickly past. Alex and Emma's new school pictures surprised me, making me see just how far from babyhood they've gotten. And, of course, Parker will be here in just a few short months and we'll all be watching him go through the same thing. It's such a gift to get to watch and participate in their lives, to see them gradually becoming the adults they're going to be before we know it. I feel wistful and yet, again, so very proud and honored by it all.
I was listening to music in the car yesterday, playing my eclectic little mix of tunes on the mp3 player Angie and Amy got me for my birthday. And, in the midst of some recent faves, a song from Annie came on. (Okay, I'll wait until you stop smirking/chuckling) I have adored that musical since I was younger than the main character and, as I listened to it yet again, I realized that, even with all the growth and change I've undergone, the little girl who first fell in love with that musical is still here. I kind of like her, frankly, and hope I can always say that.