Ten Years Ago Tonight:
I was married to my first husband, Jason. We were having some pretty serious problems, but I had no idea it was anything we couldn't work through. We lived with my parents at the big house in Lakeland, FL. I had never lived anywhere but central Florida, except for a few apartments in Chicago and Norfolk when Dad was in the Navy (he got out when I was four).
We had a small house party with a few friends, mostly members of our Rocky Horror cast. We had a cookout and Mom made some great desserts. We had CNN on in the background all day, watching coverage of the New Year's festivities around the world. Everything seemed so new and exciting, full of possibilities.
Over the course of the decade, a lot of really good and really bad things happened:
Jason and I split up and ultimately divorced
Sept 11 rocked the world and changed travel as we know it
I would have joined the Air Force if not for a random conversation that stopped me between seeing the enlisted recruiter on Friday afternoon and the officer recruiter on Monday morning
I moved to NOLA on a month's notice with a guy I'd known for two months and a girl I'd known for two weeks
I fell in love with the person I still think about every single day
My parents came to NOLA for Christmas and stayed
Not quite as eventful as the year before. Made some stupid decisions, learned a lot.
Walked away from the one I loved due to him going down a very dangerous path
Married Josh for all the wrong reasons
Founded a remodeling company and became reasonably successful
Moved to Mid-City, marking my first move away from the French Quarter
The bottom fell out of my life. Went lower than I ever thought possible.
NOLA economy went to hell, causing my business to go belly up and me to spend the latter half of the year unemployed
Lost my house when I couldn't pay rent after the business crashed
Moved into a tent on my parents' RV site after they gave up their apartment and bought a travel trailer
Mom passed away exactly three weeks before Christmas
Put everything in storage and went to FL for the funeral
Two more tragedies.
Josh ran out in the middle of the night, the night before we were supposed to go back to NOLA
Wasted the first half of the year trying to see what was going to happen with him
Went back to work for the theme parks for the first time in five years
Hurricane Katrina destroyed my stuff, my home, my friends and my way of life
Scare actor at HHN
A time of regrouping and learning to heal.
Pretty uneventful year for the most part, joined AntiBabe, made new friends, took improv classes at Sak, settled into life in Orlando
Went through a major health crisis with Dad, when he nearly died from a lung infection
Left Universal for a job that didn't pan out in Alaska and ended up unemployed in Orlando
Answered a random Craigslist ad, and ended up with a new career as a writer
Found out the person I loved but had to leave due to his choices, committed suicide
Needed desperately to go home for awhile.
Went back to NOLA for Mardi Gras and stayed for nearly a year
Lived and worked in a hostel for months
Started dating a guy who looked great on paper, ended up getting an apartment with him
Found out said guy was a misogynistic, self-centered creep
Moved back to Orlando
Got accepted into training for a potential job as a writer for About.com
I missed most of this year due to intense focus on my budding career.
Was offered the position at About.com and spent the next eight months working literally around the clock to develop that site while doing my numerous other gigs
Crawled out of my hole long enough to cruise the Caribbean and Canada/New England
Lost touch with pretty much everyone I know and love
Finally decided to embrace the RV lifestyle.
Had another major health crisis with Dad when he nearly died of a blocked artery. Thankfully the stent was a success!
Moved out of the RV park where we'd been stuck for five years
Spent a lot of the year traveling
Actually made it to Alaska after years of trying
Found out what my father's family truly thinks of us
Had a wonderful Christmas tour of the Southeast
Reconnected with members of my mom's family that I hadn't seen in forever
Decided to own up to my life and my background, and realized nobody cares. It's a secret I didn't have to keep all those years
It's been a hell of a ride! I've learned a lot, changed a lot and rediscovered myself. My resolutions this year are simple: be kinder and gentler to myself and my father, reconnect with the friends I've been neglecting, fine-tune my career and develop new successes, and start (and hopefully finish!!) book one of my memoir.
I love you all. Here's to a happy, healthy and successful 2010!!