Cheers to 2009! Here’s to 2010!!

December 31, 2009

The very last day of 2009.

I thought it would never get here. I don’t think I have ever been happier to see the end of a year.

But that’s not what this post is about. I’m here to tell you how great 2009 was for me, and why.

First, a few disclaimers… I am not here to tell you that the economy was great, that I became wealthy, or that my job got better. I am not here to tell you that I found the love of my life, that my daughter discovered the cure for cancer, or that my health improved. I am not here to tell you that my family members live forever, that my car has a magic shield around it, that I purchased a new home, that my art was discovered, or even that I managed to send out Christmas cards.

In fact, the opposite of all this happened. 2009 definitely sucked in regard to all those aspects.

So you may be asking yourselves, if all these terrible things happened… why was 2009 so great for me?

Recall the saying… That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger ? Yes, dear friends, that is what I am referring to. 2009 was the year of my greatest personal growth. Ever.

I’ve learned so many things about people, situations, families, friendship, faith, life, death, love, hate, desire, fear, and of course, about myself.

I have learned that I can indeed be by myself and still be happy. I have learned to power of solitude and the inner peace it provides. This from a woman who has a ‘fear of abandonment.’

I have learned that it is possible to have a meaningful conversation with my 16 year old daughter. In fact, I have found that my 16 year old daughter is a wonderful person, and that she loves and respects me as well. Who knew?

I have learned that I can deal with broken appliances, cable guys, movers, giant bugs, broken sewers, and even no hot water for 4 days, and still survive, In fact, I can fix most of these things. Yes, it is important to unplug the disposal before you stick your hand in it. – I think they call this sort of thing ‘self-reliance’!

I have learned the power of the love of my family. They love me no matter what, and oddly, only seem to want me to be happy. Not a whole lot of hidden agenda in my family. I feel very blessed.

I have learned that in order to be a good friend, I first have to be a friend to myself. I have learned that some friends are here forever (love you Linda!) and some friends are only in your life for a short period of time. I have learned that distance doesn’t matter in a friendship. Some friends you are here to help, and some friends are here to help you. Some friendships can be picked up exactly where they left off (Hey Mike!) and some friendships simply become fond memories, fading away. Friendships can be formed through strange circumstances (twitter… who would have thought?) (Love you Melissa, Shelley Rae, Jt, Susanne, David, Dave, Annette, Udi, Jonathan, Sabrina, Matthew, and Philip!)

A friendship can be a very strong bond. I have never made friends easily, I want to keep the ones I have. They are well worth any amount of effort.

I have learned to have faith. Faith is an intangible thing. Many people have faith in God, faith in spirits, faith in science. The kind of faith I have discovered is very simple. To have faith in myself. In the past, I have set up dreams and goals, and not reached them. One important reason? I didn’t have faith in myself and my abilities. It is a good thing to be humble, but to ignore your intelligence, and talents (your gifts) is a crime. It is true… if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything. I am on my way to accomplishing quite a few goals. Watch me… believe in me, because I know I can do it!

I have learned that Mom was indeed correct. Life is not fair. But life is life, and it is here to be lived. To sit and sulk and be unhappy is a waste of valuable time. Time that most of us don’t have.. I mean, I’m 43 years old. I’m not going to live forever.. why would I want to sit around feeling sorry for myself because someone else won the lottery, when I could be out there running a ½ marathon!!! #justsayin

As long as I’m talking about life, I may as well talk about death, also. As many of you know, my Nana passed away in the beginning of June. I miss her very much. She had just celebrated her 98th birthday. And in those sentences I’ve just written, you must see how I’ve realized some very important things… We are mortal. Everyone dies… it is a part of living. It is not something to be feared, necessarily. However, in recognizing that we humans only have a short period of time on this planet, it is important to live life as fully as we possibly can. So that when our time comes, our families can say… she lived a happy, full life. Just like we did for my Nana. Death is a part of life. It is universal. Something difficult for me to grasp, this idea that death happens and there really is nothing to prevent it. But in wrapping my mind around this topic, I realize how important it is to live.

Before I talk about love, I’m going to talk about hate. Hate is a feeling that is alien to me, quite frankly. I dislike many things. I loathe, and even mega loathe things. But to hate something is not an emotion that is readily familiar. But I have experienced hate. It is ugly. I have seen hate directed at others for reasons which I am unable to fathom. I have had hate directed at me… again, for reasons I cannot imagine. It is important to look at the situation objectively. To analyze it. For if you take it personally and it is unfounded (as most hate is), it can only destroy your self-esteem.

In my lessons about fear, I have learned the following things. That it is okay to fear something if the fear is justified. However, you cannot let fear run your life and make your decisions for you. A courageous man is not a man who has no fear… a courageous man is a man who has fears, but stands up to them, with faith in himself and his abilities to overcome this fear. Yes, I’ve learned this. (C’mon.. have you ever walked around LB Poly HS campus at night?)

I have learned many of the same lessons about love that I have about desire. There are many different kinds of love, just as there are many different kinds of desires. In fact, many levels amongst those kinds. Some desires are good to give in to.. others should remain just as they are… simple desires. Some loves are to be brought in to our hearts and arms.. others are simply to be loved from a distance, for allowing that person in to your life may not be the best thing for you or your family. You must be cautious when allowing loves and desires into your life without the use of logic, as well as gut instinct. Again, it comes down to having faith in yourself and your ability to chose. –I’ll grant you, I do have a reputation…not as someone who fails at relationships… no, rather, I have quite the reputation as someone who is a poor chooser! Learning which kinds of love last, which desires are good to give in to… these are all things which have made for several painful lessons this past year. I have learned from each one, and feel I am on my way to success in my relationships.

Then, finally, there are all the things I have learned about myself. I have learned that I am not ugly, not stupid, not boring. I have learned that I am valuable to many people. I have learned that I am loved.

I have learned that I can rely on myself. That I am my own best friend. That unless I take care of myself, I cannot take care of others.

I have learned to believe in my talents. In my instincts. In my abilities. I have, after all these years, finally learned to love myself.

And that is perhaps the greatest lesson of all.

So Cheers! to 2009! My year of incredible personal growth.

May 2010 please bring me vast wealth and the love of my life!

Happy New Year, Everyone!!



  1. Jonathan’s comment kicks ass. Makes me wish mine was better.

  2. Torie – such a year. In 2010 and beyond your friends and I are here to listen, laugh, support, and otherwise be there in strength. Truly, there are some things we can only face alone, but knowing that friends are never far is a blessing indeed. All the best to you & LJ!

  3. So incredibly inspiring my dear friend. I am so honored to be mentioned in your post..as well as to be able to call you a friend. I feel so blessed to have you in my life. I love you and thank you so much for being YOU.
    Shelley (Shelley_Rae)

  4. Thank you for your courage and thoughtful post. You know too, self love and acceptance brings patience to deal with all the icky things we encounter. Write on, Victoria. xx

  5. Very well written. Very honest, and I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks.

  6. Wonderful post Victoria!

    Excellent lessons learned. And clearly if Nana lived that long you’ve got very sturdy DNA and a lot of living left to do. LOADS OF IT!

    Congratulations on your move in the right direction.
    Happy new decade, may it bring you all the goodies (pie specifically but all the other non-food goodies too)… !2010! here you come.

  7. Great post. Here’s to 2010 and a few more smiles and few less “lessons learned.” I imagine we’re both due for a really good year.

  8. Excellent post, Victoria! Absolutely correct way to look at an otherwise ‘downer’ year. It’s so good to hear about your self-reliance. Way to go! As long as you believe in yourself, you can accomplish amazing things!

  9. Very nice post! Happy New Year Victoria!

  10. Victoria! I hadn’t heard from you in such a long time and I wondered where you went. Happy to know it was just a Twitter name change.

    I loved reading this post. I rarely find something that I want to read all the way through but this was easy. Great job on the writing and your growth.

    Much love to you.

  11. just great and very true.
    Love always and a wonderful 2010.

  12. What a wonderful post. I couldn’t agree more, and thanks for sharing with us your inner thoughts.

    Personally, I am very thankful that I got to meet you this year. I feel I have made a friend for life… and meeting you in person is not necessary (though would be very cool, don’t you think? 😉 )

    Wishing you a wonderful 2010!

  13. That was fantastic.

    We love you, too.

    It is so hard on most days to remember what’s really important. Your post helps me remember that even if everything else got taken away, the music, the ability to pursue it as a career, the possessions, etc, that we would still be incredibly rich because of all the people that love us. I know that sounds cliche, but most cliches originate from some element of truth.

    Thanks for writing these thoughts. We are truly blessed by them.

    • Hugs to you and K.C.!!! I am looking forward to 2010, including whatever lessons it may have to teach me… but I think it holds good things in store for all of us! Hope to see you soon, David! xoxo

  14. I think what you have written reflects what many of us also experienced this last year — almost to a “T.” Thank you for putting the experiences, impressions, feelings and hope into words.

  15. Very insightful and beautiful…and the article was good too.

  16. Excellent Victoria…very well stated.

    Here’s to a wonderful 2010 and beyond.


  17. Meine liebe Freundin Victoria,
    dankeschön für diesen wundervollen Eintrag. Ich fühle mich inspiriert und ich freue mich für Dich über Deine persönliche Entwicklung.
    Ich wünsche Dir ein perfektes, fantastisches und glückliches Jahr 2010!

  18. Thanks for writing this – very inspirational and it seems you are well on your way to finding inner peace and accepting who you are. It is something that seems so elusive to many people. All the best for 2010.

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