Heard on Gossip Girl the other night (an unusual place to find inspiration, I know)...
"Sometimes you need to step outside to clear your head and remind yourself of where you're going and who you want to be."
"Stepping outside" is very important to me. I am very easily distracted, and I try to be intentional about doing things and going places that help me gain a refreshed perspective on myself and my purpose. Around Christmastime every year I've made sure to spend a few quiet minutes late at night up at Westmont just looking at the Christmas lights in front of Kerrwood and the tree on lawn all lit up. I'm lucky to still live in Santa Barbara and easily be able to get up there to do so. I did it once again a couple days ago. The effect is mentally and almost physically refreshing. I grabbed a photo of the lights (camera isn't the most powerful) and also of the path I was standing on, a path that I used to traipse down with Zac on winter nights 5 and 4 years ago.
I think forward to the future so much; the promise and possibilities of next week, next summer, 5 years from now, are irresistible. I enjoy the present well enough, as anyone who knows me can attest to, but I do have a hard time being grounded in it. As for the past, I hold it very close to me. But I've never really written out a "year in review" before for myself...maybe because until now, no medium was as conducive to it as a blog. So here was 2007, kept simple; just stand-out moments, lessons learned, things accomplished.
*Dyed my hair dark dark brown. People at work were asking Mary where I had gone, and who was this new brunette working with her.
*Andrea settles into San Andres (after moving in late '06) and becomes one of the world's greatest finds from Craigslist ever.
*We threw a Nautical Party at San Andres. Most fun theme yet.
*Saint Patrick's Day, when we covered the town with green shamrocks.
*Zac moved to Santa Monica/Brentwood. 1 hour & 20 minutes never felt so close.
*Got better at keeping in touch with friends and family out of town over the phone, mostly due to the several drives to and from LA every month.
*Came home from work on my half-birthday to our beautiful house on fire and a half dozen fire trucks hard at work to save it. Most of our stuff was saved, but the house was ruined for occupancy indefinitely. Our hearts break.
*Next-door neighbors/friends take me in for the next two months until we have found and can move into a new place. Such generosity without expectations or hesitation is one of the biggest gifts I've ever been given.
*Learned that it is not possible to be perceived as perfect and blameless in others' eyes, and I should stop trying to control their perception, because I'm not.
*Saw John Mayer, The Fray, and Snow Patrol in concert, not to mention numerous other small venue concerts, fulfilling my 07 resolution to go to see more live music.
*Camping with my dad in Santa Ynez.
*Went up to Fremont with Zac to see my mom graduate with her B.A. Fun to see your parents' dreams come true.
*The Housewarming Party, 07-13-07, at our new estate. Was one for the ages.
*Started a blog to get back into writing, a longtime goal. Got Google Reader, which changed my life and everyone else I know who has it.
*Fiesta, primarily attending the free Mat Kearney concert on the grass with Emily. Was one of my most favorite concerts ever, and afterwards turned into a spontaneous dance party under the stars for a primarily 20-something crowd when a dj took the stage.
*Hit up the summer events in town, like SB Museum Nights, another goal for the year.
*Wedding fun, including Chap & Katie and Occy & Lauren. There's nothing like a Westmont wedding for an amazing time.
*Zac's birthday in Vegas with his family.
*Meg and I start a small group. Another goal for the year. Getting up early for coffee for the first time in my life.
*Took the CA Real Estate Exam and passed. Hooray.
*Turned 25. One of the best bdays ever... had a bonfire and wine-tasting party, Zac surprised me, went and sat in on a Rhetoric class and had lunch with Spencer, layed out by the pool with friends, and went out to dinner at Zaytoon. Love my friends.
*Halloween Party. The roommates have always wanted to do one, and it turned out sweet and spooky. Being a geisha was maybe my favorite costume yet.
*Zac comes to Fremont for Thanksgiving. We hang out with approximately 5154 family members. A terrific time.
*Soccer team winds down fall season undefeated for the first time in my 3 1/2 years with them. We are scored on once.
*Executed a diligent and somewhat organized Christmas season. Complete with a spiced apple candle purchased to put me in the mood during the entire month. In my opinion this makes me for sure (well, almost) an adult.
Already realizing some things about myself with what I chose to include on the list. Was a great year, all in all, and definitely an interesting one what with the fire. But from the ashes we rise, right?
I have high expectations for 2008. Stay tuned.