At the beginning of every year, I feel compelled to write a blog summing up the last one; describe highlights and low points, review lessons learned, etc. This blog is 2011's sum-up.
I spent new year's 2011 with Jacob in Texas. At the stroke of midnight, he kissed me and whispered in my ear that 2011 would be the year we would get married. In spite of all previous evidence pointing to the fact that Jacob generally does the things he sets his mind to do, I found it hard to believe him.
I went back to West Virginia where I continued living and attending classes at Shepherd University. It was a somewhat lonely time for me. I was surrounded by friends at Shepherd, but it was hard for me to be fully "there" knowing that Jacob was 2,000 miles away from me and could not be an active, physical part of my life. I often thought of and longed for the past.
I did make some wonderful memories with friends in spite of my predicament. Many evenings were spent eating out with my friends, pulling all-nighters and IHOP runs with my roommate, helping friends out with school work and experimenting with a wide variety of ways to avoid my own! When the weather got warmer, I was ecstatic. I have happy memories of walking to class and seeing students playing guitar or writing in journals outside, laying on the lawn, some of them even sun-bathing! My roommate Hannah and I went through a tye-dye phase, which I loved!
My heart broke a little bit when it was time to leave Shepherd University. I had resolved not to come back for the fall semester. Jacob and I had been talking more about marriage, and I was unsure as to whether or not I would be in West Virginia or in Texas when it came time to start school, so I had started looking into online school. It was so sad to see Turner 104 without my pictures on the wall, my books in a pile next to my bed, and Bootsie (my stuffed cat) sitting on the comforter. I was full of hope for the future when I turned my keys in, but there was definitely a part of me that knew I would miss the place terribly (and I do).
Moving into my mom and stepdad's house was a transition. My family had moved in after I started school, so I had never called the place home. I got comfortable quickly though, and began focusing on Jacob's upcoming visit and starting school at American Public University.
Jacob arrived in West Virginia on May 13th, 2011. I was so ecstatic to have him around again! Being without him for 4 months had been torture for both of us. The next day, on May 14th, he took me to Jefferson Rock and proposed! It was such a wonderful moment for me! I had known we were seriously contemplating marriage, but I finally had a ring on my finger and a promise. I was such a happy girl!
The rest of the visit went happily. We watched movies together and stayed up late every night. We talked about our wedding plans and where we would live. He smoked cigarettes while I blew bubbles. Every day with him seemed magical. When he left, I was sad, but the ring on my finger kept my spirits high.
In that next month, I secured a job at the Holiday Inn Express as a front desk clerk, and started classes at American Public University soon after. I liked my job at first, but found it hard to keep up with the ever-changing rules, and was very intimidated by my boss's bullying attitude. After about a month, I was terminated for not "having the right personality". At first, I was very stressed by my financial predicament and felt bad about myself for being rejected in that way. However, before long I was on the rebound again looking for another job!
Jacob and I had discussed our engagement and prospects in depth, and decided that it would be best to take my mom and stepdad up on their offer to let us live in a room in their basement for our first year of marriage. He moved to West Virginia to be with me in July, and the next month or so was spent getting him settled in, buying a car, and getting used to living together.
Jacob and I searched enthusiastically for jobs together while I maintained a (VERY) modest income continuing work at Kohl's, where I had worked for the previous two years. By early September, I got a phone call concerning the resume I had submitted to the Bank of Charles Town. They wanted me to come in for an interview! The hiring process was long and nervewracking, but the late September I was hired and on September 29th, I started as a teller. I loved my job instantly and learned its processes quickly as well.
In October, Jacob and I decided we couldn't wait much longer to get married. Although we had been living in the same house for a few months, I could not (according to an agreement with mom and Gary) move into our bedroom until we were married. We loved each other and knew that we were ready to start the rest of our lives together, regardless of our youth. We began to focus heavily on our wedding. We set the date for November 13th and stuck to it. My whole family and a few friends pulled together and worked hard on making the day special for us. I found an elegant and simple wedding dress and the perfect lipstick. My mom decorated the place beautifully, fixed a lot of wonderful food, and made a cupcake tier. The ceremony was intimate, with only immediate family and one family that I have known since early childhood present. Jacob and I were both as nervous as we could possibly be, but as we looked at each other, there was a wonderful sense of peace that we both felt knowing we were making the right decision. I was reeling the whole day, in ecstatic disbelief that I could call this man "my husband".
Later on in November, Jacob was also offered a job at Sheetz, which he started just before December started. This was a victory worth mentioning; it is nearly impossible to find a job lately. Even more so for Jacob, because some of the skills he had learned from previous jobs in Texas were not of much relevance here.
This past month we have spent becoming more comfortable with our jobs and with married life. I have realized this past month that American Public University is not the school for me, and will no longer be attending. Other than that, December was fairly uneventful until Christmas Day. That morning, I woke up with a horrible stomach ache. Shortly after I woke up (before I could even touch my stocking), I began to sweat horribly, to the point where my skin felt cold and clammy. As this happened, I stared at my arm thinking, "This can't be normal..." My vision began to blur and I started getting dizzy. My mom knocked on the door to the bathroom (where I was when it started happening), and asked if I was okay. "Help..." I said weakly, and leaned over, virtually blind now, to open the locked door for her. My mom instantly started to freak out when she saw me. Apparently I was completely colorless and my pupils were dilated to the point that my irises weren't visible. I could hear her screaming for people to call 911, but only barely. My hearing was bad, too. I couldn't protest or stand up or do anything except feel HORRIBLE and helpless and try to see things without success. I thought I was going to die...on Christmas morning. My mom got some orange juice for me, which at first I refused telling her to "Get the toilet out of my mouth". When she convinced me that it was not the toilet or the trash can I was putting in my mouth, I drank, and color instantly began to return to my face, sight to my eyes, and hearing to my ears. By the time the ambulance arrived at the house, I looked perfectly normal, but they discovered that my blood sugar was fairly low. They were wonderful people, and very gentle and kind, saying they take the shift on Christmas day because they don't have children at home. I refused to go to the hospital with them, but they told me to call again if I needed to go again for any reason.
Christmas was still Christmas in the most basic way, but I felt terrible all day and could hardly move, and the whole day was overshadowed by my family's worry for me and my own fear and confusion about what had happened. It just wasn't a very satisfying climax to the Christmas season for me =/
This past week I went to see a doctor and was officially diagnosed with hypoglycemia, which means I have to change my eating habits a lot. I now have to eat six small meals a day instead of three big ones, and I can't eat a whole lot of sugar because my blood sugar could spike and crash the way it did on Christmas.
I would say this has been an eventful year.
To me, it's just amazing how a year can take you from one point to another without apology for any changes it might make to your life. In the year 2011, I both began to consider marriage, and actually got married. If you had asked me on December 31st 2010 if I thought this would happen, I would have said no. I would have said Jacob and I would probably wait a few years until I was out of school. I would say we might get engaged soon, but it would probably be a long engagement. Funny how we think we know where we're headed, isn't it?
I am looking SO forward to all the wonderful and unexpected changes 2012 is going to bring me! I have a few goals (NOT resolutions) that I'd like to meet this year, and these are:
1) Learn to truly love and accept myself. My insecurities are serving NO ONE.
2) Learn to eat right for the sake of my health and not almost dying on a holiday again.
3) Move out/hopefully buy a house.
4) Learn to invest.
5) Start my own business.
6) Go back to Shepherd part time.
7) Learn to crochet.
In spite of all its ups and downs, 2011 was a good year. You have big boots to fill 2012, but I think you can do it=)
Happy new year, everyone! If you've made it this far, thanks for reading my long-winded and somewhat scrambled blog!