2011: The year of Great Expectations (that wasn’t)

If you had asked me just twelve short months ago if I would be working in public relations, or that every one of my favorite sports teams would crash and burn in flames – all within weeks of one another, no less – I would have laughed in your face.

The reason for my long absence from writing is that I’ve spent most of the last two and a half weeks out of DC. Ok, that’s only part of the reason. Mostly, I just didn’t know what to say. 2011 sucked, period. And my trip away – the first time in which I had not only been out of the DMV for more than five consecutive days – ended up serving as a depressing reminder of how bad the year truly was.

Like 2011, I had many great expectations leading into this trip. The centerpiece of the trip was visiting a dear friend of mine from undergrad who, as a result of circumstances beyond his control, was forced to leave American midway through his degree and return to Oregon where he ultimately met the love of his life. I had not seen him in four years, nor had I met his now-fiancee, and with the extra week off from work and enough spending money to finally book the plane ticket to Portland I couldn’t have been more psyched. And then the shit hit the fan, so to say – the excitement that had boiled up over the past few months between my friend, his fiancee, and myself for this visit quickly dissipated into a vacuum of miscommunications and white lies. Fortunately the trip ended up being salvageable; a laughable experience which the fiancee and I plan to hold over my friend for the rest of his life (and which resulted in me acquiring two really cute pairs of “apology” shoes). I think my encounter with the Pacific Ocean during that trip sums up the week best; as I am accustomed to the docile waves of the Atlantic when they crash along the beach I was not expecting (nor was I warned by my friend, who was feet away from me at the time) to be attacked by a wave that before cresting barely reached the middle of my calf.

The rest of my trip had its ups and downs; spending four days with my family in Philadelphia reminded me that I have grown far more than my parents realized over the past year, and that am not the same person they are convinced I am. My impromptu trip to Long Island and New York City, however, helped me end my vacation on a high note.

They say that reflection is not always the best way to deal with crises, but in this case it is the only way. I’ve realized that I am a much stronger, much better person than I was when I wished in 2011. For the first time I’m grounded, more appreciative of the advantages I have in life. Having crashed and burned the way that I did in early 2011 I have also been able to rebuild myself into a person I can finally be proud of – one with a loving, supportive group of friends who are always there for me when I need them and vice versa, one with a job I finally love and that gives me a chance to finally make a difference in the world, one that is, on most days, comfortable in my own skin. I’m not perfect yet; my uncontrollable weight gain over the past few months is living proof of that.

If 2011 was the year of Great Expectations, 2012 is the year of real expectations. I have two resolutions for this year; the first is to return to my once svelte form for good. The other, more important one, is to finally – for once and for all – be both comfortable in my own skin but also proud of myself and happy with who I have become. Despite all my acting I have never been truly confident in my own abilities, and it is about time I put a change to all of that.

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