2011 In Review

The past few months have been chaotic.  From the first week in October until the holidays are over there is always a special occasion to celebrate.  You can say my holiday season actually begins on October 1.  Not to mention, as you know, I threw a few classes on top of everything.  Because of this, it’s been hard to find time to write, but now my classes are over, the holidays are over, January’s calendar is free and clear, and here I am!  This feels good.

I have been mulling over this post for a while.  2011 wasn’t the best of years but in a few ways, it was stellar, and I’d like to share the good, the bad and the ugly (as briefly as possible).

The year started with a family trip to Disney World.  One week of fun times, lots of laughter, good food, fun rides, music and fireworks.

Upon our return, in January 2011 my 93 year-young grandmother (the only grandparent I ever knew, who lived with me and my parents my whole life) suddenly got sick and was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.  Over the course of 5 months she rapidly deteriorated from a spitfire of a woman (I like to equate her with Betty White) to a person barely recognizable to me or anyone else.  In May, I watched as she took her last breath, in her own bed, with my mother and me by her side.  She died at exactly the same time her husband passed away, 24 years earlier. It gave me comfort to think that it was a sign from my grandfather that they were together once again.

I asked my grandmother to always watch over me and help to put me on the right path.  It was right about this time that I heard a loud calling to follow the path of nutrition.  The idea of being a nutritionist had been in my head for a while before all this came about, but this very sad, life-altering moment sparked something deep within me.  There was no doubt about it, nutrition was what I was put on this planet to study and then, give back to the world.  Seeing my grandmother so sickly made me realize the importance of proper nutrition.  Even though she had cancer, I would say she died mostly from starvation because she could not keep solid food inside.

I began researching Master’s programs in the New York City area and this fall I began with a few prerequisite courses since my undergrad had nothing to do with science.  (I’d like to add that I got an A in both classes!)  Yes, there were some really frustrating times when it came to completing homework, or studying for finals after working a 12+ hour day, but it was worth it.  And it was a fun challenge.  I truly enjoyed learning.  There is a much deeper appreciation when you have every bit of your education in your own hands.  Not to mention, in comparison with my undergrad, I’m older, much more mature, and incredibly serious about my future.  I want to help people live better, longer, fuller lives through eating properly and becoming more aware of the body.  To me, there’s nothing better than that.

In November, my best girl friend gave birth to a baby girl.  I was with her as much as I could throughout the pregnancy.  I wanted to learn what it was like (for far-future reference) and be there for her throughout the tougher times.  I was in the hospital room with her and her husband all day while she labored and after a long, hard and emotionally grueling day, their daughter was born.  I cried.  This was only the second time in my life I have cried tears of joy.  It was absolutely amazing to see the whole birthing process.  Of course there is nothing pretty about what goes on in Labor and Delivery, but the baby was the most beautiful outcome of all.  I am so happy I was able to share this momentous, life-altering occasion with two of my best friends.  I am forever changed.

Working full-time stinks, especially when I am not working in a field that I am particularly passionate about.  Not to mention, working with people that I am not particularly “passionate” about.  But it’s a job.  And since the recession began, I am lucky to have one.  I am completely hopeful that this job will soon pass, and I can move on to working in the nutrition field and with people who have similar interests and like minds.

This year I’ve witnessed a death and six months later, a birth.  In one year I have experienced life’s most important events.  Not to mention, I’ve been surrounded by tons of love and laughter.   For all of this, I’m a very lucky and very grateful girl.

Happy New Year everyone!  Here’s to a wonderfully fulfilling, progressive and victorious 2012!

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