Friends, life, gratitude, etc….

It’s been a year now, since I moved to Columbus, for the second and final time in my life (yep, I’m here to stay). Many of you know the back story that led me here, and whether or not you’re aware, you probably played a role in this journey. For those that don’t, to keep it short, it involved the abrupt end of a ten year relationship, healing, learning about myself, making necessary changes in myself and my outlook on life, setting new goals, focusing on the positives and finding a new life for myself: in a nutshell, picking myself up, dusting myself off and getting on with my life.
During the six months after the break up (prior to my move) I learned a lot about friendship. I learned who my friends were and were not. People from both my past and present went out of their way to lend comfort and encouragement- people that I had no idea cared about me so much. The support I received was, at times, overwhelming (in a good way), and meant the world to me (I still get emotional thinking about it today). The “friends” that fell away, well, I suppose they weren’t meant to be in my life anymore, and that was okay because people are put in your life when you need them, and they you. Period. There were days when I know I pushed some people away-not intentionally, but because I didn’t know how to let them in. I didn’t want to burden them with my misery and bring them down. In hindsight, it’s a ridiculous theory, but it made sense to me at the time.
Upon my arrival here in Columbus, and after staying with my friend Christy (not on FB) and her family for a few days, I was fortunate enough to stay with my dear friend Paula and her family for a few weeks. Paula and I have known each other longer than not and she and her family graciously opened their home to me. It was exactly what I needed to start my life here and I am forever grateful for their generosity and friendship– they quickly became my family and I now can’t imagine my life without them.
When I moved into my apartment, I was nervously excited. I’d never lived alone before (I know, that’s weird) and didn’t know what to expect because I’d never been “good” at being alone (as it turns out, I really like living by myself!). I also knew that I had to meet new people, which isn’t always an easy task, however, being a hermit just wasn’t an option. I joined a running group (MIT) and a local social group, Cbusr, that I discovered through Twitter. Within my first week here, I’d started to make friends. It was tough for me at first-I know most people think I’m a total extrovert, but I’m really not at first. In this case, I knew I had to put myself out there, no matter how hard it was, and it was well worth it! I soon fell in with the right people and made some amazing friends!
Don’t get me wrong, my life hasn’t been/isn’t perfect here in Columbus and I’ve hit my share of bumps in the road, at full speed, but I wouldn’t trade a day of it for anything. Ever. In fact, my worst day here is still better than my best day in my “old life”, merely for the fact that I belong here in Columbus. I can honestly say that I’ve never looked back and never will. I’ve continued to make new friends, reconnect with old ones and I know the friends in my life now are there because they want and need to be and want to be, as I need to be and want to be in theirs.
I guess this post is simply me reflecting over the past year or so of my life….taking-in how much I’ve evolved, yet come back to parts of my old, true self that had been pushed aside for a time, and how oddly grateful I am that I was given this opportunity to become the woman I am today and to have the friends and the life that I have today. My friend Kelly used to remind me that “life doesn’t go how we plan it, instead, it goes the way it’s meant to”. She’s very right, and I’m finally enjoying the journey.
Thank you to those of you that have been by my side throughout, as well as those who have come along recently (or returned after many years). You know who you are and I’m happy and thankful to have you in my life, to call you my friends.

labor day weekend = crazy weather in ohio

in true ohio fashion, the weather has gone from 100 degree, hot, humid and sunny on friday and saturday, to 60 degree humid, chilly and gloomy today. i’m not surprised by this, but i’m pretty sure i wasn’t mentally prepared for it. in fact, i never am. while i do love fall, i have trouble letting go of the dog days of summer. maybe because i dread what follows fall…not the holidays, but after that….you know, winter. but i digress. there are still plenty of warm, fall days ahead, filled with football, turning leaves, apple crisp,etc….

day 5’s photo submission for allison lehman: show + tell’s 30 day photo challenge was “whatever you want” (http://blog.allisonlehman.com/). my choice is the beer can/logo wall at chef michael symon’s b-spot restaurant in woodmere, ohio (near cleveland, where i am from originally). it’s one of michael symon’s many AMAZING restaurants…and if you’re looking for a great burger, the best (rosemary) fries and a milkshake that is to-die-for, well, b-spot is THE SPOT! i wonder if we could convince him to open a location in columbus…perhaps the short north? hmmmmmm…….

what i wore.

today was day 2 of the allison lehman: show & tell 30 day photo challenge (http://blog.allisonlehman.com/), the subject: “what i wore”. i decided to not go with a picture of my outfit, but rather a picture of me with two things i wear on a fairly regular basis-dark nail polish and my ray ban aviator sunglasses. dark polish has become my “thing” over the years-so i’m sure none of my friends were surprised to see the photo. it was great to see how everyone interpreted day 2. can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

what i wore today

another birthday….

today is the 13th anniversary of my 30th birthday. oddly enough, it’s the first birthday, of the 43, that i’ve been completely on my own. i’ve either lived with my parents, roommates or a significant other (or maybe not-so-significant as the cases may be). i admit, when i went to bed last night, i was a little uncertain about how i would handle this. not that being alone is a bad thing, it’s just still fairly new to me over the last 8 months. but as it turned out, when i woke up by myself, i wasn’t actually alone or lonely, thanks to facebook. by 8 am, i had already received over 30 birthday messages. throughout the day, i lost count of the fb messages, texts, tweets and phone calls. it was overwhelming, but i’ve never in my life had such a great birthday. the fact that my friends, old and new, took the time to acknowledge my day, left me smiling all day. and i am so grateful to have so many amazing friends that have made me feel loved today. at no point did i feel alone.

today also marked the beginning of allison lehman: show & tell’s 30 day photo challenge. i’m so excited about this for a couple of reasons. one, i needed this challenge for myself and my photography. two, i know many of the participants, so it makes it even more fun for me to see how they view each day’s challenge. day 1 is a picture of myself. not sure i love this one, but whatevs. it’s me. at any rate, i’ll be doing my best to blog everyday throughout this challenge and share my submissions. (see, another reason why i love this challenge-thanks allie!). if you’d like to see the submissions or want to play, too, here’s where you’ll find us! http://blog.allisonlehman.com/

have courage

i absolutely love when i purchase a product, get it home, and find that it has some sort of “hidden message”. when i [finally] got my iphone4, i decided i needed a fun, kate spade, polka-dot case for it. little did i know, kate spade adds some inspiration on the inside of her cases. in this instance “HAVE COURAGE”. i love having this little reminder with me at all times. i’ve had a bit of a rough week this week (struggling with my running and other things in my personal life), so this is a lovely reminder for me. because without courage, i wouldn’t be where i am today. thanks, kate.

inspriation. it’s everywhere.

everyone has something, someone that inspires them. for me, the inspiration list is one that is a mile long. it encompasses people, places, art, music, and so much more. i haven’t always recognized inspiration-i guess i’m sort of a “late bloomer” in some respects-but now, i couldn’t imagine life without it. and for that, i’m grateful.
take a minute to reflect. think about all that inspires you. bet it’s more than you realize.