Introducing myself can be done most easily by reflecting on the last five New Years Eves and a little about what happened inbetween.
The past five years of my life have been a roller coaster. And I mean, a big scary one. No, not even one, a bunch. My life has been an amusement park. Every New Years Eve, I like many other people think about “where was I last year for New Years Eve? The year before? Etc etc.” Thinking like this made me realize the crazy that has been my life.
So, where was I five years ago on New Years Eve? I was at Ohio State. More importantly I was drinking $10 bottles of champagne and counting down in my favorite basement bar, Toos. I was with C and his engineering friends. We had a blast.
The following week I ran my first half marathon. Roller coaster number 1: running.
January 2011, I ran my first half marathon at Walt Disney World. It was, well, it was kind of magical but it also really hurt.
Two days after I ran my first half marathon I won a free entry into my second (Cleveland). Before running that I had signed up for my third (Rock’n’Roll Chicago). Before running that I had signed up for my fourth (Rock’n’Roll St Louis) and the day after that I signed up for my fifth (Rock’n’Roll New Orleans). It was a vicious crazy cycle. In 2011 I ran my first 4 half marathons. That. Escalated. Quickly. I also ran my first Ragnar, more on that later.
This cycle continued into 2012. I continued to sign up for any race that offered a medal and in October of that year I ran my first marathon.
Three days before my first marathon, I got engaged. Roller coaster number 2: marriage.
In a lot of ways, marriage hasn’t really changed the relationship between C and I. I guess you could say I feel more relaxed. We’ve made commitments and professions in front of friends and family. Paperwork has been filled out and we are good to go. Okay, so it’s not really a roller coaster, more like a nice smooth train ride, but I have a theme going. Play along.
Five NYEs ago I had no idea what was going to happen with C and I. I was about to leave for a new job and he was half way through his final year of college. I didn’t know where I’d end up and he didn’t know where he’d end up. Spoiler alert: He ended up in Denver. Which is fine, but I ended up staying in Columbus, Ohio.
Luckily, this wasn’t a problem because I was a flight attendant. Roller coaster number 3: work.
Yeah. A flight attendant. Me. It seems surreal at this point, technically less than a year, but really over a year removed. On December 23rd 2010 I got the phone call. I was in a training class and was to report to Indianapolis for training three weeks later.
This worked out really well for a couple living on opposite sides of the country.
I spent two years at a regional and then transferred to mainline and I hated it. I mean, it was fine, but then we lost an engine on takeoff out of Miami and that’s the closest I’ve ever been to dying (which I know is really dramatic, but it was one of the scariest moments of my life). The union and company made it super obvious that they could not care less and that scared me and I transferred bases and dreaded going to work and then I dropped all of my trips for 8 months (called in sick for the two that I couldn’t drop) and then I quit. ::shrug::
This past fall I started graduate school. I know that’s not technically work, but that’s why I’m going to school. To get a job.
I don’t have a clever transition, but the fourth and maybe most important roller coaster of all is probably Ragnar. I told you there would be more on that later, this is later. Roller coaster number 4: Ragnar. Yeah. More running.
Ragnar has had such an incredibly huge impact on my life. In more ways than I could have imagined. My first Ragnar was with a group of strangers. People I met on the internet. “Online Relationship.” That was our team name. That’s all we had before we showed up. Through this I met some incredible people. Most of whom I still (at least via twitter) keep in touch with. Many of us ran again the following year. Then I captained a Key West team. Then I captained a Key West team again. Then I joined a group of strangers (one of whom was someone I met the week earlier and lived in Pittsburgh) for Cape Cod. They stuck three twenty something women in a van with three fifty year old guys. And it was awesome! Then I ran SoCal with a friend’s group of college friends. And it was also awesome! Ragnar has gotten me to break out of my shell. It taught me not to be afraid of strangers (as long as the van is a rental and everyone will share their snacks). Honestly, that first Ragnar taught me I can do anything. Because, if you can fly to Wisconsin, get in a van with strangers for 30 hours, and run three times in less than 24 hours, you can do anything. You can actually do ANYTHING.
So, about those NYEs:
2011: I was in Toos. My happy place. The best dive bar at Ohio State. Heck, the best bar at Ohio State. No, in Ohio. No, ever. $10 bottles of champagne and a big scary world ahead.
2012: I was in the crew hotel in Detroit, Michigan. I had an awful, I mean HORRIBLE Christmas trip and was dreading this. It turned out to be pretty fun.
2013: I was on an airplane. Flying from Denver to my home at the time, Columbus, OH. I thought this was so funny since I fully expected to be moving to Denver during the year. Maybe it was a sign. “No, sorry, you will be heading back East.” I don’t remember who the pilots were, but I remember we did a countdown. And we were in our final decent at the time. I thought I was going to work at the regional airline forever. But the next week I got the call that set the move to mainline in motion.
2014: DISNEYLAND! This was simultaneously the best and worst decision I ever made. I had a SNA overnight and decided to rent a car and drive to Disneyland. I had hoped someone else on my crew would want to come, but nope. My first ever trip to Disneyland was New Years Eve. By myself. But, to be honest, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I could do what I wanted when I wanted. And by the time we were counting down it was so crowded that I wouldn’t have been able to keep track of another person.
Side note: I woke up that morning at 4am NY time. Flew to LA. Went straight to the park without a nap because I was afraid of it filling to capacity if I waited too long. I got back to the hotel at 2am LA time. I woke up at 6am LA time for a 7am van. Worth it.
2015: I was at home. My first NYE in my condo. The first with two cats. It was nice. Me, prosecco, and a humidifier. I was also kind of sick. I was supposed to have an Orlando overnight and meet people at Disney World. But this was one of the trips I couldn’t drop, which, combined with the fact that I couldn’t commute in, I mean every flight was packed, meant that I called in sick.
2016: My plan for tonight is to be on the couch. With C for the first time since 2011. And the cats. There are so many cats.