I reflect on 2009 as one of my favorite years to date. It was my first full year at goal weight and I can truly see how my life has been transformed by my weightloss. However, I want to focus on things that happened outside of that part of me, so here's a brief visual summary of my adventures.
2009 was a clean slate. No joke. I worked on wiping it clean all throughout December and somehow emerged a new person once the clock struck midnight. I was uncertain but optimistic about what this year would bring. I spent the month learning be alone and looking inward so I could move forward. I did.
A month of firsts. Josh and I went on our first date at the end of January and by Valentine's Day we decided to we'd call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. After spending January convincing myself I needed this time alone I was completely caught off-guard by Josh. Everything felt right immediately. This really was a magical month.
I think that March is when my love affair with Philadelphia began. I got called to Jury Duty this month and was picked for a trial that lasted a week and a half. I woke up early in the mornings and waited for the El to take me to City Hall. I wandered Reading Terminal and discovered new things about the city on my lunch breaks. After this experience, I felt totally ready to explore on my own.
I purchased my bike this month and got up the courage to ride it in the city. It was a triumph of sorts, as I was positive I'd be too nervous to actually do it. I'll never forget the feeling I got when zooming past cars sitting in traffic while I test rode my Huffy (later dubbed "Betty").
Picnics and craft fairs. Getting lost and found in the city. Farmers' markets. Sunshine. May was quite a lovely month. I feel I really capitalized on the city's offerings and got to see a lot more of it up close and personal because of my new bicycle. Also: Josh and I went to see Animal Collective together, which was so very fantastic. I had purchased the tickets back in January before we had met in hopes I'd have someone to go with me.
Hot, uncomfortable June. I refused to install an air conditioner because I was rarely home. With Josh on summer vacation, most of my time was spent at his apartment (which has central air). I dealt with a lot of stress this month with Rosemary my cat. The uncertainty of where I'd be living after my lease was up in combination with some money struggles made for a taxing month.
There were lots of summery things involved in July. I was happy again, having figured out my moving plans so I enjoyed the month. We spent the fourth in my hometown and then I went on a family vacation to Myrtle Beach at the end of the month. Mom, Dad and I went parasailing at the beach, which is something I'd never dream of doing at my heaviest. I ran on the beach with my brother and took a bike ride when I needed some alone time. By this point in the year I had realized I needed "me" time to be happy. This is something I didn't have much of in 2008, and in 2009 it became so very precious. My beach trip with the first half of my two week vacation extravaganza, which continued in August.
The latter half of my vacation was, of course, Portland. It was my first flight (more firsts!) and first trip with Josh. It was the sort of trip that changes your perspective on things a bit. My favorite part was the nature. This particular photo, however, was taken on our stop at Skidmore Bluffs where we watched the sun set over the train yards and Willamette River. Again, I challenged myself to do and try things I've never done before. Upon my return to Philly, I moved into my new apartment. I feel like this is really where the slate was clean from 2008. I was so happy with my new life and ready for more new things to experience.
My entire family spent September waiting anxiously for the arrival of our new family member, who decided to bless us with his presence on September 27th. His name is Harrison Wayne and he was the complete star of the year for the Rittenhouse clan. We all love him so much.
I happily turned 24 this month and found much to be thankful for since my 23rd birthday. I celebrated with so many new friends that are all wonderful. Freelance picked up this month and it flew by so fast. I cherished my downtime, but was glad to have something so productive to keep me occupied.
Philly Tweed Ride was a highlight of the month. It's something I would never have joined in on a year previous. I swapped the tweed for a big red bridesmaid gown for my cousin's wedding in the middle of the month. It was sort of surreal to see my childhood best friend all grown up and saying her vows. Seeing my brother as such a great father has also been eye-opening as to how mature we've all become. The month ended with a bang, as we had an unconventional Thanksgiving involving an ER visit and some supermarket take out. I think all in all, it made me appreciate my family even more.
We're not very far into the month and I can tell already it's going to be busy. I'm not sure how to define it yet. We'll see how the holidays go. I've been very reflective and happy with how this year's turned out. It's safe to say it's one of the best. I feel so lucky and loved and optimistic for 2010.