Dear Everyone Who Knows Me Well Enough to Read this But Not Well Enough to Already Know Everything Therein:
It’s hard to believe that it is already December! What a wonderful year 2012 has been. So much has happened in my life since last Christmas!
(Oh the clichés, they burn!)
Most family Christmas letters consist of a paragraph per family member. They start with the first-born child, who is successful and whom everyone adores. He usually plays football. The second paragraph is a few forced sentences about the middle child. Like, how she is doing really well in math. Or some other boring accomplishment. Then there’s a paragraph about the baby of the family, who is adorable and barely escaped jail with his cute little escapades. And to finish, a paragraph about the parents, which nobody really reads anyway, because it’s about boring grown up stuff.
But, as a single person, all the pressure is on me. I must carry the full weight of the holidays on my shoulders. I know that you all think “That Brandy must be living a Sex in the City life.” Only replace “sex” with “reading” and “in the city” with “on the couch.”
There’s a lot of (self-imposed) pressure for me to be entertaining in this Christmas letter. To tell you about all of the exciting things I’ve done in 2012. But most of the year was spent sitting in coffee shops writing my thesis. It’s a manuscript about my life, and it makes me feel pretentious and angsty. Basically, it makes me feel 16 again, but without the stirrup pants and acne. So most of the time, I sit and stare at a blank screen and guzzle coffee. And Instagram photos of my coffee. Don’t believe me?
Oh, but I have done a little traveling this year. This summer I went to Guatemala, where I met Bilha, the little girl I sponsor through Compassion. She is 6, and has huge dark eyes and is shy and so adorable it makes my stomach hurt. I was able to bring my best friend, Amanda, with me to Guatemala, and together we met Bilha and her sister, mother and grandmother. They all stick their tongues out when they concentrate and it’s terribly endearing. At the end of the visit, we all sobbed and hugged and I tried to plot ways to smuggle the entire family back with us to the United States. Compassion frowns upon that though.
I went to Florida for a little vacation in June (maybe? I think it’s a month that starts with a “J”? I am entirely too lazy to look it up). I hadn’t seen the ocean in nearly six years, so my friend was kind enough to let me crash with her for a long weekend. It was all going swimmingly (ha, I crack myself up) until I attempted to cut my thumb off at Williams Sonoma. I glued my thumb back together, which apparently isn’t the best course of action. And now, six months later, I still haven’t regained feeling in my left thumb. Whatever, two fully functioning thumbs are overrated. My only real regret is that I didn’t actually purchase the knife that nearly amputated my thumb. It was a great knife. And here are some beach pictures to put the image of my bloody thumb right out of your mind. You’re welcome
In September I visited family in Virginia. My niece, who hasn’t discovered how cool I am yet, spent much of the visit running away from me. But I managed to make her laugh a few times, and she has this cool Woody Woodpecker chortle that, if I could get a good recording of it, would be my new ringtone. I visited a lot of old stomping grounds to “research” for my thesis, and lugged around a big obnoxious camera. I got a lot of stares from people (though it probably didn’t help that, for some reason, I kept hiding in bushes when I would snap pictures. I should have been a private investigator. Or not, since I wasn’t good at it. Moving on.)
I also went to New York City in early October. There is nothing that can remind me of my small-town, rural Virginia roots more than a big city. By the end of the first day I just wanted to crawl into a corner and eat a bologna sandwich and a moon pie. But I powered on. We met with a lot of people in the publishing industry, and talked about our manuscripts and took goofy pictures in front of the Conde Nast building. I don’t think anyone suspected that I was a tourist.
And now, it is December. I’m preparing to spend only my second Christmas away from my family, which means I will wander Colorado Springs like a nomad, unwrapping gifts that don’t belong to me and drinking gallons of (hopefully spiked) hot cocoa. It’s been a busy year, but as always, I am blessed more than I deserve by family who loves me because they have to and friends who love me because I make them laugh and feed them cookies.
Merry Christmas to you all!