And then 2014 happened

2014, like every other year of my adult life, was a year of music. White Denim, Paul Simon, Cave Singers, Hayes Carll, Kurt VileShotgun Jimmie, Pink Mountaintops, Jack White, and Shakey Graves were all beautiful highlights, but I’m lucky enough that these don’t even scratch the surface of the live music I saw this past year.

2014 was a year of travel. I went to Vancouver eight times. Every time was fun, but it was too much. Too much Vancouver. There was also a lot of British Columbia exploring by way of Hope, Vernon, Green Lake, Comox, Salt Spring Island and everywhere in between. I ate my way through Portland and Seattle, a couple of times. I took Kurt to Texas, my home away from home. He loved it, but not the way I love it, though few do. I went to the Congo and stayed on a giant hospital ship, met patients, met volunteers. Felt totally humbled. Kurt and I spent a week together in love in Paris. I get the hype now. I went to Toronto for work and sat in on meetings with Canadian diplomats and heads of international banks and felt totally confused as to how I ended up at the table, though I guess most people my age feel like that sometimes. Kurt took me to Los Angeles. He sold it as a romantic trip with roller coasters, though it was definitely a hockey trip. That’s okay, it was still a blast. It was all a blast.

2014 was a year of celebration. While I’m sure there were hundreds of cool babies born last year, I was particularly excited about two of them, Vivian and Quinn, the children of two of my closest friends from high school. I got to celebrate the marriage of two awesome couples and the engagement of two more, all of whom I hope to be friends with forever (and one of whom I introduced FTW). And birthdays. So many people had birthdays in 2014, including me (32), Kurt (33)…haha, just kidding. But I will give a shout out to my best friend Katie who had a 30th birthday party that will go down in the books.

And most notably, 2014 was a year of change, as every year kind of is in its own way. Some changes were minor. I went from brunette to blonde. I both formed and quit the habit of eating chocolate and cheese for dinner. I both lost and regained my ability to run further than 10km. Other changes were big ones. In January I started sleeping like a normal person, thanks to about a million lifestyle adjustments and trazadone. It’s been nearly a decade since I’ve slept both soundly and consistently. It’s a different world, I tell you. And finally, the easy highlight of 2014, I moved in with Kurt. We live together now. In a home that is ours and where will stay for a long time. It’s a good feeling.

Thanks 2014.

 

A Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas!

Do people still write update letters like this at Christmas? Or have we given up on them as a culture because they are self-centered and dorky? Fortunately/unfortunately for you I’m kind of both of those things, so you’re getting this letter.

In 2014 I turned 32. However I did not achieve any of the typical 32 milestones or life events. I did not get engaged or married. I did not have a kid.

Other cool things did happen though!

• In April Kurt and I moved in together. This was a very good decision on my part because Kurt is awesome. He not only puts up with my bullshit, I think he might actually love me for it. We make up songs and sing them all the time. If I’m accidentally mean to him he goes for a walk and comes home with wine for me. We slow dance in the kitchen at least 5 times a week. I am happy and lucky.

• I went on a crazy, culture-clashing three week excursion that including time in San Antonio (fundraising conference), Austin (best city on the planet), Congo (big hospital ship doing cool surgeries) and Paris (Kurt met me there. It was romantic). And I did it all with a carry on! I didn’t even check a bag! I went on a bunch of other trips too. Travel is great. Routine is also great. Balance is a process, not a destination.

• After 13 years I started eating meat again. My favourites are: bacon, roast beef and umami burgers.

• My metabolism slowed down. You either understand me or you will. Remember post-Australia Colleen? Circa  2004? That’s my regular look now. Am I the only one that thought I was going to be the one person this didn’t happen to? Because of this I’ve started distance running again. Next race: Dirty Duo 25km. Who is in?

• I got a promotion at my dream job (Mercy Ships—big hospital ship staffed with international volunteers that does free surgery and medical training off the coast of Africa, currently in Madagascar). I’m now the Manager of Advancement! I get a staff! I get to hire 2-3 people! Are you interested? Low pay, but high emotional reward. Fun yet impossible boss. Let me know. And because I’m never not working, please consider Mercy Ships when you make your annual charitable gift this year.

• Favourite album of 2014: Tie between Hozier’s self titled and War on Drugs’ Lost in the Dream

• Favourite movie of 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

• Favourite book of 2014: Tie between Toews’ All My Puny Sorrows and Atwood’s Stone Mattress. Seriously, those two women know me to the inner most corners of my soul.

• I got a dog named Kevin.**

Love,
Colleen

**I didn’t actually get a dog at the time of writing this, but I hope so much that I have one by the time you read this. I want a dog so badly. I will literally take any dog. Kurt is being more picky though, so we don’t have one quite yet.