Three people checked my blog today.  I will take that as a good sign meaning that someone is out there… mom, is it you?

The year 2011 was not unlike any other year.  Twelve months.  Fifty-two weeks.  365 days… it’s the amount of events that I was able to pack into that amount of time that I find simply impressive.

If someone were to ask me to give 2011 a name, as I assure you people do all of the time, I would have to choose from one of the following:

1.  “The Year Much Food” – In 2011 I decided to become a vegan.  Several months later I went on a dairy binge and sooner or later ate some damn meat.  Regardless of what I am or am not eating, food has been a primary focus in 2011.

2.  “The Year I Got Back on my Bike” – In September David surprised me with an early birthday gift in the form of a new bike.  While I was moved and grateful, I really feared that I would fail to ever ride it.  After college I found myself move away from riding because I was without a team and without any real goals in the sport.  David kept bugging me about racing cyclocross until one day I lost my mind just enough to try it.  Do yourself a favor and look up “cyclocross” on YouTube and then get back to me.  My first race was on September 25, 2011 and my last of the season was on November 20, 2011.  In that period of time I was happy to compete in eight races… more races than I raced in my four years of college.  I finished in the top 10 in three races and finished tenth overall in a series.  I don’t know what the hell came over me, but I think I’ve found my motivation to keep riding.

3. “The Year I Gazed at Many Mountains” – Since arriving in the Pacific Northwest, I have made it my business to stare at mountains as much as possible.  My day-to-day happiness can typically be measured in how many mountains were visible on my commute to work.  I was even dumb enough to permanently place my favorite mountain on my forearm.  Hopefully, when I’m 90, I still love Mount Hood…

4.  “The Year I Took the Entire Summer Off” – I’ve always been a worker.  I’ve always had a job.  I like making money and I like being busy.  It’s simple.  Then, I felt the bliss of having an entire two and a half months to myself.  Words cannot express how awesome my summer was.  I can’t even remember what I did with all of that time.  One thing is for sure… I really racked up a hefty late fee bill at the ol’ public library.  Note to self:  Just because the book is in stock does not mean that you must check it out and keep it for two months.

5.  “The Year I Became a Teacher” – I have been a teacher for over three years, but I will forever consider 2011 as my first year as a true teacher.  I learned more about being a teacher in 2011 than in college and those two previous years of experience combined.  I also learned that I want to be a teacher… for sure.  Phew.

6.  “The Year I Shed my Pollyanna Persona” – I can’t pinpoint the exact day, but I would say that somewhere near September 2011, I lost my Pollyanna title somewhere.  Suddenly I can drive places without my GPS.  I can ride public transportation without getting lost.  I can give advice to people looking for an apartment because I’ve become so familiar with each neighborhood.  There are a few homeless people who recognize me.  I have… wait for it… FRIENDS!  I am no longer the sad little Portland Pollyanna crying on the bus as it drives 20 miles in the wrong direction.

7.  “The Year I Bleached my Hair” – It’s best that we don’t talk about it, but I went nuts and stripped all of the color out of my hair for a little bit.  Looked rad with ma’ tat though…

8.  “The Year I Fell in Love with Portland” – ’nuff said.

9.  “The Year I was Really Bad at Blogging” – ’nuff said.

Maybe I’ll write again… maybe I won’t.  You’ll have to check back and see……

Ta ta 2011!

Peace, love, and patchouli,

Portland “not so” Pollyanna





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