2012 - what a year.

For some of us, it was a year of dreams fulfilled, questions answered and our way, at long last, found.

For some of us, it was a year of loss, sadness and longing for what we once had.

For all of us, it was a year in which we learned, loved, and grew.

What did 2012 mean to you?

Last year for Christmas, as I'm wont to do, I bought myself an ornament once everything was marked 80 bazillion percent off because deals make me happy in the pants. I normally try to get something that represents the year before or something that's shiny because I'm actually a magpie dressed in Aunt Becky's clothes.

I perused the aisles of leftover Christmas stuff, trying my hardest not to ram my cart into those who hit the back of my ankles repeatedly with their OWN carts in an attempt to scare me away from my sales. Good thing they have no idea who they're messing with because I'm on sales like white on rice!

Eventually, among the aisles strewn about with Christmas stuffs in no particular order, I found the perfect ornament - something I could hold onto when I needed the reminder and something that represented how I felt about the upcoming year.

For 2012, I bought a simple ornament. It has one word on it: hope.

This year, I hope.

And I do.

That doesn't mean that this was a particularly great year for me. I had to move from my house into a tiny apartment, no real idea of how I'd be paying my bills, spending only certain days with my children, as my husband and I separated.

We'd agreed that after a year of separation, marriage counseling, and this that and the other, it was time to call the whole thing off.

I can type those words now without bursting into sobs, or even tears, but that doesn't mean that I'm "okay" or even "partially okay." I'm learning to be okay with NOT being okay.

Divorce, like any other major life event - death, marriage, a move, job loss, or new baby - brings with it a number of secondary losses. Divorce means the loss of friends, stability, a partner - someone to pick up soup for you when you're on the sofa with the flu or listen as you detail the amount of cat videos you watched or how much you love the smell of bleach.

I lost all of those when I announced my divorce. When a divorce occurs, there's no one person to blame for it, but most people who haven't been down that road don't see it. In my case, I'd kept a lot of my marital struggles to myself, not telling my blog about it, which meant that the announcement came as a shock to many. Almost at once, many people chose sides, and when they did, the trash-talk began.

It was impossible not to be hurt by such a thing, especially since defending myself meant discussing things I had no intention of telling the Internets about. I'm both a public and a private person, which means that there are a number of things I refuse to dignify with a response or an explanation - I don't have to explain myself to others, even if they're stalking me.

The past few months, I've probably shed more tears than I have in a lifetime. I've gone to bed with a wet pillow, silently screaming, barely able to function during the day. I've been sleepwalking, a shell of who I'd once been, the sadness suffocating me.

The days are still hard, filled with peaks and valleys, sometimes leaving me breathlessly happy; others, breathtakingly sad, but I'm starting to see that there will be a future. And it will, one day, be beautiful.


This year, even despite all of the changes, I hope.

I still do.