Friday, December 30, 2011

Fond Memories of 2011

I am being honest when I say I survived 2011 by the skin of my teeth. This past year is not one to brag about, and I hate say the hardest times, the heartbreaking times unfortunately outweighed the good times. Knowing a family member is fighting, and then loses her battle with cancer isn't anything to smile about. Though, there's no reason to believe that there weren't some happy times. I'd like to mention those days. I know it's easier to focus on the bad, but sometimes, you need to dig deep inside and remember the good days, even if at that time they seemed to be moments you wouldn't believe to remember.

1. Having dinner at my sister's house on her 32nd birthday. It was a very long time before that night that I got be with her on her actual birthday. It was a quiet night at home, she had made cup cakes for everyone, and my niece, then 1 years old, refused to eat any. She's not much of a sweet foodie.
2. Attending the Miss Sprint Cup Unveil party at Whisky River. I know, this seems silly to say, but, it was a night out, and I did meet new people. It was a networking opportunity for me, and I'm glad I went.
3. My friend M's 32nd birthday was a fun night. I thought it was cool to dress up, and go out to a nice bar we normally wouldn't hang out at on any other given night.
4. My 35th birthday. I spent it with my niece, and we just kicked it around the house. She tried on every shoe in my closet! I also ended the  night with two friends at a nice wine bar here in town. It was a quiet, uneventful nice, and relaxing day.
5. My very first press conference for the All Star Race announcement at the Whisky River with Kasey Kahne. That wasn't my favorite day, but, in the midst of all the chaos and sadness, I had one amazing hour. You never forget the first, star-celebrity athlete you get to interview for an article you are writing about. I am very thankful I had that one hour off, it was short, sweet and very much needed in the middle of a tear-jerking, hectic work day in Corporate America! This was one of those days that taught me: even if you're having a bad day, something good can really happen, which is why it's important to live in the 'NOW!'
6. Attending the Nationwide race in Bristol, Tennessee. What an awesome race track that is! I also had the chance to meet (then) fellow contributor to Skirts and Scuffs Whitney. I honestly hope to have the chance to go back to Bristol, that is a weekend of fun that I know is well worth it.
7. My niece's 2nd birthday. I had the chance to see her earlier in the day, and we took her out by the lake; the most memorable moment was when she ran around in circles as fast as she could. The wind was blowing fiercely, and for a moment,  she looked like she was going in slow motion. What I remember the most about that moment, was that she looked so free, so happy, so innocent, and so positive. She gave me inspiration that day. I'm thankful I moved here, to see her often.
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr's press conference at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when they showed off the largest HDTV screen at a race track. I was so nervous, and so excited. I didn't get to talk to him, but I did get a lot of picture's. Later that same day, I have to admit, I visited someone I knew  (who works for Hendrick Motorsports) at the shop; he gave me a tour of HMS, and I did get to see a lot of amazing things. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to experience the turn of events on that particular day.
9. The All-Star Race: I had the chance to meet Skirts and Scuffs photographer Debbie; and writers Melissa, and Rebecca. I was excited to be there, especially since I had won the four tickets, so it was a free night out. My friend Nicole also met a man. They have been dating since! I'm so happy for them.
10. The Coca-Cola 600 was my very first race event as a member of the media. Trust me, I don't think that I've had a happier first day/weekend then I've had that entire weekend. The entire weekend tops some of the better days of my life, such as the first time I competed as a fitness model, but I wouldn't say that it was better than the birth of my niece. I'll never forget my first weekend.
11. The first time back in NH, after a year of absence was in July, for the NH race. I finally attended my home track as a member of the media, and that too was an experience of a lifetime. All three days were amazing, and I'll cherish my memories forever.
12. One random Saturday, Labor Day weekend, my family and I went on a boat ride on Lake Norman. We went so far out on the lake, it was seriously a good day, and nothing especially exciting happened either. It was just the six of us enjoying a hot summer afternoon on the lake. Well, my niece did an awful lot of cute things, but this blog would turn into a novel if I were to mention everything she did!
13. The Bank of America 500 was my third race event as a member of the media. I'll never forget that Thursday night when I walked into the media. I felt a huge rush of relief, and happiness. I felt like I was in the right place, and that I belonged there. That entire weekend is filled with memories I will hold near to my heart forever.
14. Christmas morning with my niece. She is starting to understand what is happening, and that morning was one to remember.

So that's that. I have listed more good memories then I thought I would've. I look forward to putting the year away, and starting a whole new journey come 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In the end...

It is the end of the year, there’s only 12 more days until 2012. Around this time I sit and reflect on the past year, and today I can honestly say I am not the same person I was last Christmas.
I will not tell you 2011 was an absolute wash, but, it certainly wasn’t the best year of my life. We’re told to always count the blessings, and not the hardships. We’re told to learn from the bad, and the mistakes we’ve made. So I figured I’d put a list of things I’ve learned this year.
Valuable life lessons:

  1.     You can’t take advice from people who do not have what you want in life.
  2.     You can’t be offended if someone doesn’t want your advice.
  3.     Bad news can come during the best moment of your life.
  4.     Terminal illness can happen to the healthiest person.
  5.   You live what you learn.
  6.   Just when you think you can trust someone, they can deceive you.
  7.   It is possible to love someone too much.
  8.   It is possible to want it too bad.
  9. Your friends and relatives may want the best for you, but they may not know how to help you.
  10. If the only time you see your friends is when it’s time to party or get drunk, they may not be your real friends.
  11. Only you know what’s right for you.
  12.  It doesn’t matter if you have a good attitude, you treat people with respect, or if you work hard, bad luck can happen.
  13. Most people only look out for themselves.
  14. The “Don’t give a shit about no one,’ attitude is actually positive, only you can make your life better.
  15.  Those that mind don’t matter and those that don’t mind matter.
  16. Just when you didn’t believe your heart could break anymore,  it actually does.
  17. You honestly do not know what it’s like to be in someone’s shoes.
  18. What’s right for you may not be right for someone else.
  19. The person that hurt you the most, is the one person you may never be able to hurt in return. 
  20. Your dreams can come true, but not necessarily how, or when you want them to.
In the end, we learn something new everyday. We change everyday, and if we still see life the same way we did last year, if we don't allow ourselves to change, we're not growing.
Have a Merry Christmas!