January. We went to Alaska and the sun was only up for four hours a day. Actually, it was never really up, just sort of hanging out in the middle and then hiding behind glaciers and ghost trees and prairies all the rest of the time. Danielle broke her arm snowboarding and we all tried snowshoeing and ‘flightseeing’ for the first time. When we got home, I addressed some questions I got about whether or not you can teach yourself to surf.
February. I had no idea I’d be pregnant by the end of the year, but I was already freaking out about it. I had a girl at the blow-dry bar tell me that maybe my endeavors in skateboarding were some kind of pre-baby life crisis. Scott agreed. I also took some pictures on my train commute where my mind almost always seems to be at ease. Some of you were wondering how to become a sponsored surfer, so I tried to answer that as best I could.
March. The sun doesn’t stick around for long during the winter, so I think it tries to show off while it’s here because winter sunsets are the best ones of the year. I wrote something about being afraid of babies and writing books and made a little surf movie showcasing some of the abnormally warm weather we had for this time of year.
April. I ate dinner with a psychic who told me I would write a book someday. We celebrated Scott’s birthday in Mexico with Basia and Phil and filmed for a surf movie Phil’s putting together now. We drank tequila and made guacamole and I even got Basia to try kale! When we got home, I wrote down some thoughts about my birthday.
May. Parts of San Diego were on fire due to a non-existent rainy season. We went on a road trip with Kristen to Carmel for a wedding and took advantage of the hot weather by going to Catalina with my sisters’ new boyfriends. I wrote a little Catalina guide and shared it here in case you were looking to visit too. I also made a video addressing some questions about surf equipment.
June. After 23 years of school, Scott had his last day. He gave a speech to a hundred 5th graders while his mom and I cried all over our programs. Looking back, it might seem planned that Scott quit his job right before we started a family, but that would all just be how it seemed. In reality, he was ready to move on from teaching P.E., and even though I was panicking on-the-daily about the big life changes a baby would bring, I was starting to be ready too. I tried to let the words “How wild it was just to let it be” from the book Wild stay in my head every day.
July. Scott and I drove to Oregon and back. We bought parcheesi for $1 at a thrift shop outside of Seaside and played every night while I drank sweet Moscato wine and tried not to pout about losing. We put together a little list of things we liked in Portland, then had the opportunity to share more about the trip for Travel Oregon and Surfgirl. If you’d like to share some of your writing and experiences, my advice is just to ask and be persistent. I’ve had a bunch of my emails ignored, but sometimes you get through.
August. I had the opportunity to interview my long-time surf friend Crystal about what it’s like to be a hearing-impaired surfer. I also felt like my ego was getting out of control and wrote more about being afraid of babies, but this time I came to a more resolved conclusion.
September. We visited downtown San Diego with Scott’s mom and dad and had a visit from his sister, too. I found out some sad news about the health of some of our family and friends. I try not to think of life as fair or not, but just as ‘it is what it is’ and we aren’t supposed to have answers to all of our hows and whys yet; but even then, I still took long walks at night to sort through some of the anger, fear and vulnerability I felt.
October. More thoughts on writing and the death of two loved ones came just as we found out we were going to be parents. I started a new series called Foreign Food Friday, right before morning sickness set in and I only ate yogurt.
Sometimes, when I look back on it all, my mind goes straight to all the things I’d like to do differently next year.
I guess at the end of it all, it’s just like I said in the beginning: Life is good because of big, amazing things like sleeping outside in the forest in Oregon, starting new careers, saying goodbye to loved ones, raising babies, and also because of ridiculous little things like trying to learn how the heck to cut a bagel evenly down the middle. I think life is good because you want more. Happy New Year!