I want to tell you something new — new, like the blinding white of our freshly painted living room ceiling or my neighbor upstairs whose name is the same as a Green Day album — but I am still stuck in the old. I am still thinking about last year, glorious 2003 that was so good to me.
In 2003, I continued to try to see the good things in every day. Some days, of course, I only saw bad things. Those days passed. I fell in love with a boy who makes life more beautiful. We spent a lot of time together. I paid off all my credit card debt and sent money to family in the Philippines. I started my own business. I was interviewed for a fashion magazine and featured in a college English textbook. I laughed when I saw both. I got two parking tickets in my own driveway and sat through hours and hours of traffic. I snuck into my first movie. I went to San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, the Philippines and the California coast. I went swimming for the first time in years, doing somersaults in the shallow end and diving to the bottom of the deep end. I saw half a dozen shooting stars, and I wished on all of them. I started drinking coffee less and craving tea more. I baked three cheesecakes, dozens of cookies and brownies, and a keylime pie. I perfected my lasagna. I made pictures, mixed CDs. journal covers, felt ornaments, silly songs and wonderful friends. I made believe, too. I spent time with family and wrote letters to those I couldn’t see. I opened up, and carried on, and looked inside myself for answers that have always been there.