Someone asked me if 2010 has been a good year or a bad year. Like so many other years, this year has had some great highs and lows. But if I had to choose 3 words to describe my year, I’d pick love, food and wine.
I have experienced a lot more this year than most of my adult life. And the three constants in my life were love, food and wine. I fell in love. I got my heart broken. Shattered actually. But even as I go through the process of healing my heart, I’m starting to see all the good that came out of that experience.
So here it goes. My year in review.
I started the year in a difficult place. I had just welcomed the new year with a group of close friends, neighbors, and the object of my desire – or infatuation – along with his girlfriend. The years before we spent New Year’s Eve together, sans significant others. This year, my single status was all the more evident. My reliable plus one had his own plus one. Then I started to deal with holiday weight gain and the set of insecurities that followed. I spent the first few months of the year fixated on losing weight. Eventually, I lost the weight and also gained some clarity. I decided not to let myself get to a place where I am so obsessed about my weight.
I realize now that my weight obsession had to do with bigger issues. Control and fear. There are very few things in life within our control and I felt that my weight was one of the few things I could control. My fear over being alone had led me to fixate on my weight. I had to face the fear of being alone. My friend’s presence in my space, with a significant other, had made my single reality all the more real.
To be clear, I’m very used to the single life. I’ve been flying solo for a very long time. But as I get older, and everyone around me couples up, and when I’m the only solo person at a dinner party of 39, I can’t help but wonder “what if I never meet someone?” I had to admit to myself that the reality of this “what if” was what I feared most. I had to admit to myself that despite the great facade, I feared ending up solo. Hence this obsession with weight, and losing weight. It had to do with having control of something in my life.
Then spring arrived and I could feel the change in my energy. Coachella might have had something to do with it. After years of saying “I’ll go some day” I had actually decided to go this year. And I started to feel the year taking a different turn. Looking forward to something, anticipating something new, was changing the way I felt.
Just around this time, while at Coachella, I heard from Matt, again. I remember getting a text from him couple of months earlier, right around Valentine’s day, and wondering what was going on with him. I had heard from him – via text – sporadically over the course of the year. The first time he texted me, I found it odd. I wondered why he was staying in contact after backing out of becoming roommates. But over the course of the following year I got used to getting texts from him every few months. Checking in. And during one of those checkins I finally asked. “What is it you really want?” “Your attention,” he answered. Which led to our first date. Followed by many more dates until I stopped counting the dates.
He was to become my first love. The first time I felt real love during my adult life.
He had suggested planning a date at Cinespia with my friends, knowing how much my friends mean to me. The film was Saturday Night Fever. It was one of the many things he did to show me he cared and wanted to be part of my life. He went out of his way to make me happy. Even if it meant going out of his comfort zone and entering my comfort zone full of food, wine and friends. He’s an anti-social introvert who went out of his to make me happy. Whether it was socializing with strangers on our 3rd date, planning a date with me +10, or going out dancing, he did things that he knew would make me happy. He showed me how I should be treated. And on a hot summer night, after less than 3 weeks of dating, he said he loved me. It was over a plate of food – full of hummus, grape leaves, pita and homemade guacamole – to accompany the bottles of red wine. I felt the same, and said it back to him.
Food and love were in constant company throughout the year. Whether it was dinner at LudoBites – another one of my loves – or sharing food with those who I loved. Food was an expression of my love. My memories of 2010 were intertwined with food and wine. As my first real love came to an end, I celebrated my birthday and nursed my heartbreak at Osteria Mozza followed by wine at Bar Covell. In the company of my friends, over a glass of champagne, followed by chilled red wine, I felt a different kind of love. It was the unconditional love of friends.
This has been a year full of great events – both sad and happy. It’s been a year shaped by loss of life – my grandfather Hakop – and celebration of new life – Henry Hideo. It’s been a year full of love, travel, food and wine.
It’s been a good year.
As the year comes to an end, I feel fortunate for the experiences. I experienced love. It was brief but strong. And despite how it ended, I celebrate the love that Matt showed me. He showed me how I should be treated and what I should expect from a real relationship. For that I thank him and I wish him well.
Now I’m letting it go. Letting go of the anger and sadness and making room for love, joy, happiness, and even more food and wine.