Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: My Year Revisited

It's the last day of 2009 and usually that means we all take a look at our year and see what worked, what didn't and make resolutions for the new year to be a better person in one way or another.

As with most, I continue to strive to be the best me I can be. I thought I would try and write about my year and recap all of the events, emotions and epiphany's I had in 2009.

The first few months were a blur. I just came back from being on the road with my dog Maggie and my small 4x9 teardrop trailer named, "trailie". I was trying to figure out what was next for us. I just started a little project I had in mind at the end of 2008 called American Life Today. I profiled an American each day in 2009, asking them 5 different questions about their life. It was a fun project learning about so many people, but ended late August when I was on the road and didn't have the time to post any longer. Thank you so much to everyone who participated!

In the midst of looking ahead, I forgot to take care of a tooth ache that came and went for several years. This time it was too late. In February, I had apicoectomy. It's the fun surgery where they drill into your gums on the side of your face to redo a root canal that didn't hold the first time...while you are awake. Not fun.

I recovered from that and continued on my life, saying yes to opportunities, dreaming, wondering what was next. I celebrated life...a lot. I went to parties, had parties at my house, enjoyed the night life. After a weekend in Palm Springs, I had enough of it. I was tired of being tired. I decided on April 5th that it was time to stop the constant celebrating of every day of my life with a drink in hand. I put down the drink and haven't picked it up since. It wasn't easy, but I knew that once I set my mind to something, I could do it. I stopped going to parties, and started reflecting on my life and what was really important to me. Living.

The following month I was offered an opportunity to participate in an O magazine shoot. Of course I jumped at the chance to do it! It was quite the experience. The final shot that appeared in the magazine is shown HERE.

Here I was, taking life day by day when all of a sudden, my beloved dog of 11 years, best friend and travel companion died suddenly after surgery for a growth in her spleen. I was devastated. It took me a while to recover from that although I miss her still.

The following months were spent searching and being open to opportunities. I decided to start painting.I should get back to it, but for the 12 watercolor paintings I did, I enjoyed each one. There is something about creating art that takes you away from your everyday world and transforms you into the art itself. It was a good way for me to focus my mind on something creative. It's what I was looking for all along.

The next few months were spent traveling and figuring it out. One day in July while I was home in Long Beach, I went to the farmers market and took a dog home with me. Max is now a part of my family. Little did he know what was in store for him! At the end of July, I packed everything I needed in my car, rented my house and we embarked on our big road trip.

We went to Sedona, Bryce Canyon, Moab, Arches, Colorado, Jackson, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone the first few weeks. What an adventure we had. Max had no idea that he would be leaving sunny California to be pushed inside of a sleeping bag in freezing temps in the forest. He sure kept me company and kept me laughing.

We continued our journey through South Dakota, Custer state park, and devils tower. Of course it wouldn't be an adventure if we didn't get lost, didn't try and camp through severe thunderstorms and play dress up at wall drug. We were able to manage all of that.

We went through Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Maine and back down to our destination for the month of September, Provincetown. We met with friends, camped, toured around and took pictures along the way.

Ahhhh, pictures. Even though I enjoyed my time painting, I got a bigger thrill taking a nice photograph. For the month I was in Cape Cod, I took pictures each day and fell in love with the town. I was able to stay in one place for 5 weeks and it was a nice relief from driving each day, wondering where we will end up, although there is a lot to say in the not knowing. Being in Cape Cod also helped with my photo obsession with this HOUSE.

After our five weeks were up, we went to New England to see the fall colors, then headed south. Our journey took us through New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and back home to California.

I have to say that throughout this journey, I have enjoyed our National Parks the best. There is something about being in nature that I love more than anything else. I hope you take some time in the new year to enjoy the beauty that's around you in our parks and beyond.

So, what's next for Alison and Max in the new year? Max and I will continue to travel and share what we see with you. I plan to organize the photos that I took on the journey and make them available to purchase. I hope that the pictures I take put a smile on your face or takes you to a place that you remember fondly.

Here's to an even better 2010! Thank you so much for your continued support! I hope you become a fan of my journey and photographs by clicking here. I look forward to sharing future adventures with you!


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