Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you?

This is a test.

Last fall, I went through a career and wider-life challenge that shook all my assumptions about what I had been doing, and/or not doing, throughout my adult years, to the ground. I also wore my body into a state of depletion from which I couldn't imagine it would recover. Somehow, however, I emerged feeling stronger, increasingly freed from what had bound me before. This year, will I find myself lost again, or will happier events and my new strength and freedom lead me to action that will launch me into a new life?

DFW death. made me think about priorities, success, balance, and lack of the latter...

My wife got pregnant. It reconnected me to everything that is important...especially the idea of \"the future.\" What world am I handing off to them? I now feel a part of the river...

My grandmother passed away. I am without grandmother now.

i went to the womens sex therapy clinic. i found out that i was suffering from a mild case of vaginismus, the hilarious Ali-G sounding affliction where your pelvis contracts every time a penis comes near it. oh yes. With the help and the support of these amazing women, i managed to totally turn it around. after seven visits to the clinic - and no one was less of a believer than i - after seven visits, my boyfriend and i had sex. amazing, fulfilling, exciting and orgasm-inducing sex. Significant? yes. Life changing? absolutely.


The most significant experience since last Rosh Hashana has to be the birth of my baby girl, Sophie. She is my grandmother's namesake, and thus far is a dream baby. I find myself raising her so calmly, using the wisdom I gained from Mama Sophia. I juggle her, Devon, my academic career, my marriage, and everything else. Sometimes I make it look easy, other times not so much. But I take great pride in juggling motherhood and academia.

our daughter fell and needed stitches. it made me realize that I won't always be able to protect her.

I will speak about this vaguely, so that it is neither incriminating nor exciting. About five months ago, I was out at a bar and a woman started talking to me in a manner that I recognized as more than friendly. I had another drink and went home. This was a victory.

I learned how to feel comfortable with myself, without relying on external sources to validate me. I don't know whether it is because for the first time in my life I felt financially OK and so stopped worrying about the what if questions or whether I just came to realize that it wasnt worth that gut wrenching feeling. That it did not contribute positively to anything. I also learned to let go of my children, knowing that we are all connected at a level that transcends the physical presence of being together or even of speaking to each other. It is hard to keep remembering how to do it, after many years of disordered thinking but it is so worthwhile

i had two experiences, almost exactly six months apart, that were the opposite sides of the same coin : death and birth. they had much in common: neither were unexpected, and in the weeks and months before each occurred, i didnt particularly want them to happen. in those weeks and months before each, i was able to intellectualise, reflect and richly savour all the wonder of life as it was at that time, almost nostalgically commemorating the present. but when it came time for each episode to unfold, i have felt unable to intelligently process these miracles of death and life. its surreal, but today, months after the death and weeks after the birth i still look on both episodes with a sense of detached wide-eyed wonder thats directly inverse to how much i owned my emotions in the lead up to each. if that makes sense ? wow this is cool, like therapy but free! i would confess that in the weeks after each event, the loss of life made me sadder than the beginning of life made me happy.

I got engaged. I was happy to have found the person I was going to share my life with, and my partner is wonderful, albeit with complications. I am also scared. Is this it? Is this my life? Is it a narrowing? But isn't not-choosing it's own, more intense narrowing over time? I feel that this gives us more legitimacy, which makes my family happy. Sometimes I am happy too. Sometimes not.

In 2004 I won a place a medical school. Finally I was on the road to becoming a doctor, something I dreamed of years ago. I felt scared, happy, proud and sick all at once. What a bizarre reaction to such good news? It's been 5 years since I got in and I have one more year left before i qualify. I love every moment of it and feel privledged to have met my patients...every single one of them has a uniqueness that I shall never forgot. I mustn't forgot that uniqueness when I have qualified. Overall, I'm tired, skint and going grey but I have a full-filled and happy soul. Oh and I smile and am still able to laugh at myself...not bad eh?

My father's rapidly worsening dementia-related illness, institutionalization in a nursing home, and my mother's breakdown over the financial and emotional repercussions of it all. I was able to support them both with my presence and my organizing abilities; but supporting my brothers has been harder. I fell out with one brother over my mom's chances to start again (and his attitudes), but my relationship with the other brother has grown.

I got a second job...it was what I was hoping for...and it's been stressing me out big time. Bringing up the old fears of not being able to do it...that it's too much to handle, etc, etc. It's been pulling me away from the family which is extra stressful. Gotta get centered and contain.

I had two babies, I lost one baby. I sat on my couch for weeks on end waiting for this to happen. I watched immobile as the bright crisp days of autumn turn to winter, lit hanukkah candles in a hospital room. I watched my surviving son struggle to live for four months in a neonatal intensive care unit. I watched winter turn to spring outside his window, watched the magnolia start to bloom. How did that affect me? I gave birth to the strongest person I've ever met. I learned I didn't have the slightest clue how much I could withstand.

...lets see where to begin? ...this year i got married and before that bought a house with my new wife. i love my house, i love my house, i love my house...i love pam, i love pam and i love being a home owner...even though we have a leaky faucet we cant fix ourselves and the basement is scary with centipedes and im afraid it will be expensive to fix the faucet and that will be just the beginning!

My husband lost his job of 10 years. We have had much more family time, less money and more anxiety and uncertainty in our lives.

My wife and I traveled to Machu Picchu in Peru. I was challenged by the altitude. I loved traveling with my wife. Time together was very special. We shared challenges together that deepened our love and enjoyment of each other. We enjoyed the travel to a foreign place that made us uncomfortable and better for it.

I was given a very generous gift. It made it possible for me to travel to see my friends and family. It gave me joy on receipt and the feelings of freedom and security, which were new and delicious. I carry the gratitude for this act of kindness with me at all times.

We found a bat flying over our son's crib at our weekend house. Since our son, Ari, was sleeping at the time, we had no way of knowing if the bat had bitten Ari. We also didn't know if the bat was rabid. My wife, Katie, and I spent several days agonizing over whether to have Ari subjected to a series of rabies vaccinations, knowing that if he was exposed to rabies and we didn't have him vaccinated, he would die. We ultimately decided that the risk of the vaccination paled in comparison to the risk of him dying, but it was agonizing. The effects of this were manifold: it made us appreciate of health and our family; it showed us the slender thread by which we all hang; it drew my wife and I closer together; and it made me realize that we have to rely on our own reasoning and instincts.

Rachel and I moved in together. I suppose it is significant, in that I've never really lived with a girlfriend before. I love it. It's so comforting to have Rachel there. I never would have imagined it would be so easy - so in that sense, it wasn't the first thing that came to mind as "significant" - though I know it is. How it affected me: I think it has made me calmer, but it has also forced me to take more charge of my day - to force me to be more independent.

My older son, who was living and working in Japan, was hit by a car (he was a pedestrian) and very seriously injured. We were terrified that he wouldn't live or that he would be brain-damaged. He has been recovering well and it looks like there will be no permanent damage. I am extremely relieved. Life's little annoyances pale in comparison to this event and I don't let these little things bother me - I maintain a good outlook on life and am thankful for every new day.

When I was visiting Berlin, I met a Russian Jewish girl who helped me accept that I am Jewish, that I have a Jewish soul and that being Jewish forms a part of my identity. This has helped me re-claim my Jewish identity as connected to social justice rather than being defined by Jewish instutions who try to tell you what to think.

I am pregnant, was going to start a family with the father, he has broken up with me and now I am single and four moths pregnant.

i went to hawaii and made connections with beings on all levels and this gave me a sense of what the word reality means and all that THAT entails, the implications, just how responsible for others we must be.

I felt older. Meaning I don't want to ride a bike anymore, I want a scooter...does that make me lazy? I bought a PS3, so now I play games instead of actually doing the sport. I still enjoy snowboarding...but when will I tire of that? I also still like walking more than driving and actually really enjoy being in an urban environment where things are close to walk to.

i moved to a different country. it is still strange. hard to be alone (which i'm used to), hard to deal with a lot of stuff alone.

I've moved back to LA...again. Everytime I come back here I find new things to love and hate about this town. I'm happy for now.

There are two very significant experiences that I want to discuss. Many close to me argue that they are directly correlated, and perhaps they're right, but I like to think otherwise! The first is that I quit swimming. Half of me was shocked my this choice and, thankfully, the other half thought it was a long time coming. I never felt like I was bettering myself as an individual or contributing to society as a swimmer, but, I was good at it, so I guess you could say that it is what was expected of me. Within about two weeks of swimming for UT, I knew I hated it. All summer I wished that I was going off to college in the same way that my friends were. I wished I was getting a randomly assigned room mate. I wished I was worrying about the difficulty of tests rather than the difficulty of practices. I wished I was concerned about making new friends rather than whether or not I would like the ones that had been chosen for me. Basically, after I didn't really click with any of the noisy, rambunctious girls on the team, I realized that the only reason why I really put up with dreadful 6 AM practices was because it brought me closer to my teammates at home, who were also my friends. Without friendships, hard times seemed practically unbearable. It was a tough choice, and I do miss it very much, every day. Especially while the Olympics are on, because I honestly think I could have been there in four years. I'm that talented. I miss having something I'm great at, and I know I'll succeed at. All I had to do was try. Things aren't like that anymore. I put a lot of effort in towards my studies, writing, socializing, photography. If there was an Olympics for any of those topics, I certainly wouldn't be a contender. Not even in four years. And I have to be okay with that. That's rough. Especially when people have been telling me I was "best in the world" material since I was ten. Another thing is, I've completely lost my competitive outlet that an ambitious person such as myself really needs in order to thrive. I've only just begun to rebuild one in photography with my new Daily Texan job, that I literally have nightmares about losing. And, as if losing one rock that held me up wasn't tough enough, I ended things with the only person I ever really loved. I wanted to explore, I still do. But this constant juxtaposition of desires (the exploration desire, and one that is equally as strong: a longing for a companion, comfort, completely unconditional love, relaxation, discussion, activity, everything) is wearing on me quickly. I suppose I'm accustomed to having my cake and eating it too, which isn't really okay anymore. The other thing is, I'm completely bitter now. My standards are so extremely high as far as my ideal match is concerned that I doubt they'll ever be met. I've turned down three really wonderful guys in the past year. I don't know if I'll be lucky enough to meet even one guy as wonderful as each of them are later on down the line, and that terrifies me beyond all belief.

I left my job in order to pursue my creativity. I actually starting painting again. It's been scary, but I think it's been good.

Quitting drinking. It closed a phase of my life that has been trying to end for 2 years now.

I started therapy and have begun to open my eyes. This has allowed me to start living my life and realizing that I cannot control everything and that I must accept what I cannot control.

I taught my own course for the first time. The experience made me realize how much I love teaching and working with students, and let me know that I want to do this for the rest of my life!

The Justin#2 fiasco. I leaned to be a stronger person. I decided to stay in St. John's for another year...not sure if it's a good idea. Got rear-ended. Worked at a dive shop, broke my finger. Went on a UNESCO conference. French teacher?

After finding out my W had an affair, i got divorced, but not after bending over backwards trying to find a way to fix the problem. My W refused to address anything, said she didn't understand herself or her feelings but couldn't deny them. So we divorced and I moved. I am devastated. Right now I feel like I'll be alone the rest of my life, I've done everything wrong, and I'm unloveable. And I feel awful that I was a doormat when I tried to save my marriage rather than sticking up for my own boundaries. She wants to be friends, but after her testifying she was positive we're incompatible, after the affair, after the lies and cheating and hurt, I don't see how that's possible. Unless it's by my impetus.

I graduated from college after 7 years. It's pretty much changed everything from where I live to the food I buy at the grocery store.

I went travelling on my own in East Africa. It opened my eyes to a million different things and as long as I can remember everything I've seen I'll never feel ungrateful or hard-done by again. Hopefully. It made me so much more confident in my own abilities to get on with people and to generally cope in pretty harsh conditions. I thought I would never be able to do a most of things I did and it's so cheesey but it totally changed my life I think. It gave me a kick up the arse to do things I'd been meaning to do but never thought I could. It put everything in perspective - pretty much everything I ever really worry about doesn't actually matter.

Me fui de viaje al exterior (Peru-Bolivia-Ecuador), solo con dos amigos con poco dinero por primera ves 1 mes. Me hizo sobrevalorar muchas cosas que aca tengo y alla no tenia y a darme cuenta de cuanto quiero a las personas que estan todos o casi todos los dias a mi lado.

I moved away from my husband to work in another city. I found out that he was cheating on me. This made me question everything about my life and made me quite self destructive.

Girlfriend - positive

Being with Jacob changed me somehow. The whole experience had me going through emotions I've never felt before. It's still affecting me now, not being able to be with him. I think about him all the time and I dream about him often. It kind of freaks me out because I've never been hung up on someone so bad before. But I also never liked anyone as much as I liked (and I guess still like) him. I really think it's true, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

Graduation from NP. It made me realise that finally I have found my calling - writing. I also found some friends I know I can keep for life - May, Paul, maybe Jarryl, Deone.

Fell in love with Megan. Made my social circles shrink incredibly, but i wouldnt have it any other way. Went to university in Bournemouth and had an insane time, not turning up to many lessons, being too drunk and high (until megan put a stop to the drugs). Not doing my work on time and leaving everything until the last minute. And i carried on bumbling ahead through each week, oblivious to what was happening and watching the world pass me by.

I broke off a relationship with a married man, whose wife I was friends with. Their divorce will probablly ruin me.

I let a girl try a strap-on on me, hurt like the dickens! Moved into a wonderful abode. Fell deeply in love, which is the only reason for my first response. Visited family in Kauai, had a wonderful time, made amends with my dad after not speaking in years. Won the Catholic school teacher of the year award for best Catechist. Made lots of new wonderful friends, instead of the high-school aquatints I've been tagging around with a 12 step meetings.I've had a grand year, cept, for the Butt part. .

Getting married. I love my husband more than I could have ever imagined and our relationship has not changed since getting married. I love him and I love being married.

In the past year i've had a few experiences that have affected me, one of them being that in a class of 40-50 students my design poster had won first and represented our college's program in Toronto. Also had a teacher ask me to do some design work for his firm. I'm not really satisfied with how that went, the design was brilliant (not to brag), but the way he worded things in our contract he got away with spending a few less penny's. Had thought's about a girl i use to work with, we still talk, i miss her, but she told me that she had gotten cancer, and my heart sunk deep, i felt sick for her for a few days. But i haven't talked to her for a while. I always keep her in my thoughts and wonder as to how she's doing. Also another friend of mine (girl, yes it's significant) is having her child any day now. Again haven't heard from her in a couple days i don't know how she's doing, kind of had a crush on her a while back. but now we are good friends.

Finally getting closure on my health has been a huge event for me. It has shown me to always ask questions and to never take answers that you are not happy with. It has also opened my eyes to what life should really be like. It is sad that I have spent the past 6 years of my life not being able to enjoy the simple pleasures, but now that I am healthy I need to look forward and not dwell in the past. I need to get outside my comfort zone and try new things. I need to not use my health as an excuse for why I'm not living the life I want. I need to feel safe and confident in going out into the world. I need to realize that I will have good and bad days and not get depressed on the bad ones. I need to allow myself to finally heal.

I moved into my own apartment and out of my (ex)boyfriend's life. Now I know for certain that I can survive - and am even better - alone.

I cheated on my wonderful boyfriend with the man I am in love with. I thought I was not capable of something like this, and criticized others for their similar indiscretions. I now know that anything is possible, and it is almost impossible to fully understand any other person's reasoning for their actions.

After feeling for years like I work hard and try to be as dedicated to work as possible my efforts were realized and I was given a job that I love. And then I won employee of the month for the first time after working full-time for approximately the last 7-8 years. Which sounds small and felt great. I got re-engaged and still didn't get to set a date for my wedding. I made a new friend. I moved again, but at least this time I truly love the apartment.... I buried my rat.

My ideas on religion have been my most significant experience/change. Always feeling completely convicted in my beliefs, things are a lot less literal right now for me. I have no problem affiliating myself and participating, but things are different now.

I went from being a manager to being, I'm not sure what yet. Who knows how long I still have at this company.

A lot happened last year. I got married. It made me feel closer to my husband and like more of an adult. My cat got really sick, and I realized just how much I care for her. My friend's dad died, and then another friend's dad died. This was the first time I ever had to deal with a friend's significant death in the family, and I realized that this is going to start happening more often now. My friend also lost a good friend in Iraq, and I just don't know what to think about that. He wanted to talk about his friend's death to his dead friend - how do you deal with needing people who aren't there anymore? I had a very stressful field work experience, but I reminded myself that I could work so incredibly hard and maintain my composure until pushed just too far. My parents turned 60, and I realized that they're old now. I started doing part time work for a company not science-related, and I realized that I enjoy doing this so much more than anything I am officially "trained" to do. We decided once and for all to move abroad and to live the ultimate hybrid life outside of the normal, linear scope of things; it's scary, but I feel more at peace having made this decision than I have in all the time when I was trying to live a life I do not want.

I bought a place in the city. IT hit me kinda hard as I bought it mere days before the credit crisis and shot interest rates through the roof. It added an extra $150 a fortnight to my expenses. That didn't make it unbearable, but I've had to make some sacrifices to my lifestyle. I have however, met an amazing person. We have our moments. Me with my pedantic streak, and her with her mood swings. But by and large, we're getting along great and the times have been that much more bearable thanks to her. She's got grand ambitions though... I may not be able to keep up with her. But that's okay. I'll follow as long as I can. But I'll prepare myself now to say good bye if I ever start feeling that I'm holding her back.

I found a boyfriend who genuinely seems to care and who I would like to think I trust. I suppose nobody can be trusted completely, and in the past I have always trusted too easily, but maybe this time it will work out. I would like to think I am a calmer person about relationships thanks to him. I hope I am getting less and less paranoid as time goes on, but part of me is still waiting for my world to come crashing down again. That's the next thing to work on.

My husband and I worked through so much in our marriage. Things that I think could have affected us the rest of our lives if we hadn't dealt with them so head on and with such intention to make them better. I'm really proud of the work we did. And in doing so, we brought our relationship to a totally new level...and I got pregnant. Being pregnant is the most exciting (and sometimes terrifying thing) that has happened to me possibly ever. And I don't know why or how, but I've become increasingly more and more zen and present as my pregnancy has progressed. It's amazing.

I found a job after moving to a new state, lost it, then got it back, after going through trying to prove my innocence for something that happened years and years ago.

being in a relationship again with noa's father has made me feel brand-new. i didn't think i wanted any kind of relationship (with anyone), but here i am and it makes me so happy...

My Dad killed himself in July. He was depressed, out of work for 6 months after being laid off unexpectedly, and just couldn't get his head right. He was fooling everyone, lying to everyone, including councillors and therapists into thinking he was fine when he really wasn't. I'm still not sure how it affected me. It's only been a few months, and I try not to think about it. I know that I get depressed myself sometimes, and then angry at him for being a dick. But I just don't honestly know how it affected me.

I got my first boyfriend, first kiss, and moved throughout all the "bases" including home. How did it not affect me? I've learned a lot from it... how easy it is to get lost in it and how easy it is for life to change. He's different to me. I learned what it means to be heartbroken as well.

a dream i have held, worked toward, believed in, sacrificed for; came forward. it became tangible. no longer a wonder in my mind but a fact out in the world. i was affected by the full circle of start-and-finish. i was/am warmed by the support to get ti in flight. i was/am silenced by the force of discipline, tenacity, courage. standing here, i am grateful i didn't quit-along the way of countless suggestion; my efforts. wishes were futile. i hold within the enormity of completion of "a long held vision".

I was moody and feeling as if our relationship was going through a rough patch with the burden of my mother moving in and stealing money from us. He seemed supportive at first, but then one day, after we had an argument, he said he didnt know if we should be together anymore. he said he didnt know if we should be married anymore. he said he didnt know how he felt, he just felt depressed lately. I spent the next three months being the perfect wife, never complaining, always doing everything for him, always saying he was right and never offering up any complaints about anything. I've since returned to living a life, but still no complaints, no arguments, no talk of my own sorrows, concerns, depression. I'm utterly alone now because I will not risk upsetting him. it seems pointless since I'd just face being alone in the end, how would it be different? and yet, it would be different. it would be just enough to push me over the edge. I will sit in silence alone in the dark now because of that night.

Dante. The only thing I can even remember happening. His birth, the trouble, the hurt and pain, how I learned to love "the greatest mistake I ever made". It was so difficult to cope but I learned. I can only look forward and keep living life with Dante.

Well, this past weekend I attempted a 14,000+ foot peak in the Sierras. The experience taught me a lot about my mountaineering skills, as well as my physical and mental limitations. Nature, especially grueling challenges within it, is always humbling and awesome for me. This experience had its particular lessons, such as what's really needed (priorities) on a hiking/camping trip, how to improve techniques in multiple climates, and how to deal with new situations and people on a mountain.

The adoption of my two sisters and one brother was definitely the most significant experience to happen this year. It's amazing how life changed the minute they were ours. It's not easy being their sister everyday, and it's not always easy sharing my mom with three little people who physically need her more than I do. I feel like I've learned a lot about my family. What we are capable of [it's a lot by the way]... It has given me an even greater appreciation for my mother, and everything she provides for us.

I got married, its been well, I have no words for it. Its been really hard and really good. Most of the time the really hard has made it into really good. I'm daily shown how selfish I am. Its like all of my crappy stuff is mirrored off of him so I can see it. I hate seeing it, but it frees me too. He loves me despite it. And most importlantly so does Someone else. :) We have walked through my family stuff... My abuse and them not believing me, to telling them i'm not coming home until they deal with it. Me going crazy over it. Feeling like I'm crazy. Its affected me a lot. I've been angry, self protecting, sad, depressed and very anxious. He has walked through this with me all along the way. Not perfectly, but with much grace and patience, geeeeeez patience... my dad not but a month ago confessed to seeing something going on. It set me free from craziness. I felt so connected with him and my mom. They for once really heard me. They said they would deal with it. They havent yet... praying they would soon. It hurts still. I also went through a major home renovation, fun hard, love our little place. We got a dog rocco, basset hound, we love him. More but I am only to talk about one SO i better shut it.

I finally took care of my anxiety issue. I feel so much better !! My work is better, my relations with friends and family are better. I work better. I had a great job opportunity, took it and succedeed and I met a great guy ! I finally feel like I'm myself exactly where I want to be!

I'm at a crossroads in life with jobs, school, etc. I have two jobs, one that is stable yet vertically limiting and one that pays better and is more vertical and flexible. School is closer to being done than ever. But baby is on the way. Everything will be about this little one.

I graduated from NYU at the same time I was breaking up with Taylor. So many things changing, the disappearance of so many safety nets - suddenly alone in a city which was no longer also my campus. Grew up in a very real way - got a job, a new place, started planning for the future. This is one of those defining times, demarcating a life severely into before and after.

je suis devenue une super jeune grand-mère d'un petit Lior

We renovated our house and it made me feel fulfilled and like I had somewhere to come home to that was genuinely mine and yours and ours.

i had been constantly fighting off getting into a serious relationship with the girl i was dating. prior, i had been in a long relationship and had trust issues. i finally broke down, let her in and started a meaningful relationship. several months down the road, im really happy that i did. she has made me realize the importance of companionship and love again.

I graduated from my Master's program, and found myself in serious debt at a time when serious debt is not sustainable for individuals or the country. It sent me into a tailspin, because I realized that I didn't really want to get a job in my field right away. So I've been agonizing for months about whether to leave my comfortable but not terribly secure current job and take a pay cut to start working in my field, or to stick it out and see if I can help my organization can keep its head above water, even though it means having this expensive degree that isn't helping me much. It has been very stressful, and my indecision is making me feel distressed and unmotivated.

I can't ride my bike any more and I can't sell my apartment. This is connected. No major life changes but the riding of my bike is connected to last year's 9 week back pain that I will never forget. This past year was a year of physical healing and figuring out how to stay healthy. I just can't ride my bike - it hurts my back when I get off, too much leaning forward. So I tried a recumbent bike. The best one was only 3K, yes that is only $3000 that I don't have. I would have it if I could sell my apartment. I really enjoyed lying on my back and peddling, my knees did not get in my way. I could see and I loved the feeling. It was a tricycle, recumbent, with a back adjusted to about 35 degrees. no pressure on my back. no more sore butt. I felt free again. not trapped by my back.

I graduated college and moved to New York. I decided to make a huge life decision because I felt like I had to. I did it more out of a fear of NOT changing than a desire to change. This was not an easy thing to do, but something I felt I HAD to do.

Seems like every year now is chock full of significant experiences-- in this last year I have moved twice, gotten my boss fired, quit that job, gotten another job, spent countless nights in the ER and ICU with David (husband), started couples counseling, and ridden my bike to LA (raising $3200 to fight HIV/AIDS). Oh yeah-- and decided to have a baby next year, with donor sperm. Something I've really tried to block out, but really affected me, was at my previous job, I was accused of racism. I supervised a number of people who were discontented in their jobs (to say the least) and lashed out at me, to gain some power. The CEO of the company broke every rule I know, and took them out to dinner to discuss their complaints, without ever telling me. I felt hurt, betrayed, and didn't know who I could trust there, for a long time. It really rocked my sense of myself, because I've always had this self image of being so nice, fair, and thinking everyone likes me. Since then I have begun to accept that it doesn't matter if people like me. Being nice is not the key. I think of me 9 or 10 months ago, how horribly stressed and sad I was. And taking it all terribly personally.

Breaking up with my girlfriend made me realise that I need to know myself a lot better. This has caused a lot of inner conflict, though I find myself working through it bit by bit.

I was part of Yondering, a beautiful ballet in which I had the honor of a lead role. In it, I was a lonely boy with two symbolic brothers who longed for his mother, Jeanie. This ballet is a representation of reaching a new frontier and the the continuation of maturity. Through the journey of this ballet, I realized several things about myself that I never realized. I realized my desire to be selfless and to suffer the pain of others. In it, I also realized the beauty of youth and the bliss of innocence. I also realized the mask that I cannot wear anymore, anywhere. In life, on stage, to myself. I cannot be a fake when I must be what I am.

I worked on a boat called the Lilac on the Hudson River. I got my skateboard in April. Yong Yi got hers yesterday. We came to a conclusion today: we hate normal people.

I fell in love I realised everything is meaningless in the most wonderful sense I learned to shoot a gun I had sex every chance I could get I read, and read, and read I painted and drew I lost a friend or two I got a dumbass rabbit who eats my books I celebrated I was not pregnant I worried about college I worried about having money, a car and a job I dyed my hair blonde I fell in love I don't know how it affected me, It just made me feel nice.

I have a girlfriend. She is wonderful, and loves me very much. I'm more than surprised that she would even fall for me.

My wedding; best week of my life...

I had to make the decision to move to Atlanta and leave all of my friends in LA and my boyfriend. It was a difficult decision but it was the best for my future and my career. I love my job and I have made new friends so it has worked out well. However, I miss Adam terribly and wish that he was here with me and my friends too. If my dreams could come true Adam and I would be together and I could keep my job and new friends all in the same place.

I got together with my best friend, a guy I fell in love with when I met him two years ago. It's 9 months as of Sept. 30th, and I hope it never ends. I've found much more peace and happiness in my life than I thought existed.

I fell in love for the first time. Such an experience was completely unknown to me. It's a far more powerful emotion than any movie or book ever managed to properly describe. It can lead to the happiest days of your life and also the saddest. Regardless, it's one worth having, especially at an early teenage age when your excited hormones allow you to be the most emotional and involved.

I was promoted from Editorial Assistant to Associate Art Director. Not only was it my first promotion since I started working, but I proved to myself that hard work, and the willingness to pursue a passion, indeed pays off. I also proved that having the courage to change jobs to follow a dream is still very much possible in these modern times. I'm happy that I also made others (boss, colleagues) celebrate and feel proud of my accomplishments. It's made me feel much more inspired and confident with my craft (art+writing).

I graduated from high school. Barely. It really taught me to work hard. I have to promise myself that I will never do something like that to myself again. I can't just get by in life. I really need to work to achieve my goals. I also dropped out of college very shortly after it began. I wasn't happy. I also started my first real serious relationship.

Living with the man I married has changed my whole perspective. Nothing is just about me anymore- everything I do is for us. I do things because I want us to be better. I've grown up and become selfless.

I have moved out of home for the first time. It has given me a greater independence in life. I absolutely love being in control of it all.

In 2008: Started the relationship ship of my life. In august 2008, i returned to college (risking aforementioned relationship by going long distance and sacrificing well paying job) with the promise of enough financial aid to not only be able to support myself, but also help me pay off my credit card bills. It is now october, and financial aid screwed up my award so bad that the only grant they awarded me was one to cover my tuition and fees. (thats $4300 a semester promised -half awarded as well- then taken back because of the new california budget. yay!) One of those grants would have been available to me if my financial aid counselor had processed my paperwork the first 3 times she said it. For the first time since high school, I am managing to keep on top of my classes and am currently getting straight A's. while my world is financially crumbling around me. I find myself in a situation that is very backwards from what I normally experience and I am so scared that I will not be able to afford to finish this semester, let alone my degree.

I lost my job, my "friends" betray me, and my girlgriend left me. At first, it obviously affects me, but then it makes me stronger, and i redirect my objectives and goals without changing my essence.

I fell in love so hard it hurt, I have never truly felt so close to an individual in my entire life, and now to be away from that is so difficult even though the right choices were made. I know he is in my heart forever, and my time with and without him has drastically shaped me into the person that I am. He helped me more then I could ever explain.

I moved, I got my CNA, I got a full time job that i don't actually hate. I still am trying to even justify my existence, but am still trying which i guess what matters.

Three months ago the person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with left me. It has been one of the greatest and the hardest times of my life. I miss still miss him and think about him every day but I know all this pain meant that it wasn't two years in vain. I had a wonderful two years with a great man and I'll always have that. Now I'm on a new path to re-establishing who I am and look forward to seeing who I become.

i stopped studying and part-timed with the bang bang company. and i got employed by their sister company full-time. i loved my job. i was more familiar with holland village. i've been busy doing publicity, events for church. had a crush on the cow, shaken by another competitor, decided to drop the crush but still nursing a soft spot. need to stop nursing and move on. i'm still busy i hope i'm still not so busy and disorganised this time next year

I had my first real relationship. It taught me a lot about getting to that point (dating, etc), and was overall a great learning experience, but left me with a bitter taste in my mouth for people with untreated psychiatric disorders. I try and be compassionate to all people, especially those with mental health issues (pot, kettle, black), but my experiences in the first few months of 2008 did much to show that we've only come so far in treatment options, that those options have to be used, and that many people refuse to use them. I know now that I can't just give to someone in a relationship without getting back, and that its not my job to save everyone, even if I feel like it is. Update as of 10/7: Just ended my second relationship. Still dealing with the fact that love is irrational, and that a breakup can hurt both people. One day at a time.

My contract being taken over by another company has made me question my role and whether I want to continue in my job. It has also challenged confidence and my perceptions of people's motivations behind "doing good".

I got divorced

I finally told a man in my life that I loved him knowing that he did not share the same sentiment. It took me 3 years of courage not to tell him, but to be prepared to hear the worst. And I was ok afterwards.

Tomada de consciência.

I was fired. It was horrible, unexpected and it shook my believe in myself. But at the same time, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I wasn't happy and I didn't know it. It opened up a whole new side of myself that I didn't know I had. I'm learning to be vulnerable and learning how to be more flexible and rely on others more. It's scary. But I like where I'm going. And it's all because of where I've been.

i have realized how important friends and family are. i miss my mother and father as they are 1,000 miles away. i really do hope that i can find my way back to new england by this time next year, because i believe life is too short to long for something.

Jess and I went to Thailand! It was excellent.. my first trip overseas on my own (well... seperate from my family)... it was an awesome experience, and I hope I get to go there again!

I moved to Singapore from the Philippines a year ago, 10 days from now. I had to get used to a new life. I met a guy whom I currently believe is the love of my life. He doesn't know that I like him. He has a girlfriend back in ___ _____. He doesn't know that he makes my everyday life a living hell.

In the past year I have finally graduated from College at Georgia Tech in the Architecture department. I rented a house with 4 of my girlfriends in Decatur, and I started a full time job that I hate. I come to work everyday expecting to do the same thing and making no difference in the world. My 8 hours spent every day at the computer I can't help but think that I could be doing something better. In 8 hours in Nicaragua I could have built a cement wall for a home or stirrups for a foundation. In 8 Hours in studio I could design an entire skyscraper concept or edit a video. In 8 hours I can fly over the world and be in someplace different. My 8 hour radius opens up so many possibilities. My 8 hour radius here keeps me constricted in a chair in front of a computer. In a little over 8 hours I can sleep and dream of things that I can never accomplish at this computer. My 8 hour dream radius is beyond imagination. Getting a job makes me realize that I don't want this job. I realize that I can't work on the latest BIM systems, but I sure as hell know what a stirrup is. My week in Nicaragua changed everything. More than graduation could have. It put a perspective on my life that I would have never learned if I wasn't there myself. The poverty, the happiness, the ability to get through the day, and the faith. I wish it would stay with me forever, but now I find myself spending $90 on a purse and $50 on concert tickets, when I know full well that Kevin's father will be making $2 a day. Which makes me $600 per week of sitting in front of a computer completely undeserving.

Mother pased away sparking an entire life change. She was BY FAR the biggest stone in my personal foundation and the changes that followed have been sweeping; I changed jobs, moved back to Wisconsin sold three houses including my moms 2, bought a "keeper" house to start a family and started over with friends.

My bike was stolen. But thanks to the internet, my own detective work, some very helpful tips from local bike store owners and the police, I managed to retrieve it in one piece. The initial theft made me curse London, thieves and the cosmic injustive of it all. Retrieving the bike retored my faith in action, information, luck and institutions.

This past year, I moved from Washington, DC to Madison, Wisconsin. I left behind everything I had come to know--my best friend, my boyfriend, the city and the monuments and even the things I didn't know very well. I packed my belongings into the moving pod and into my car, and drove seventeen hours (alone) to my new home. I'm not sure what to say about how it affected me, since it obviously changed my life completely. How can your life stay the same when you live in a new city in a new state where the only people you know are family, and when you leave your job to become a student again? The best metaphor for it is that I moved from a two-bedroom condo into one bedroom in someone else's house, but I took that bedroom and made it my own. And post-move, I am the happiest that I've ever been.

Having a boyfriend has changed my perception on life. Knowing that someone can choose to love me has made me love myself more. I no longer self harm, and I've stopped waking up feeling worthless.

a man took off all of his cloths and threw them into a trash bin on tenth street right before my eyes and the eyes of the few people around me. i walked away after. it was cold out. he took off each piece of clothing slowly and threw each one out. and then huddled his body up and walked uptown. i thought he was heading for the church, but he wasnt. not yet anyway. it all made me think of the importance of fabric as a material, of flesh, the color of flesh compared to white snow. things like that.

We bought a new house.I had to go to work to pay for it. We still aren't making ends meet.

Last year I went to Japan for the first time in my life. I expected a crowded, luminous and unquiet Tokyo and I got a crowded, luminous and unquiet Tokyo - equal yet different. I stayed for 10 days. Best time in my life. See you soon, beloved Japan.

I can't ride my bike any more and I can't sell my apartment. This is connected. No major life changes but the riding of my bike is connected to last year's 9 week back pain that I will never forget. This past year was a year of physical healing and figuring out how to stay healthy. I just can't ride my bike - it hurts my back when I get off, too much leaning forward. So I tried a recumbent bike. The best one was only 3K, yes that is only $3000 that I don't have. I would have it if I could sell my apartment. I really enjoyed lying on my back and peddling, my knees did not get in my way. I could see and I loved the feeling. It was a tricycle, recumbent, with a back adjusted to about 35 degrees. no pressure on my back. no more sore butt. I felt free again. not trapped by my back.

I was engaged to a man who I thought I was in love with and would spend the rest of my life with. We moved in together and after a month of live-in bliss, his true self was revealed. His anger and rage became more and more unbearable. He was physically and emotionally abusive and made my life hell. My life was in danger on too many occasions. The third strike was the worst fight that shook me to the core. While he was suffocating me, I realized that my life was too important, that I had too much that I wanted to accomplish, that I shouldn't let someone like this ruin me. A strange burst of energy rushed in and I had the strength to fight back and escape him. The will to live and accomplish my goals saved my life. Something like 80 to 90 percent of women don't leave their abusers. Nobody deserves to be treated that way ever. Leaving that relationship was the best thing to ever happen to me and I hope to continue reaching my goals and not being afraid to love.

Termine con Fidel, hasta la fecha es lo que mas me ha afectado este año. No puedo olvidarlo y no se por que, pero tengo la impresion de que es mas la idea de la relacion que teniamos que la relacion real. Me ha afectado por que he intentado empezar alguna relacion pero no funciona, no se si soy yo o ellos (o Fidel)

My mother's car accident and my father's heart-attack were very significant experience that happened within the past year and within 5 months of each other. You don't think about possibly losing your parents because you assume they will always be there. These events were eye-opening and earth-shattering for me. I never want to feel the fear and helplessness that I did when I got those phone calls from so far away.

Visitng Belize. I faced so many silly fears and came out OK. Boats, deep water, fish. I actually relaxed and let someone else plan everything. I wore shorts and didn't feel self conscious. I got to meet fantastic new friends. And most importantly, I got to re-connect with my then boyfriend, now fiance. It was such a positive experience from start to finish.

Moving to Philly made me understand what it means to be alone. It helped me to understand why I need community and I have been able to experience true community being here. It made me appreciate my friendships with my best friends. It has made me painfully aware of my insecurities. It has stretched every fiber of my being. It broke me and I'm still looking to be repaired.

Getting clearance from the home buy scheme to go and buy a house. It hasn't come through yet, but it was the beginning of what could be the biggest thing to have happened to me.

Becoming committed to my partner and beginning to view this as a relationship I'd like to stay in for my whole life. Awareness that this is the woman I want to marry. It makes me feel secure, hugely blessed by Hashem, grateful, scared and excited.

My live-in girlfriend and I broke up, and I moved into my first solitary living environment. For a period of time, I drank a lot and slept in more while I continued an ill-fated relationship follow-up. I officially cut bait on the last day of the calendar year and found myself hooked on the first day of the next. I've never been happier in a relationship; regrets are for people who don't make the decisions they're afraid of, who think of them often and fondly.

I think one thing that happend to me this year that has had definite is having diverticulitis. It was a painful experience and knowing that I have it has definitely made me think more about the way I eat and the way I'm taking care of myself. It's put the thought of health, well-being, diet and exercise at the top of my mind. I used to not care much about those things and now that I'm getting older I'm becoming more aware of the fact that if I don't care of myself now I could be setting myself up for a lot of pain later down the line.

my cat of 13 years died suddenly. i grew up with him. he was my constant companion. he really took care of me as much as i took care of him. i cried daily for a long time.

Meg's mom's death. It really shook me. Really made me see i have a lot to be thankful for.

We had major renovations done on our home, though not finished due to budget constraints, the space is more cozy. Unfortunately, due to recession I was also laid off from work for the first time, just before the remodeling was complete. It put a significant dent on our finances and we had to halt any further construction work.

Daddy got sick. The whole family had to pull together. We got through it. :)

This May my grandmother died on the same day that I was fired from my job. This inspired me to travel through Spain, find a new job, and get over Mariano. Since then I have become much happier and forward thinking.

I finally went to college! And it was not a drastic change in lifestyle as I expected. I have more freedoms but also more activities. I'm scared about choosing my future. Right now, I want to enjoy life.

I moved to a new city with a shiny new job that I believed at that time was a dream come true. In fact, it turned out to be very eye opening and solidify my entrepreneurial spirit. I was blessed with a niece and I met a ton of new friends. All in all this year was a good year!

The diabetes diagnosis has drastically changed my life. The effect that it has had on my everyday life has been profound. It has affected my relationships, academic progress and work life.

Drew came to visit. I have known him for years, but not until then did I know I loved him and wanted to spend my life with him.

I fell off my bike. Without access to the usual range of physical activity my heart health was compromised, along with the casual acceptance of thoughtless eating that created a long-term burden, added by the lost activity time. With such a conspicuous reminder, my circumstance invited me to think about second and third levels of consequence for everything. It was an important lesson and it took almost a year for the knee to heal--about the amount of time to make me appreciate what real change takes.

I was put into a mental institution. Maybe more accurately this happened in the last month of 2007, but the majority of the impact of that was with me for much of this year. It made me more angry and sad and untrusting than I have ever been, or been in a long time. It still makes me angry. How it all was handled was more traumatic than the actual reasons behind it. I got out of all my extracurrics because of that and now I'm putting my life together. But I know God carried me through it, and maybe it was a wake up moment. I'm more reflective now, because I know I have to be.

I met someone I trust implicitly. I never thought I could have a relationship like this, and it has opened my eyes to the possibility of other relationships based on this type of honesty and respect.

my business expanded to new venues and I began to realize the potential. My mom's health has deteriorated

I left Israel. I'm still trying to understand how it is affecting me. I miss the country, the land, the people more than I can express but I'm so happy where I am now and I was miserable there. I don't understand this paradox. I still remember that night when I left so well. Even the windows of the cab that were covered with ads so my few of the Ayalon at night was partially obscured, which made me sad. I even miss the highway.

I moved from one apartment to another and one group of friends to the next. It was all about caring for myself for a change.

The death of Miro (my dog). I still haven't recovered nine months later. I still think about her every day -- the moments in the backyard while I scratched her neck and she looked up at me. Somehow, I never thought we'd lose her -- she was just a constant. It threw me into such a long funk, one that I was able to hide from myself due to the rush of the primaries for Super Tuesday, but that, between February and finally starting my new job in August, made me feel so isolated and despairing. I still haven't allowed myself to enjoy other dogs I meet like I should. I still yearn for the way I used to come down the stairs and she'd put her head in my lap. I'm left with a kind of obsession of morbidity, of the past, a refusal to think forward or about the possibility of a new love.

We got pregnant. I am actually surprised at the moment that it hasn't affected me. But I know it's coming.

moving into my own place has definitely been the biggest thing to happen this year. i was practically living alone at the Cadillac house but it never felt like home... i couldn't decorate it how i wanted... it just never felt like i could move in 100%. like a temporary stop in my housing journey. anyways - moving A). to culver city B). finding an actual one bedroom & C). moving alllll of my stuff by myself was quite the undertaking. living alone means dealing with all the feeling of loneliness. you talk to yourself (out loud), you literally stare down the very seductive possibility of becoming crazy every day. it's hard not to feel crazy sometimes - and without even the smallest hint of someone coming by you fear you might let yourself go. things are still in boxes, clothing is in the living room, and my bathroom floor is one dried puddle after another. it's hard not to feel crazy. but i've also taken this opportunity to try to find myself - reluctantly. it's a bit like when i lived abroad in high-school... all i could do was think when i didn't understand what people were saying... well all i can do sometimes is think now and it's scary because you get overwhelmed by the actual lack of control we have over our own lives - but at the same time i'm forced to realize i do have some control - i'm just reluctant to make the changes i want because they overwhelm me. moving into my own place is great - but of course now that i have it i'm wondering what the next step is...

A friend from the past has been diagnosed with a serious illness. It caused me to focus on how fragile life can be, and to cherish all that I am blessed with. I also say a prayer each night for him and his family.

scraping i saw a different world

Staying in a hospital for a month and taking care of my husband and our finances has impacted me more than anything that I can remember. I am forever changed and proud of how strong and intelligent I really am. Such a terrible experience brought forth many positive realizations.

Our dependence on oil which in turn strengthens the terrorists supported by Iran and the likes (such as venezuela, russia etc) has passed the red line and makes me wonder if we are going to turn this around in my life time and how can a little ma like me make a difference.

I had a very significant experience this last year. My first kiss. And no i am not a 12 year old. I am 19. I never thought this kind of experience would be such a big deal to me, but i never truly realized what just one kiss could do. I have always been a self conscience person, and i always thought why i could never kiss anyone was because no body in their right mind would want that from me. Well i found a girl that is sooo beautiful and wanted my kiss. This has given me so much more confidence in myself and has made feel like someone else out there cares about me. All from one kiss...

I finished grad school, got a job, and moved to new york. the effect remains to be seen, but I am feeling older by the day.

well what hasn't. my dog's death; new dogs. new job. new school. this year has been about new beginings, and many of these begnings will hopefully lead to more new begingings.

The past year I have genuinely fallen in love. A love so deep pure and reciprocated I still can hardly believe it.

I got pregnant, 100% naturally - no drugs. It felt magic & awesome & god sent. I did my dream role (pregnant) had so much fun and got amazing reviews. It felt so esteemable and incredible and FUN. I made a movie about grief and loss that I hope will help the world. I created it from an idea in my head, raised all the $$ and it was scary and wonderful, helped me let go of my perfectionism. I fell even more in love with my husband I moved into my dream home that we built from scratch from an abandoned shell. Every day there is incredible.

I moved across the country, I changed jobs, I moved to a new home--and I did it alone. The move itself was exhausting--and frustrating, but really it was about some much more than that. This move was something that I knew was for the past ten years--it's just the nature of my job. I was excited about the adventure into something new, but it was heartbreaking to leave my family, my life, my house, my friends, my neighborhood, my city, my state. I had good, full life. But I did it. And I'm starting to make a life here. And I'm proud of myself.

I was able to attract the man I thought I wanted forever in my life. There was always something about him that drew me so close. We connected, we clicked. But as the relationship progressed, I lost more and more of myself. I changed plans, I lost jobs, I began to focus more on how to make him happy and less how to make myself happy. Nothing was ever good enough. We were deeply in love, which made things much worse. We both knew something wasn't right, and struggled in fear and often against each other to come to resolution and realize ourselves as a couple. I finally had to let go of the situation, but after a few days without him, I was lost and wanted to work things out. He had moved on two days after we broke up in finality... and I was devastated. I still love him dearly, I feel I will always feel the same way, but he could not love me the way I needed, and I him. It affected every portion of my life. Career, future, plans, friends, trust, love, closeness to God, faith in truth, faith in myself, faith in love and understanding. I am hardpressed to love and trust another person, though I realize these are vulnerable feelings that come along with losing someone so close simply because we couldn't get along. It has completely changed my world and given me more structure in not only what I need to change to grow up a bit, but what I want from life and learning to stand in that truth and speak my power.

My youngest child got married and since she was pregnant and she and her fiance were living thousands of miles away from everyone, the only family member to be at the marriage was me. It was a terribly difficult time because our dream for our only daughter was a gorgeous wedding - a fairytale dream come true for her. Instead it was a little ceremony in a courthouse thousands of miles away from family and friends with only me there. I felt ripped off, as her mother, not being able to do what I wanted in terms of giving her a magnificent wedding. The fact that her Dad wasn't there and could only weep his prayers to them on speakerphone made the day truly bittersweet. I wished it could have been more.

Significant? Lots of things have occured. I graduated university (most stressful day of my life, hot, bothered, kept thinking Id lost my ticket, nervewracking going up on that stage.) Plus, Dan, my boyfriend, cheated on me. I had suspected for a long time, but it finally was confirmed. I was & still am distraught, and its been pushed down inside, only rearing its ugly head when I get paranoid and dis-trustful. Im still with him, and not particularly happy in the relationship, but economic crisis and all tells me to stay where I am.

In June last year, my wife pursuaded me to go for a joint property investment. Since I did not think that it is suitable from my consideration and analysis of our finacial situation I finally agreed to let her go ahead with the investment on her own, after she promised to source for her own financing from her siblings and formulate plan B for exit in case of unforseen circumstances. After this incidence, I felt that no man is an island and we are all affected or influenced by external driving forces that will push or pull us into a situation whether we like it or not. However, I still respect individual's right of choice or the right to take risk or the right to learn a lesson through life experience. The main thing is I must be able to decouple from these disturbances also.

Aviya broke her arm and Hagit miscarried. They both ended up in hospital on the same day. pretty stressful. it drove home how precarious life is and makes you more grateful for every healthy living minute. My folks came to stay and we went away for a few days to a nature reserve. we all got on really well. i realised that you can adapt your behaviour to create more harmony.

Mt. Baker summit Climb with my father.

I left my job at year-end 2007. That was a HUGE change for me, as I had never not worked full time since leaving school. Interesting, I made the decision and the announcement to my boss(es) on the Monday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur last year, as we had just turned the corner to 5768. And I have not regretted it. What making that decision and actually leaving my job showed me is that I can try to overcome my fears--of not working, of being dependent, of not being productive--by channeling them in wonderful directions. I started a support group for parents of special needs children; I started doing some consulting; I'm joining the board of a new charter high school; I've done a bit of writing; I've given my husband some much-needed breathing room to run his business; and I've been much more present to my kids.

It's been an extremely insignificant year on so many levels, and I rejoice in that because the last few years were exhausting in their significant experiences. The significances in this year have all related to health - my husband's grandfather getting pneumonia at 92 *and recovering*. Me being sick with bronchitis after coming home from visiting him and basically missing a month of the year, but recovering fully. My daughter going into surgery, then my husband seven months later - those were terribly significant days, but they both recovered and were fine and we came through it together, healthily.

My children started at new schools. My daughter started high school and my son started preschool. Oddly, I have had little internal reaction. While these events were significant, they were also familiar.

Graduating college and leaving Gainesville, with Jonathan in tow, was a big jump to starting real life. That sounds so cliche, but I really do feel the effects of that life change more than any other in my life. I need to grow up. I need to find a career. I need to pay bills and work out and clean my house. I need to worry about me. I need to save money (for fake boobs or a wedding... reading this in a year should be a kick, future Taryn!). I'm just scared to get my life in order in time before I feel as though I've wasted my years.

I found out that my company is planning to get rid of me, I feel like I have been stabbed in the back. They still do not know that I know their plans.

My friend Jo who has MS became more severely ill. My husband also became weakened. I think the effect has been to make me more aware of the fragility of the major connections in my life, to know that this will likely continue.

Śmierć dziadka. Teraz wiem, ze można czuć pustkę z powodu straty, ale wiedzieć, że jest teraz ktoś, kto czuwa z góry.

This past year i have met the most wonderful man. We fell in love. This relationship had and still has a tremendous effect on me. I love him very much. He became my home. We traveled Bosnia, Croatia, Denmark and London together. i want to explore the world with him. And writing this down i am scared that he might not be with me next year and that reading this will only upset me. but remember, future me : this is an experience worth having. This taught and gave you so much. be grateful.

I think I lost my faith in God. I still *want* to believe but just can't reconcile a loving, personal creator with logic and lack of proof.

Quit a very good job, got married, moved to another country, decided to start trying for a family. It had made me realise that I'm on the road to growing up.... and that I have the stereo-typical mother/daughter-in-law relationship.

Two of our children got married last summer. It marked a new stage in life, different from the empty nest. They are really out, and not likely to come back for more than a visit. I have more freedom to do what I choose now and I'm giving more thought to what that is.

I graduated this year after five years of studying for my degree. My graduation, which I had mixed feelings about, turned out to be a great experience, and I felt proud after working hard for five years.

I took my father who has dimentia out of his home and took him to a nursing home. It was an ugly and difficult experience and some family members said I was being uncaring and cruel to take him from his home. It turned out he is healthier and happier in the home where they can care for him and he has more to do than sit in the house. I learned that being the one willing to make the hard decisions can be a positive experience; and it can be frieghtening.

I stopped speaking to my son -in -law after a very serious argument. For the first time in years I was completely at peace with myself as regards my relationship with my daughter.I realized that regardless of what she thought I really was and had been a very good mother to her.

Study more Torah. I am more optimist.

My car. I woke up one day and realized that I need to take care of myself and be my own advocate. I was also really sick for a few months and found out that I have the most amazing friends in the whole world.

My sister gave birth to a stillborn baby after 9 months of pregnancy. It was devastating, mainly for her, but for the entire family, particularly me, as I'd just given birth 3 months earlier to twins. We had gone through much of the pregnancies together and were looking forward to bringing up our children together. We are still very close, but I try not to talk about my babies too much and to be sensitive to her situation. It's still very difficult because there is so much I would like to share with her but can't. I can't help but worry that for the rest of our lives, every time she sees my children, she will wonder what her own would have been doing at that age...

Meeting Lance Horne. Opened my eyes to different careers in music, gave me appreciation for musical theater, forced me to reconcile issues of self-worth in relation to the Appolonian/Dionysian binary, introduced me to marvelous people in the field, gave me an opening into the mainstream theater world as well as into the alternative world, taught me that I've got to be on the ball 100% of the time and work my ass off, but stay calm and gracious.

I taught a woman and her daughter how to ride bicycles. This woman came from another state and when her daughter asked her why they had come so far to learn riding from me, the woman said that I was "magic." She relayed this story to me when she saw me, and asked me where my "magic wand" was. I pulled out my wrench and said to the daughter, "It is in the wrench." The daughter's eyes got really big and then about ten minutes later her daughters was riding the bicycle. The experience made me feel like I was a good teacher and that I did use my spiritual magic in all that I do. It reminded me that I have a special talent to teach which was important for me right now.

I conquered cancer It brought me closer to my kids, and gave me time to explore new challenges... like starting my new business

I broke my shoulder and decided not to undergo surgery with G-d's help I am 99% recoverd now! It increased my trust in Hashem signigficantly!

This year I helped create the SSA which has allowed me to share my expertise with other insurance office managers, increased my confidence and made me feel part of a greater whole.

I quit all synagogue-related volunteerism. I am not so sure how well I'm handling it. I don't feel comfortable there, yet still feel a small sense of guilt checking out other shuls. I am Pres.-elect of Rotary, and I am excited about that.

I bought not one but two skateboards. In what appears to be a desperate attempt at reclaiming my youth I have dived into skating full on.

Dated a rabbinical student and found my judaism

I came out of a lie thanks to someone I met online, reminded me I can be liked for my true self and I'll never forget Kalyn for that.

i have come to terms with having to lose weight seriously, and to make my personal health a priority

A big conversation I had with my husbando im Paris about our lifes, Affect me because I realise that we are no more so young, but we have a several of other things to do

I started talking to Joel again and in many ways, let go of Brian. My correspondence with Joel has caused me to redefine both what I want in a man, and also what it is possible to find in a man. He is a beautiful person, and maybe the first man that I've ever met whose intentions I feel no reason to question. His honesty encourages my own, and that is a first. I feel no pressure to be anything that I'm not. I feel so liberated by all of this. I am concerned by my willingness to leave Israel and the fact that Joel is a major source of motivation for this. I think that I am learning, though, that it's okay for a solid relationship to be among my top priorities. Israel will always be a true love of mine and I hope that I will continue to find ways to come back at least once a year and to serve the country from abroad. Still, the fact that this email might reach me when I'm no longer living here makes my heart hurt. Truly learning to love Brian as a friend this year might be my most significant achievement. I still have work to do, but I am so proud that I have moved on romantically and still have an amazing friend.

I graduated from the Coro Fellowship program with a significant sense of accomplishment. I was recruited to work at the United Way and gained first time experience working with youth. I was able to apply my Coro experience and shift from a participant role to a trainer role. I learned a lot about leadership - how important it is to build relationships with people you work with. I moved out of my apartment in Pittsburgh and have been adjusting to living back at home with my parents. I continued therapy and for the first time could train myself to see things differently - see situations and challenges with a new lens. As a result of this and Coro overall I am much more willing to embrace change and challenges as "experiments" and "adventures" rather than "bad, scary things."

I decided, no I admitted that I wasn't happy and no longer in love with my partner at the time. I finally admitted to myself that actually we had nothing in common and hadn't for a long while. I left him and the house. It made me feel scared but also free, by doing this I realised that I am fine by myself and don't need to be with someone to define who I am. I became myself again. I also realised that I would never let things get that bad again.

My dad died. This was huge, of course, because of the many difficult ways his presence and absence, his early, great parenting and his craziness, have impacted my life. it's made me sad, but the work i've done around his death have made me a stronger, happier person. I've joined CBST and gotten so much love and support from the community. I feel like i'm part of a bigger thing than just me through it, and it's a tremendous feeling to feel like i BELONG in this community. and so much of it is due to my dad -- both going to say kaddish every day, and remembering all the good things he taught me about Judaism. CBST brings me back to the Judaism my dad loved when he was sane -- the religion of challenging, of questioning, of thinking about, of not accepting blindly but engaging with. and I feel a part of that again, which is a tremendous blessing, and one that i've chosen for myself, and been able to choose, thanks to what my dad gave me, and what I have given to myself.

My Dad died when i was in europe. I was lost and i'm still struggling with it

After finally giving up hopes of having another baby I got pregnant. We were stunned and surprised and then thrilled. I then had a miscarriage. I'm sad that my child won't have any siblings but I know that after four pregnancies and one live birth that I'm not particularly good at getting pregnant and staying pregnant. Lots of emotion about that -- but mainly eternally grateful for my son and the joy and honor being his mother brings me.

My son got married and moved backed to the area where we all live. It was so special to have all my children living 10 mimutes away.We are a very close family. I also have a married daugher. They have 3 kids. My kids needed to find some sort of balance living so close to one another. The first year was so difficult. Constant bickering.Every day something would happen. I could not stand the fighting. I felt like my family was falling apart.I would cry all the time.I was scared my children were not going to talk to each other. That would do me in. At first I was always tring to make peace between the two of them. Then I realized that it was getting me nowhere. Finally a little after a year things started to settle down. Each child found there own spot and the arguing slowly let up. But I will tell you I was sick to my stomach all the time. The fear of not having my family together was more then I could handle.

We adopted three children. It has affected every part of my life. While I love them, undoubtedly, it's not what I expected it to be. I envisioned it to be much easier than it is and I feel drained most of the time and wonder if we made the right decision for us and for the kids.

I had a terrible miscarriage and lost my baby. I was wrongly accused of mistreating someone at our synagogue and our executive director and Rabbi did not believe me until reviewing the tape and then the Rabbi told me it was a miscommunication and never ever apologized for wrongly accusing me. After the incident I immediately called and apologized on behalf of the person who did the mistreating. I did believe it was wrong and I wanted to do the right thing. Still to this day neither The Rabbi, the executive Director or the Preschool Director has come forward to us to say, we are so sorry about all of this, you are important to us, an important part of our community, we don't want you to leave, we are sorry we wrongly accused you, we offended you, didn't believe you and didn't stand behind you. Instead its as if they have held the door for us to leave. 30 plus years means nothing. Out with the old and in with the new. Its a sad sad situation. The preschool director treated me terribly as well (posted a personal email, said rude things to me, did not put our son in the appropriate class), so I took my family and left the temple, where I had grown up. It had been my home for 32 years. I had my Bat Mitzvah there. My first child went through the preschool there (not without me being treated poorly by the preschool director) and I had hoped that both my children and our future children would have been bar mitzvahed at this synagogue. But tenure seems to not be so important nor does how these people treat people at this synagogue. Makes me very sad to leave a place I had called home for more than half my life. But at the same time, it seems as if the new administration there isn't interested in keeping the old members of the temple and preserving the family (ies) legacies. Also seems like all they care about is money and how much money they can bring in. So sad. The result of all of this is that my family has been split up. My husband and I have joined another synagogue with our children and my parents are still at the old place. Without us.

I graduated college, I got a full time job at an ad agency in San Antonio. I moved in with some relatives and left behind the majority of my comfort zone. So far, I've enjoyed the change of location and differences of my everyday life, minus the increase in my expenses. To be faced with the next phase in my adult life feels surreal and natural, yet another opportunity to discover the true nature of my spirit and logic.

I went to GHP for six weeks. But I didn't just go, and it wasn't just for six weeks. I fell down a rabbit hole into a strange new world where everything was too bright for me. My eyes had to adjust. Once they did, I saw the beautiful world around me with red spanish-mission style architecture and hat-wearing guitar-playing boys. I woke up at 6 in the morning, which is not only uncharacteristic, but damn-near unheard of for summer. But it was worth it. Grumbling was directed at the heat, not at situations. Learning was everywhere. But it wasn't all about books. It was about people, experiences, the game, and all sorts of non-mainstream things. There, people didn't talk about their trucks or how much weed they smoked, but about XKCD and how they lost the game. Never before in my life had I seen a trendy metro beautiful boy chat it up with a fanny pack wearing straight from the 80s geek about their mutual excitement for the Large Hadron Collider! And every once in a while, the lightening would crawl across the sky and the torrents of rain would fall. Sometimes even during the dances. Did that deter us? Hell no. What is water when you've fought a year and a half for this? What are heat, long walks, or laundry waits? Nothing. There was yoga, frisbee, construction, class decisions and Quiznos. There were moments when you couldn't quite get your mailbox combination to work. But did that illicit frustration? Not at all. All we had to do was step back from the situation. Being at GHP made you do that. Even though you were in a bubble for six weeks, you saw so much more. Almost all of it, in fact. Sometimes it seemed like every direction at once. What kind of reality was this? One in a time warp. Even though it was six weeks of my life, it felt like two minutes, if that. Then again, I feel like it's a battle scar that I carry with me every day. I'm honored to proudly carry the badge of courage. When I see or interact with others who were part of my summer, I can tell that it's living on. Maybe not in a fairytale place, but the life experience goes on.

I pulled a muscle in my calf. couldnt play my favorite sport. Felt sad and fearful about getting old and not healing as quickly as I used to.

I moved from New York to Los Angeles, and it gave me great confidence in myself. I've realized that I am better at big changes than I thought. I have made a significant number of new friends in the year, in this new place. I've learned a new city. I've begun to affect new patterns in my life. This has all helped me grapple better with the anxieties and ebbs and flows of my life's journey, and I'm very grateful.

I went back to school. I am motivated to do well in school and to be more responsible,

I was diagnosed with cancer. Quit smoking. We will see what we will see in October 2008. Made me think I better enjoy what time I have left. So far so good.

I fell in love. And that all sounds very well and good, but I fell in love with someone I have never met, and still am, and it does not matter what anyone else says because I know how I feel and it is something I cannot explain and I don't expect anyone to understand because I wouldn't either, in fact I don't really, he has hurt me and he has stood me up and that would be reason enough maybe for someone to just get angry, cut it off and find someone new, but I have tried and it is too hard, yes, perhaps partly because I have gotten so used to him and he makes me feel good about myself, it is nice having someone on my mind and to think about in my perfect moment before I go to sleep, it has affected me good and bad - sometimes talking to him at the end of the day is enough to get me through the next one, sometimes I feel so confused about it all I feel like I cannot get out of bed or move ever again. I think about it sometimes and can't believe I am basically in a relationship with someone I have never met who lives in the same city as I do. Maybe he is scared, maybe I am a joke, maybe the timing is wrong, he says he loves me and sometimes I think I really believe him. I don't want to end things yet because I think it will just make things harder for myself, and the thought of him finding someone new makes me feel sick. I cry a lot when I am alone but when I am out and about, life goes on as normal, I am a normal, happy teenager, I love my friends and family, but he has shown me more, I want him in my life and I am willing to see what happens because I feel like I can't do anything else. I wonder how much of a freak this makes me but maybe it doesn't matter that much, things won't be like this forever, and something good has to come out of it all, right?

I adopted an aggressive dog and worked with him for nearly a year before having to put him down after a traumatic experience with a neighbor. It was a painful experience. But I learned a lot about dogs and myself - about knowing when and how to let go and being grateful for what we have and who we are.

Challenges in the workplace - going from feeling threatened to knowing that the only thing that could make me really feel threatened was me. Dealing with that and working it out..

A little over a year and a half ago I ended a relationship with someone whom I loved dearly, but was not IN love with. Such a cliche but it's true. We were engaged. We'd been friends for more then ten years. Leaving him was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I couldn't keep living a lie. Late last year I met a man that is everything I've ever dreamed of in a significant other. Immediatly after breaking things off with my ex-fiance I made a pact with myself. I told myself that if I couldn't find a guy that was EVERYTHING on my list of desires then I would come to terms with being alone for the rest of my life. I decided I would never settle for "close enough." Just as I grew comfortable with that thought I met a person whom I truly believe is my soul-mate. The universe certainly works in mysterious ways. Because of my new love, this year has been one of the best I can remember. Sometimes I still feel as if my new relationship is just too perfect, too good to be true. It terrifies me in a way. I can't help but wonder if it really is possible to find true, everlasting love. The kind of love some people may never know. Why should I be so lucky? I have nightmarish thoughts about loosing him. It makes me sick just thinking about not having him by my side.

I was rejected from all 10 clinical psych PhD programs that I applied to. Immediately after realizing this, I applied for work to stay in Pittsburgh. It wasn't until this fall, in reapplying, that I realized how little academic/intelligence self esteem I had left.

I went to California for the summer! I wasn't even going to do an internship--I just wanted to move home for the summer and work for the summer day camp. Then I applied to two internships and was offered each of them, one in North Carolina and one in California. Looking back on the decision, it was a no brainer but at the time, seemed tremendous. I ultimately choose California for a variety of reasons and had the most amazing and life changing experience ever. I traveled all summer and made a life long friend. I experienced a whole new culture of people, a new geographic area and a new professional field. Most of all, I learned a lot about me. I am so capable of so much and learned that I still know how to have fun and enjoy myself. I am so thankful and fortunate that I had the opportunity to leave my comfort zone and push myself to new limits. I cannot picture what my life was like before California.

Breaking up with him. It changed me. I am good one day and bad the next as always. But I'm more optimistic about the future. I don't think zohar and I will last very long but it's fun to be with somebody new. It's hard becuase I keep comparing him to Aditya and to the comfort we had. And that's hard to match being that we were together for so long.

working in the nightlife. probably because of the people i met and the series of events that happened, i became who i thought i wouldn't become.

I went to Hypnotherapy to help clean out all of the negative thoughts that I felt about myself and it was A-maz-ing! I feel 100 times better than I ever have and I'm working on living healthier (being active and eating right). Before hypnotherapy I was feeling almost paralyzed by my negative thoughts about myself. I couldn't even try to take better care of myself... Hypnotherapy isn't a magical cure-all but what it did for me is to help clean out a lot of the past issues that I've been carrying with me. I really had no idea that I was carrying around so much but once we were a few sessions in, things just started pouring out of me and when I left I felt like a new person...I felt more confident, strong, and actually physically smaller...It was weird. It was as if I lost weight in the sessions which I guess I did...My burdens that had weighed me down since I was a child. I've actually just finished going for awhile but I'm sure I'll go back for a tune up every now and then. It was the best thing I did for myself this year. :o)

on may 12, the day after mothers' day, and two days after i officially graduated from college, my mother was shot and killed at work. it was devastating on a level i never really imagined. i don't know yet how it has affected me. i'm not sure yet how i'm handling it. some days i feel ok, some days i don't. my friends and co-workers have been especially supportive. but i don't think that i've figured out how to really deal with it yet. in january of this year, i met drew and fell in love. we are separated by almost every obstacle you can name, but i really feel that he's the one, and somehow we're meant to be together.