2012-01-01

In my mirrors: 2011

2012 is off to a good start as I am writing this on a comfy couch in a sun-drenched living room, while J is sleeping upstairs. It's a great time to look back and recap the year that just ended. Please indulge me while I do so.

As it is quickly disappearing in my rear view mirrors, the 2011 is looking pretty good. It was a busy year to be sure, and one that demanded a lot of me.

It was a year of personal growth, and a year of achievement for me. A year which ended up so much better than its beginning promised.

I rang in 2011 on my own, in my apartment, with a glass of champagne and my blog. I was still in the darkest period of my depression caused by my breakup all the way back in 2009. In early 2011 I finally have gathered enough strength to fight back.

I started with yoga, and did a 40-day intensive program with my teacher Maralle. The work we did together helped me shake off the remaining attachment to the broken relationship and start looking ahead instead of backward.

In racing, it's called driving the mirrors, and as an instructor, I can always tell when my student does it: They lose focus and every upcoming turn surprises them, because they spend most of their attention on what's behind them. That's no way to drive, and surely no way to live either.

Looking ahead, and accepting the change allowed me to enjoy my life and my friendships so much more, as well as open my heart to a new relationship. Quite unsurprisingly, I have known J ever since I moved out to California, but only after I stopped driving my mirrors was I able to see what a great friend he has been all this time. I am grateful to have him in my life, and all my friends who have helped me through the dark time. I cannot name you all here, but you know who you are.

2011 was also a year I started instructing with NASA, Hooked on Driving, and BMW CCA, got my competition license, and ran my first nine races. The instructing gig proved to be great! It allowed me to go to so many more driving events, and to improve my driving so much faster. I took a hiatus from racing to work on my lap times, and the decision paid off. In the upcoming year, I intend to return to racing mid-season, after I have had a chance to solidify my progress.

In other news, I have attended a stunt driving school, launched a Cafepress shop for my art, and started a racing numbers business. Interestingly, I have sold exactly zero art t-shirts, yet my numbers business may have actually made a profit!

All in all, 2011 was a good year, and a great foundation for an awesome 2012. Here's to looking ahead.