2010: My Greatest Challenge
by Rease Kirchner
The year 2010 certainly contained more changes than any other in my life. I’m refusing to label this past year The Worst of my Life, instead I’ll call it My Greatest Challenge.
- I won a contest for the first time in my life. Two box seat tickets to a Blues vs. Blackhawks hockey game with parking and a $100 Blues giftcard included.
- I celebrated my 4 year anniversary with Jimmy.
- Jimmy gave up on everything in his life, including us. All I remember about February is the feeling that nothing would ever be the same.
- Going along with the nothing will ever be the same mentality, I decided to move to Buenos Aires minutes after the breakup.
- I visited Denver, CO to see Abby and Jack. For 5 wonderful days, I was safe with my amazing friends who did everything to keep my mind on my move, my upcoming half marathon, and absolutely anything positive. We even celebrated Easter, my first holiday in 4 years away from Jimmy’s family.
- I completed my first half marathon. Emily and I trained separately but ran the first 5 miles together. I crossed the finish line at 2 hours and 22 minutes, 8 minutes faster than my goal time. Regardless, I cried the second I received my medal and found no happiness in my finish.
- Less than one week after my finish, I signed up for another half marathon in Denver, determined to reclaim my moment.
- On April 30th, I purchased my one way ticket to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- Roxy and I spent endless hours driving through a rainstorm to get to Denver. I finished my 2nd half marathon, crossing the finish line at 2 hours 9 minutes, 13 minutes faster than before and with a lot less oxygen. I dedicated my finish to my students at St. Cecilia School. I cried when I finished, but out of joy of seeing Jack, Abby and Roxy decked out in their supportive T-shirts right before I sprinted the last stretch.
- I said goodbye to my beloved students through a speech about overcoming obstacles and finding the right motivation which, in my case, was them. I left them with a photo of my finish and the closing statement: “You can’t stop people or things from hurting you, but you can stop them from destroying you.”
- On my last day as a teacher at St. Cecilia School, I received gifts, hugs and endless amounts of love. I have never been so sad to leave a job. In 9 months I never once woke up thinking “I don’t want to go to work today”
- For 7 days, I hung out with Rachel and Brent in Alaska where we baked cookies for our birthdays and drank wine out of a water bottle in the back seat of Brent’s car and spotted a moose.
- I went out to eat almost every day for 2 weeks in an attempt to see as many people as possible before my move.
- I spent an incredible amount of time with Erin, Ellen and Sean, trying to soak up the last bits of happiness in St. Louis.
- I nearly failed at packing up my life.
- Two days before I left the country, I celebrated my 23rd birthday by having a combined birthday/goodbye party that lasted 12 hours. So many of my amazing friends came out to have a drink and give me a hug goodbye.
- On June 22nd, I pulled myself away from my crying mother and boarded a plane.
- On June 23rd I arrived sleep deprived and utterly overwhelmed in Buenos Aires. I collapsed in a fit of sadness, confusion and depression on my rented bed and slept until I could think straight.
- I saw Jorge for the first time in a year and also met my friend Jenny. I had no idea these two would become my best friends in BA.
- I started Au Pairing and English teaching.
- For the 2nd time in my life, I had the unpleasant experience of watching Germany knock Argentina out of the World Cup.
- Alex and I began working on Travelated together.
- I said hello and goodbye to some amazing people visiting and leaving BA. I had not seen Kadhir in years and it was amazing to spend time with him in my first month in BA. Issac and Will were great fun. Amina and I timed our arrivals and departures terribly and I was sad to see her go.
- Jenny and I began Squash Wednesdays.
- The family I worked for taught me how to row.
- Emily joined the Travelated team.
- The Choi family hired me as a personal assistant. I love getting paid to hang out with them, they are amazing.
- I received a lot of encouragement and praise about my move. It came at a good time.
- Jenny and I spent a weekend in Colonia, Uruguay. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love it. (Read my thoughts about it)
- Travelated had it’s official launch.
- For the first time in my life, I got homesick
- Sara and I went to see Belle and Sebastian. It was my first concert in BA, I loved it even if the concert etiquette of those around me was not too great.
- Had my 2nd potluck, in honor of Thanksgiving.
This recap doesn’t even begin to show how hard this year was for me. I guess that’s all part of the 2010 challenge, furthering my ability to not just survive but have a story worth telling and let’s face it, no one likes a sob story. Thanks to everyone who help me get through it, you know who you are. I love you.
How did 2010 treat you?
Rease is a US citizen currently living the ex-pat life in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is bilingual and an experienced traveler. She loves gaining and sharing knowledge of local cultures, customs and adventure.