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As I write this, I'm looking across the table at my beautiful FIANCEE Tana, aka Miss [livejournal.com profile] mepeachykeen619 as she makes playlists for our New Year's Eve party tonight, the light from her monitor making her face glow softly in the muted lighting we usually keep in the condo. A year ago, we were in Charlotte, hanging out with my old high school friends Andre and Gerin (aka [livejournal.com profile] capt_hornblower) at some overcrowded, overpriced irish pub place in downtown Charlotte, watching in amused fascination as some ridiculously drunk UNCC student (an oxymoron, I know) prattled on and on about why she was a political science major. Had somebody told me then where I would be in my life right now, I think I'd have had a hard time believing it.

The biggest news of the year, without a doubt, is that Tana and I are now engaged. That just happened a little under two weeks ago- December 19th, to be exact, at the base of the fountain at Balboa park after taking her out to dinner at The Prado, one of the best restaurants in San Diego. I've been fortunate to hook a girl like her, and I know it's not the kind of thing that happens every day to a guy. I've been through so much this year, put her through so much, and she's never wavered, never swayed at all in her devotion to me, to us. I know I'll never be able to thank her enough or show how grateful I am, but I'm happy to spend the rest of my life trying to. We just reserved the place for the wedding along with the date- October 18th, 2009 we'll say our vows at the Ocean View Room at the Point Loma Submarine Base. I don't have the foggiest idea about anything having to do with weddings, but I know that Tana, her mom, her sister, and the rest of her family will help there. Just tell me where to show up, and make sure there's beer there and I'll be happy. In my opinion, we could be running off to Vegas and just have it done with- the important thing in my opinion is that I just want to be able to spend the rest of my life with Tana. And I know she feels the same way too. ;)

On another note, I'm less than 3 months from finishing this 3- year tour in hell that has been Recruiting. This last year has been the hardest all around- getting moved and promoted to running an office, getting cursed out, fired, and moved back to Orange County, and having a crosshair securely on my back for most of the first part of the year took its toll on me- one day at the beginning of July spent at Balboa Naval Hospital following a nervous breakdown and lots of anti- depressants later, I'm doing much better. Lord only knows where I'd be right now if it wasn't for Tana once again being by my side. I'm looking forward to spending most of the beginning of January starting my check- out process and getting ready for 60 days of paid vacation on the Navy's dime. Then, it's a simple matter of figuring out what I want to do when I grow up. Easy, right?

Christmas was a different affair than usual this year as well; Tana came back to New York and Charlotte with me last year, but we both knew beforehand that she wouldn't be able to do it again this year- she's got her own family out here as well, and I knew that I didn't want to be away from her for the holidays. So, in probably one of the hardest calls I've ever had to make to my family's house, I told them I wouldn't be home for Christmas this year. In reality I kinda knew it was coming- I'm 27 years old, and it's really time for me to start doing my own thing when it comes to the holidays anyway. Spending it with Tana in our own place was a very nice plus- and this time next year we'll be married anyway, so it's been good practice.

We'll be married this time next year.

Wow. Yeah, I really just said that. Strangely enough, it feels good.

2008 has ended really well- I couldn't have asked for a better way to end it, and I'm looking forward to 2009 as a blank slate, a truly fresh start, and another year of truly momentous changes. Here's to love, luck, success to everybody else as well!

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Tiger In A Cage

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