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Q01

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

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.

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.

I went to the women’s 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

I was recruited to work at the United Way and gained first time experience working with youth.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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