The end of the year is upon us (thank God), and I must admit that it has been the strangest 12 months of my life. I mean, outside of the current political fiasco/hellish nightmare that is our country right now, 2017 was a changeable creature. To go from a pile of dust to a kick-ass, globe trotting, career gal in such a small amount of time is astounding. I’m proud of myself. For the first time in my life I can say, without a doubt, that I am proud of who I am.
Now, any devotee of this blog (or just casually seeing me in a Starbucks, to be honest) knows that the first half of this year saw the nuclear destruction of my long-term relationship and my utter, unrepentant, in-your-face despair. Shout out to my dad for being at Ground Zero and hustling me, my broken heart, and all of my literal baggage out of Indiana. I would not be where I am if it weren’t for the difficult decision of moving home for a time. Shout out to everyone who was there to listen to me cry, gave me words of encouragement, helped me rediscover my faith, and just left me alone sometimes.
I will say this about your long term partner deciding that they need to be a free agent and start dating again recklessly soon (seriously not bitter, but I do think you have a codependency problem): You either decide to live, or you die. Dying wasn’t an option anymore. Especially after being told that the only reason my depression didn’t kill me was through the singular efforts of said long term partner–sorry, I’ll stop that now (except how dare you tell me that the reason I am alive is because of your sorry excuse for an advocate–okay, I’m done. Really). The reason I am where I am is because of my bad-ass bitch status. I decided to live, to take risks, to fall in love with the world again.
To think that I finally moved to Boston–a place I’ve wanted to live my entire life–and be with my best friend was unthinkable 12 months ago. Not only that, but to have an actual job suited to my skill set? Am I living the American Dream? And now, here I am, ready to move into a beautiful new house with my dog and cat. We will have 6 other roommates, which would have been unthinkable to me 8 months ago. Now? Bring it on.
In a world that is so utterly confused about whether or not it wants to be decent or literal dog shit, I’m going to focus on my own personal accomplishments. Here’s a list of things that I am so proud of that it’s a little ridiculous:
Uh, I went to Paris. It was a totally impulsive thing that resulted in one of the greatest adventures of my life. Honestly, Eat, Pray, Love has got the pulse on what you should do with yourself if you have the time and the need.
- Wrote a chapbook that detailed the rise and fall of my relationship. It was incredibly cathartic. Honestly, if you’ve got some trauma you need to deal with, consider writing 40 poems. You’ll be so emotionally exhausted that you won’t have the energy to care.
- Finished my thesis. What a feat. It’s so beautiful. And horrible. And oh my god do I actually hate it. And maybe I’ll pick it back up in a year. Or not. We’ll see.
- Wrote and/or called my Congressperson nearly every day. What up, John, in Marco Rubio’s office? I never tell you this, but you have a really lovely speaking voice. I wish your boss wasn’t such a tool, because we could have had something really special.
- Got published not once or twice, but thrice.
- Taught myself that I can be alone and flourish. Not that this was ever really in question. I’ve been my own driving force for over a decade at this point. I continue to be more than okay.
- Didn’t kill myself and dealt with my depression head on. If you’re ever in need of a compassionate ear in this department, I’m the person.
- Stopped drinking so much soda.
- Developed a real relationship with my sisters. This summer was dedicated to the care and feeding of those children. I can only hope that they remember my ample kindness when I’m old.
- Went on some dates. This is actually a big deal. I never really went on dates with my previous partners. Dating is nice.
- Learned how to flirt. Refer to point 10.
- Discovered that I’m not that bad-looking. Hahaha, actually, the girl is hot and is no longer afraid to let the world know.
- Went to church and learned about compassion and acceptance all over again.
- Decided that I wanted to start my life over with my best friend in Boston, and then actually did it by getting a job at HARVARD and just doing it. My God.
- Refused to stop growing.
Here at the end of the year, I’m a different person. I’m kinder, more patient, more open-minded, more fun, sweeter, more confident, more aware of what I want, more in control. As we go into 2018, I will continue to improve myself and grow less fearful. I will continue to learn how to speak out in the face of injustice. I will continue to cook too much food and try to express my feelings through it. I will continue to be overly-aggressive when it comes to getting to know people. I will continue to root for the underdog. I will be a nasty woman. I will be fearless. I will allow myself to fall in love with and trust someone again. I will be utterly me.
It’s 2017, I’m in love with the world. I’m in love with myself. I’m in love with every moment that I am blessed with breath.
Here’s to 2018, may it be kinder us all.