Life is ever-fleeting, and changing and complex — and a whole bunch of things I am still coming to terms with.
Twenty-fifteen was a very out-of-comfort-zone year, for me.
This year, if anything, was filled with major lessons in balance — that called for grit, grace, and some serious endurance.
I’d begun the year by driving cross-country with my family; from San Diego to Atlanta, only to fly back across the country less than a week later to be with the man that I loved.
Soon after, I changed jobs and got a new car. We adopted two more dogs and moved from apartment to house — and somewhere along the way got engaged and are currently surviving our first deployment.
Somewhere between all of that, there were days spent at the beach, and trips to every kind of theme park, from San Diego to Los Angeles.
There were growing pains (a lot of growing pains) and sleepless nights and some days where I’d really lost faith in myself — completely unsure of where I was going, or what I was doing, or how I was going to do it. For the first time, I felt like I’d lost touch with God. And not in a rambunctious-buck wild-YOLO, type of touch, but in a way that made me feel empty when I was alone; like there was something missing that felt both saddening and frustrating all at once. I became so disappointed in myself for this. And so, I soon ended up joining a nearby church, only to find that my spirit didn’t sit well with the gospel that they preached. After my third time in attendance, I left. Though, still very unsure of how to solve my void-full dilemma, I also understood that it wasn’t there.
Thus, I’d begun to read and study more on my own. I allowed myself to be patient with my progress. I spent less and less time on social media, and more and more time getting to know myself and finding out what I enjoyed. I filled my days with longer hours at work, meaningful and/or humorous conversations on the phone with friends, and in my free time, I slept and ate and exercised and gave to myself; I watched shows that made me laugh, and took up the opportunities to volunteer towards causes I believed in.
In the last few months of the year, I vacationed alone — twice, back to the east coast to strength connections with old friends I’d grown up with, and new ones I wanted to get to know better.
Twenty-fifteen was my first real year of adulthood struggles.
I maxed out my credit card because there were so many new expenses I hadn’t calculated in moving out west. I ate terribly for my health and neglected to allow myself any time to relax because I was constantly stressed about not having money, and gaining weight — always cranky from the lack of sleep I’d gotten the night before. I’d also experienced my first couple drives to work with my gas tank on E, praying I made it there without my car running out of fuel.
But in turn, this year was also the year I remember crying on my way to work when I was able to accept that things were finally starting to go well. Once I began focusing on moving past my emotions and working towards improvement, I could see little rays of hope glistening ahead. I started regaining trust in my ability to survive, maintain and be accountable for my decisions and responsibilities. I remember calling any and all of my family members who had constantly been there, supportively. And though I hadn’t asked them for a dime, I felt like their presence alone aided in the rebuilding of my self-confidence as a young person in her 20’s trying to make sense of everything.
Twenty-fifteen was the year I’d been constantly introduced to the things I knew I didn’t want for myself, and began investing in the things I knew would improve the vision I was creating.
And of course, Cole has been here. He’s held my hand through so many moments which felt like defeat, and cheered me on when we, as a team, succeed — almost like I’d accomplished everything on my own. Even now, as he’s overseas, I still get his pep-talks and messages of encouragement. He’s allowed me space to continue to grow, while still reminding me that he’s here for me.
And over this past year, he has truly become one of my best and closest friends.
All of this is not to say that New Year Resolutions are invalid, but instead to say that our situations are forever changing and life is full of, sometimes, forceful adjustments. I didn’t bring in this year by tuning in to watch the ball drop in New York or the Peach fall in downtown Atlanta. There were no tingling feelings of a sense of new beginnings, or that I needed to make a promise to myself to reach a goal of some sort before the end of 2016. Instead, the next day when I awoke, I turned the page in my calendar and filled up my t0-do’s for the month — with a very, business as usual, attitude.
If anything at all, the new year thus far has acted as a ‘refresh’ button.
A time of reflection, recalculating and reestablishment of my priorities.
A time of forgiveness and patience and a little more kindness.
A time of love and appreciation and more love.