I know we're already a few days into 2015, but let's pause for a moment, shall we? I'd like to dedicate this post to our dearly departed friend, 2014, for a quick look back at a few of the most memorable happenings within its 365-day span. Here goes.
I rang in 2014 in Philadelphia with my then-boyfriend & his family, throwing a handful of confetti that a stranger gave us just after midnight, & later I returned to my new apartment, lonely but hopeful.
I broke up with said boyfriend of 3.5 years, something I neither announced on the blog nor elsewhere because it was painful & personal, & contrary to public belief, I do not actually share everything online.
I started therapy, making once-weekly visits to an incredible, patient psychologist who wrote me "prescriptions" for books about meditation & ultimately changed my life in a thousand lasting ways.
I attended a few VIP events hosted by Google, eating gourmet tacos & fancy macarons & having a haiku written for me on a typewriter by a professional haiku-writing trio, & other such frivolities that can only happen in a big city.
I went to a wedding in Chicago with some of my favorite bloggers, dressed to the nines in a full-length gown & professionally done hair & makeup. I cried twice, but all the dancing & happiness outweighed it (& at the end I met Jess!)
I made multiple trips home, where I saw two of my best friends marry wonderful women, spent a great day exploring Cleveland & a great weekend exploring Columbus, & fell in love with the Buckeye State all over again, proclaiming my love for all to hear.
I reunited with my group of second-year-in-D.C. friends, now spread across the country, for a weekend in Manhattan, complete with a newborn baby, yoga in a park, & a vodka-laden dinner at a very weird Jewish steakhouse.
I hosted guests in D.C., like Dominique, who stayed for a week, & my family, who came for a long weekend where we explored as much of D.C. as humanly possible.
I shared a photo of myself in a bikini on the Internet for an Instagram campaign, & it received more than 400 overall likes & won me a $100 gift card (plus some bonus self-esteem).
I attempted to conquer my fear of open water by going sailing & stand-up paddle-boarding; it only sort of worked, but both activities were more fun than expected & accompanied by a hefty dose of pride.
I turned 30, which I celebrated at my favorite taco place surrounded by dozens of friends & exactly 30 cupcakes, feeling loved & overwhelmed & exhausted & old & vibrant & thankful as hell to have made it this far.
I continued the 30th celebration by visiting Hilton Head with my mom (who turned 60), my best friend (who also turned 30), & other loved ones, doing our best to spend maximum amounts of time relaxing on the beach & playing board games.
I went on a tour of the West Wing & later actually had a job interview with the White House. I I didn't tell the Internet about it, but I was fairly proud of it despite the fact that they ultimately decided "to go in a different direction" (i.e. that I wasn't their ideal candidate, womp).
I tried to figure out my personal style, wearing straw fedoras & floppy felt hats & brightly colored lipstick & designer boots that I bought from a weird vintage popup shop in a seemingly abandoned building in Southeast D.C.
I was published in xoJane telling a very personal story about my long struggle with mental illness, & with your help, I raised more than $1,500 for a non-profit that helps people facing depression, addiction, self-injury, & suicide.
I had a panic attack that sent me to the hospital, but I was grateful to learn that in hard times, support comes from both the unexpected (the strangers who called 911) & the beloved (three best friends who met me at the ER).
I saw my all-time favorite band play my all-time favorite album in its entirety, & I split fried green tomatoes with one of my longtime favorite musicians before watching him play an intimate show in D.C.
I decided it was time to return to Ohio, like, for real, & announced it by quoting another famous returnee (yeah, you know which one). I was appreciative for all the support & so surprisingly few "Oh my God, you've moved a million times" comments.
And then I moved in with my mom, something I never expected to do at age 30. I gave up my personal space & a lot of my independence & some of my pride, but I gained a new-old sense of comfort & a lot of extra money in my wallet.
There were some things about 2014 that didn't make it onto Instagram. I learned that the people you care about aren't always on your side. I was hurt by people who I called friends, accused of being someone I'm not, & targeted by some unfair gossip. I struggled at work, with writing, in therapy, in love, & on my own. And I spent about 12 full months recovering from a broken heart that was my own damn fault.
But it was a good year, too.
It was a year of healing & of bravery & of proving myself to myself. It was a year of learning not to care quite so much what other people think & of figuring out how to let it go (but don't you dare sing me the song). It was a year spent with people I love, as well as by myself; it was the year I trimmed the fat & finally said goodbye to unhealthy friendships & relationships. It was a year of listening to myself, of being myself, & of treating myself well.
I've seen a lot of folks complaining about 2014, but I don't have a bad word to say about it. I ate a lot of cupcakes & tacos & waffles & more tacos. I went to bottomless brunches & dinners with friends & parties on rooftops. I spent a considerable number of hours working from Starbucks & other cafes, paying for office space in daily lattes. I saw new places & did new things & worked hard & did a ton of writing & overall just felt really damn good about almost everything, even when I didn't.
In other words... hello, 2015. I welcome you to top all of this.