Why hello, 2015.
But first, let’s talk about 2014. This last year has been difficult. Graduate school and Boston and getting my own shit figured out was really tough.
I’ve learned that as you age confidence isn’t just a given. Courtney and I were discussing this over lunch in Minnesota and the idea has stuck in my head. That bravado of your teens and early 20s fades, and while confidence is still necessary, and surely still exists, it must be pulled from something more tangible. It didn’t just conjure itself out of thin air.
Maybe we just have more fear? Maybe we’ve lost our edge? Or maybe it’s just another benefit from aging…being forced to find confidence and strength from something real and earned, rather than simply an ignorant refusal to accept that sometimes things just won’t work out for you.
With that in mind, grad school thrust me, as an adult, into a world far from my family, friends, and my fiancé. And after three years of routine in the workplace, my brain was in overdrive. Combined with the unfortunate waning of that magic teenage confidence, I had to conjure up the will and belief that I could do that coursework from somewhere within me. The need to show up everyday and get it done required more effort than school ever had before, and it was draining. Not impossible, but I do think that if I had to sum up grad school in one word it would be just that: draining. It scrapped up every last drop of mental energy I could give, and by the time it was over I was completely broke, scared, and dragging myself to weekly appointments with my godsend of a therapist.
So that, my friends, is how 2014 began. From there I hit a whirlwind of nannying and internships and graduation and marriage. Then I packed up everything and moved to New York City, and as much as that was huge in itself, the move has been so good for me.
Searching for employment has been insanely frustrating (and I’m constantly aware that it is a massive privilege to have that time) But as much as it has sucked, this time was needed. Is it strange to need a full year to recover from the uprooting of graduate school? It sounds absurd and whiney, but when I look at my friends and former classmates, well, a lot of us still seem a bit shell shocked. It’s hard to navigate so much change while also attempting to take what we learned and apply it to our less-than-ideal worlds. Not to mention the litany of personal “milestones” one is expected to accomplish in their late twenties, which I see adding pressure to so many of my peers. It’s all a lot.
In that way, I’m looking forward to 2015. Yes, I’m aware the new year is just an abstract date and nothing really changes, but it does mark the passing of time, which is the key for all things growing, healing, and getting stronger.
So cheers to where we are today compared to where we were one year ago.
In that spirit, when the ball dropped and we lifted our champagne glasses, I toasted another year to keep growing braver and more sure of me.
And with that…cheers to 2015!