It’s NYE and for a retrospective/reflecting junkie like me – it’s kinda my Super Bowl. I can’t help but pause and ponder. This year (like most) was full of many triumphs and missteps. I’m not going to make this too long or too philosophical – Socrates did that a lot…and his friends killed him. But if you’re looking for the ‘Top 25 Reasons Why 2015 was________’ or ‘Why T-Swift killed it in 2015’ — go read a Buzzfeed article or something. Here you’re gonna hear my shit, my story, my year. This is my introspective – sometimes narcissistic – observation of the past year in its entirety plus all the little particles that magically and painfully materialized into the chapter we’re now closing called, 2015.
Stubborn, single, and selfish – my byline on my online dating profile.
Those adjectives are usually perceived negatively…I’d like to try to change that. This past year I’ve embraced those three adjectives and I think I’m better for it.
I’ve always been stubborn. Even growing up as a little kid, my parents would try to help me with a simple task I was struggling with and I would loudly [and proudly] announce I CAN DO IT MYSELF! I was an independent woman from the start and I’ll put my Polly Pocket together myself, DAMMIT! However, for the past couple years I’ve been stubborn in not the best kinda way. The “I’m gonna force it even though I know it isn’t right” kinda way. The way that makes you feel like you’re on the outside of your own life looking inward at a dull snow globe. This past year I embraced my stubborn streak in a different more determined kind of way. The kind of way that pushes you toward goals you didn’t think were possible. Stubborn in the sense of not letting “can’t”, “shouldn’t” or “you won’t” stand in my way. Stubborn can be good, like trusting your gut good. Or throwing bows, your weight, your bags if you have to — whatever it takes — to not miss your chance to stand your sacred ground or connecting flight good.
(heads UP – there’s going to be a lot of travel analogies/references in this post because YEAH I did a lot of that in twenty fifteen.)
Single. Yep that’s the box I checked for 2015. That’s a category I haven’t been in for awhile. As a serial monogamous relationshit guru — I’ve basically jumped from one serious relationship to the next for most of my adult life. Which means I eventually lost sight of myself somewhere along the way between baggage terminals. I needed time and space to grow comfortable with my own silence. Which is a real picnic for someone like me with an overactive imagination. The last time I got comfortable and quiet with myself — like for real for real — was in high school? Maybe. Even then I’m pretty sure Backstreet Boys filled my silence. Getting to know yourself is a tricky sometimes icky thing. The cool thing is you never really stop…getting to know yourself that is. The tricky and icky stuff is usually temporary. Hurtful at times but the best we can do is to try to stay soft through the pain and let it lead us somewhere stronger. Being single has been absolutely awkward and completely cliche. Both kinda amazing and totally shitty. Maybe that should have been the title of this post? Don’t get it twisted — I’m not jaded, just wiser…with a better collection of stories. If you are single — you know what I’m saying. If you’re not, well you were at one time so…play on playa!
Being single means I’ve had a great opportunity to be — selfish. GASP! Probably the dirtiest and most judged of the three adjectives. Selfish — eww. “How dare she. How dare he! Assholes are selfish!” True. However learning to be selfish in a good way is HUGE. Like Donald Trump HUUUUUUGE. You just said it in his voice, didn’t you? HA! Anyway, being selfish [in my opinion] means putting yourself FIRST. For the past year that has meant saying a firm NOPE to crappy-crap and putting my choices, needs, and dreams at the TOP of the priority list. Crazy concept huh. Nothing like clearing out the monkey chatter of muddy relationship/dating bullshit to make yourself available to YOself and get really clear about what you want.
I knew travel was my main objective in 2015 because I knew it was my year to grow – and nothing stretches you more than leaping out of your comfort zone and into new zip codes. I did some domestic traveling this year to North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, and New York but my biggest leap was across the pond when I traveled solo through London, Germany and Italy for 2 weeks. I knew it was going to change me but it utterly rearranged my molecules. Independent travel gives you such a high of self-sufficiency it’s hard to hide the perma-grin smeared across your face. After two years of battling self doubt and neglecting intuition – I now know what’s been true all along. I am so very capable. Travel isn’t always about finding yourself, it’s a but realizing who you’ve been all along. I visited nostalgic hallowed grounds that helped shape my wanderlusty spirit almost 10 years ago. I watched and admired some of my best-friends living out their dreams of graciously raising a family abroad. I heard church bells in the distance and breathed in impeccably sweet-salty Italian air. I hustled and challenged myself as I accomplished one phase of the journey after another. I made peace with things that I needed to sort out in my soul. I sat on flower canopied patios overlooking the Amalfi Coast and cried happy tears. I ate and drank my way through each city without an ounce of guilt because life is crunchy and complicated and so much more delicious when you take a bite.
Throughout the year one constant has remained…the people I stubbornly and selfishly singled out to surround myself with. These people are good people. Some are family, most are friends I choose as family. They are funny and cerebral, dorky and thoughtful, loving and creative, deep-end-of-the-pool people who I cherish. They are rich in flavor and perfectly seasoned to nourish my slap-happy often sappy soul.
I come from one of the most ambivalent generations in human history. No one can make up their damn mind! Our world has exploded with endless options, and it can be downright INFURIATING! That being said and speaking as the millennial I am — I’m not completely decisive in knowing what I want or exactly how I’m gonna get there. My resolutions are not resolute. BUT. After this year — my vision is a lot clearer and my foundation is a much more solid place to leap from and that’s a start…:)
With so many things out of our control like nature disasters, the Kardashians, terrorist groups and Presidential nominees; my hope on this NYE is to remind you of the things we do have control over. Like kindness, forgiveness, courage, Seinfeld re-runs, patience, perseverance, Drake memes, acceptance, complaining, unconditional love, and fart jokes.
Happy New Year’s Eve, friends. In 2016 — make selfish choices, be stubborn about your goals, and stay single-ly in love with your life…every shitty second of it.