As is true for many of us, a new year is a great time for me to reflect and consider the events that unfolded in proximity to my life and the decisions I made in response to them. Framing my reflection in this manner is useful as well; after all, many of the things we encounter daily are things over which we have no control. I think it’s important to remember that as we evaluate what has passed and what we hope to build on in the year ahead. Thus begins a series of posts where I do that for myself.
For me, 2018 presented more opportunities than setbacks, and I’m very thankful for that. At the same time, I hurt for a few close to me who did not have such fortune. It’s hard for me to express gratitude knowing that fact, but I’ll try. Just know that, if you’re reading this and you’re on the other side of the coin: it’s OK not to be OK. I sincerely hope that the years that follow are kinder, and that you can heal enough to evaluate your own responses in a way that allows you to move forward with the pieces in tact and perhaps stronger than before.
I kicked off 2018 in Asheville with my current partner who I’ve been lucky enough to somehow keep around for nearly a second full year. On January 1, we were about a month returned from our first international trip together, and we were already planning the next adventure six months out. We bicker and pick at each other constantly, but we rarely truly fight. She is my polar opposite in so many ways, but we compliment one another well and she certainly makes me a better person. Hands down, having her in my life was the best opportunity I’ve had all year, and living with her has been my best decision.
Romantic relationships aside, I also started to prioritize my friendships more in 2018. I’ve lived in Tennessee for nearly five years, and I have real close friends here now. Last year I had the opportunity to travel with a few and deeply connect with a few in ways that I hadn’t previously. I also said no a lot more and spent a lot less time with other folks who I didn’t connect with in the same way. I worried a lot less about missing out, and I enjoyed my days more as a result.