Oh, hell. As is often the case, the end of the year has crept up on me.

Let's recap:

  • Five days into the new year, I lost my job. I walked into work with a coffee maker and a new piece of art and left two hours later with a coffee maker and a new piece of art and the rest of my office stuff in a bag. It took me six months after that to find the right job. (Good news: It's so right.) 
  • At the beginning of November, I broke up with my best friend and live-in boyfriend of more than three years. I spent Thanksgiving alone packing and probably took a few years off my life while relocating my cat and me in less than a month.

Not great, Bob!

The broad-brushstrokes description I just painted of my year will be hard to forget. But while perhaps not emblazoned on my brain, there are nuances and details, lessons and feelings, that I want to remember too.


I want to remember that I was unemployed six months because I didn’t—I don’t—want to settle. For anything. I want to remember that it was as valuable to learn what I don’t want to do as what I do want to do, both of which I’m constantly revising. I want to remember the support I got from damn good people in my life. I want to remember how comforting it was to find words that resonate, and how simultaneously wonderful and scary it was so spend so much time alone with my thoughts. I highly recommend everyone spend time alone with their thoughts, in fact. 

I want to remember how lovely my summer was and how good it feels to make plans and take control of your own happiness. 

I want to remember my trip to New Orleans. Of all the grand plans that had to be put on hold when I lost my job, travel was the biggest blow. Life has a funny way of keeping you on track, though, and I'm thankful I got to visit one of my favorite cities for work this fall and also have some time to play. It was a big leap (and a big thrill) for me to drink cocktails, eat a beautiful meal, and explore a city truly on my own.

I will always remember the first chapter of my life in Chicago—our neighborhood, our apartment, and our life together.

And I want to remember how I feel as the year comes to a close and I take a breath and take stock of life. 

I'm proud of myself. I'm self-reliant and strong as hell. I'm an introvert, but maybe not as much as I thought I was. I'm constantly reminding myself that it's OK change your mind. I'm out of my comfort zone about 90% of the time right now, and I'm good with that. I built a kitchen island by myself last night.

I'm alone but not lonely. And I feel brave, empowered, confident, grateful, and hopeful. Cheers to 2016.

At a certain point,
feeling afraid
is a bad habit
from when you thought
being afraid
would somehow
Here’s the thing
you should know:
it doesn’t.
Feel free to stop
any time.
— Brian Andreas