A Shrinking World

2018 was hard for many — I know it was hard for me. Maybe it was my hardest year.

I remember being afraid my world would shrink this year — maybe from the outside, it has.

I didn’t travel this year. Hell, I didn’t really even take a vacation. Logic says I’m an accomplished young woman and somehow I felt endlessly hopeless, lost, trapped, stuck. Like the best had passed me.

For what truly has felt like forever, I remember it feeling like everything was a one-two punch. I was sick. The sun was never out. I was having the worst luck. In the darkness, I was expecting my best while lowering my expectations for just about everything else — and yet was still constantly being let down.

I trudged on, pushed my career and my dreams forward in one of the darkest, loneliest times I can remember. I challenged myself, to the extreme. I felt simultaneously filled with pride and empty and on the brink of simply dissolving into the air.

I lied to nearly everyone in my life for months because I didn’t think they could understand something less than “perfect” coming from me. That wasn’t fair to them, or myself.

That was my move — going through a breakup? Take an intensive night course and take the LSAT. Stressed and overwhelmed from moving? Host all your friends at your place. Convince everyone, and along the way, yourself, that everything is A-OK!

Did I mention I moved this year? I left the first place I ever rented all on my own, a little studio in upper Manhattan. I got a new job this year, a fantastic job that is hard AF but I can’t wait to see what doors it will open. Yes, I took the LSAT. While working full-time. That’ll be a story for the kids.

And yes of course, there were boys. (Do you expect anything else from me?) I went through a breakup. I tried dating some other guys. None of them could compare. There were MANY waves of extreme optimism and pessimism. We’ll see where that goes.

Life and love are complicated. Nonlinear. Labyrinthine. Nonsensical. That’s what I learned this year.

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And I’ve been thinking, maybe that’s an understanding that has expanded my world than ever before — more than traveling alone to Asia or learning logic proofs (at 24…)

There’s a lot of toughness in the world. I’m supposed to demand more. I’m told to fight(!) and LOVE YOURSELF, GODDAMMIT!

Turns out, part of that is accepting that you will make decisions others will not agree with and will not understand. You should love that decision nonetheless.

I believe I’m less afraid to get messy now, and less likely to apologize for it. This year wasn’t my best or the easiest — but I’m grateful to carry that wisdom into 2019.

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