Not going to lie, it’s been a hard year. It’s felt challenging from the start, but it’s becoming more apparent as the year draws to a close.
I’ve been in Seattle for just a little over two years now and I still have anxiety about it. In what felt like a blink of an eye, I changed my entire life for a job — a job that I decided to leave this year. I had a lot of panic attacks when I first moved out here. It felt selfish to ask Andy to give up his life/career to support mine. To give up a life that we had spent several years building in Austin. I honestly worked so hard to land in Austin and suddenly I was walking away from it. I still get panic attacks about it. It’s overwhelming to think about everything we gave up so I could be here.
Don’t get me wrong. A lot of wonderful opportunities opened up in my life coming out to Seattle. I took on the job of a lifetime. I learned so much professionally and got to experience more than I ever could had I stayed in Austin. It pushed me the way I had longed to be pushed – and beyond. So while there have been countless moments of doubts, insecurities, and tears — there is also so much I’m proud of.
I’ve been more open about my mental health struggles this year. It’s been somewhat of a relief to share that part of my life more publicly. The weight feels a little lighter, not having to carry the secret alone. Especially in a year when the dark days have been darker than ever. I feel the heartbreak whenever I read another suicide story in the news. I understand that feeling of complete defeat. I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself out the depths of darkness, but I know how hard it can feel to be alive, to keep living. We’re all fighting our battles, fighting for our next breath. I don’t think people realize how far a little kindness can go these days. How it could literally save someone’s life.
I don’t want to discount all the goodness from this year. I traveled a lot. Visited places I had never been and revisited some of my favorite places. I had so many amazing experiences in my career. Seattle also has it perks. The summers are unbeatable. The PNW still manages to take my breath away. I love my neighborhood and proximity of everything. I can literally walk anywhere — to the doctor, vet, gym, movie theater, grocery store, farmers market. I absolutely love my neighborhood farmers market — I’m that snob that exclusively eats local grown meats and produce now. I’ll never eat grocery store tomatoes again! I also love that Seattle is the city Andy and I get to call our own. I guess what I’m trying to say is despite the hurdles and difficulties this year has bared, I still have a lot to be grateful for — especially my family, andy, my dogs, my life.
Still, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t carry a lot of disappointment. My thirties have not panned out the way I envisioned. I don’t feel like I’m thirty + thriving. I guess I thought my life would be so much more established by now. I expected to have more answers than questions, that I wouldn’t feel so lost anymore. But here I am, 31 and still wandering aimlessly, embarrassingly lost, with more questions than before. I’m angry with myself and frustrated that I can’t seem to shake, escape, or currently find a way out of this rut.
I’ve always been a strong believer that you can start changing your life on any given day of the year — it doesn’t have to be January 1st. But there’s something about the over-romanticized New Year’s holiday that I totally buy into.
So, 2019. I hope you bring more answers, fewer dark days and more happy ones, health and prosperity for my loved ones, more victories and less setbacks, a little luck, and more kindness in the world.