There’s no doubt that there are far more important things for me to be doing than writing this post — hello weeks worth of laundry, dusty apartment surfaces, and Whole30 meal prep — but alas, here I am. Putting off the things I should be doing for the thing I should have done, like, two weeks ago. I don’t know about you, but I think my habit of procrastinating is kinda charming. Dare I even say cute?
No? Just me trying to distract from the reality that it’s actually not charming or cute at all? Okay fine, you’re right. I digress. Moving right along.
Whew. 2018. What a year! Let’s take a look back.
2018 will be safely tucked away as one of the most noteworthy years of my life, for reasons both good and bad. Don’t worry, though . . . the good far outweighed the bad. It just wouldn’t be truthful to say that I breezed through this year without experiencing a few moments of hardship.
I entered 2018 a dozen or so months ago reasonably optimistic, having just received a promotion that was, quite truthfully, long overdue. But through those newfound rose-colored lenses I had procured with said promotion and later tossed up onto my nose, my sights weren’t really set on anything in particular. All I knew was that 2018 was going to be my year, for one reason or another.
Maybe I would fall in love. Maybe I’d get a dog. Maybe I’d move to Austin. Or, maybe I would finally come to terms with the fact that California would be my finality.
If you’re a regular here on A Thousand Candid Words, you’ll quickly recognize that quite literally none of those things happened. Ha! And if you’re a new reader, hello! Welcome. Please shoo off that touch of pity you might be feeling, because soon you’ll realize that those things not happening is probably the best thing to happen to me.
After two consecutive years of rejection, it’s really no surprise that moving to a new state became something of an empty dream for me. But however improbable it seemed, I couldn’t help but carry that ambitious goal with me over into the new year — without much expectation, though, might I add. So if you were to tell me that five months into 2018 I’d be living in Tennessee, I probably would have given you a nice, over-dramatic eye roll and laughed in your face.
Yet here I am, sitting in my little studio apartment on the outskirts of downtown Nashville. And I’ve really, truly never been happier or more proud of myself.
Moving was the single greatest thing to happen to me last year. Probably ever tbh. If you don’t believe me, read this or this or this or this. Seriously. I’m obsessed with this city and what it’s done for me. Since moving in May, I’ve tapped into this confident and capable side that was once overshadowed by the complacency and general blah-ness I felt living back in California. Even today, there are still moments that I’m sitting in my car, or walking to coffee, or all cozied up on the couch and a surge of disbelief will wash over me . . . I can’t believe I am living in Nashville.
I’m so happy for this west coast girl living in the south and am so excited at what might be in store for her* here.
*Her is me. I am the west coast girl living in the south.
Before this past year, my relationship status was something I would shy away from writing about or discussing openly, which, honestly, I’m not sure why. It’s not like my singledom was some huge secret. And I wasn’t necessarily embarrassed by it (ya girl knows her worth and isn’t gonna settle).
It took some time and self-reflection to discover why I assigned so much importance to that empty space beside me, but it really came down to the fact that I genuinely felt less than by not having someone else to do life with.
HA! 2018 proved that I could not have been more wrong.
I’m not less than for not having some dude standing next to me at all hours of the day. I am more than for being able to stand alone and do it gracefully. In the last couple of years (2018 especially) I’ve learned that I am so much more and away from my relationship status: a loyal friend, a good daughter, a dependable sister, a writer, a hard worker, an artist, and a decent cook are just a few personal merits that I think are pretty rad. And I’ve discovered that love is not singular. I have immense love and versions of love in every other aspect of my life. A family that I love and who loves me unconditionally; friends who are my soulmates; hobbies I love that have inspired me to be a better version of myself.
So yes, I am single, in the sense of the word dealing with a life partner. But I am also the most whole I have been in my entire life.
Just because I respect my independence doesn’t mean I don’t someday want to share it all with another human — I know that I’m doing myself (and them) a huge favor by discovering who I am away from all of that. In 2018 I put myself out there more than I ever have, and I know it’s just a matter of time before the right guy comes along and we have our own Iris-and-Arthur-style meet-cute (though hopefully in this version it’s a dashing young fella and not some darling old man who doesn’t remember which house is his).
Aside from my own love life (or lack thereof), I got to witness so much real, true love in 2018. I attended two beautiful weddings of people I care deeply about and got to see one of my best girls get engaged to her college sweetheart. Seeing this type of love was so special and a great reminder of the best kind that exists out there and awaits.
Woof. This year taught me that even after your best career moves, you’re never really through feeling a little run down, or frustrated, or disheartened at work. Or maybe it’s just me, idk.
Up there in the intro I mentioned being promoted at the end of 2017. It was a fantastic accomplishment that I didn’t (and still don’t) take lightly. It was a wonderful thing that I truly believed would satiate my desire to be challenged more with my job, and was something I trusted would become a sturdy foundation on which I could really build my career and my future.
Safe to say Year 1 with my new title diiiidn’t really pan out as I had imagined it would.
Yes, having this position and excelling in it has provided me the opportunity to move to Nashville, and I will forever and ever and ever be grateful for that fact. But aside from the move, there really wasn’t anything worth celebrating in my job this year. In fact, there was more disappointment than I think I’ve ever experienced in a workplace.
I guess if my goal was to be challenged more, in the end, you could say that I was challenged. It was an emotionally challenging year for me at work — one that I’ve decided to write about separately and more in-depth in a future post.
In an attempt to pull something positive from all of this and end on a high . . . I learned this year that I have plenty of fortitude and grit when the going gets tough at work. I can be strong and take the high road when what I’d rather be is weak and hit them where it hurts. I have what it takes to get through.
It’s safe to say that 2018 was an unexpected and totally transformative year for me. I look back on it so fondly and with so much gratitude. In just a few short months I was able to accomplish a ton — some of which will stay put alongside their calendar dates of last year, but much of which I will be able to carry with me for a lifetime.
So I’d like to say thank you to 2018, for giving me plenty of reasons to celebrate (adventures, true love, new friendships) as well as plenty of opportunities to learn and grow from (heartache, career setbacks).
I look forward to 2019 with so much anticipation and optimism. Expect an upcoming post sharing what I hope to accomplish with this fresh set of days ahead.
Until then, thank you, as always, for reading along!