2013… What a year

I dragged my feet on writing this because I just can’t bear to say goodbye to this year. 2013 has been, hands down, the biggest year of my life. I’ve felt so, so blessed with everything that has happened, and I’m so thankful.

I’ve already covered the many life changes that have taken place this year, but just to quickly sum it up, we bought our car in January, got engaged in February. I passed my CIA exam after 2 years of studying. We bought our first home in May, moved in June. I quit my first real job in July and started with my new company in August. I started my RCIA candidacy in November. It’s been quite a year.

I can say with all honestly that I did not foresee any of this at this moment last year. I had a feeling Chris might propose, but I thought it equally likely that we’d get engaged in 2014. I thought we might start looking at houses but had no idea we’d find, close on and move into our new home in less than 90 days. I had been looking for other job opportunities, but my current company was the first one to grant me an interview, so it was a big surprise to actually get the job.

It really taught me a lot about life. I thought about recapping my 2013 resolutions, but they all seem so silly now. I had little idea what was coming for me this year, and my resolutions don’t even make sense anymore. This year has been all about rolling with the changing tides and just trying to soak it all in. It would have been silly to hold myself to the goals I set in January at the expense of all the new opportunities that opened up to me this year. That was an eye opener for me because I am nothing if not a planner. This year really forced me to let go of some of that and just take each week or day (sometimes hour) as it comes. I feel very lucky that I learned this lesson in a good year as I am not naive enough to think life will always be as sweet as it is now. I know I’ll have even less control over the bad times, so I’m happy I loosened my death grip on my own life a bit.

There is no way I can say what I’m about to without sounding incredibly ungrateful, so just know that I am truly so grateful and fully realize how wonderful this year has been for me. However, even great, wonderful change is still change, and one of the things I certainly didn’t expect this year was how much I’d resist these changes.

I liked being single well enough, but I’m not someone who would have been described as having a fear of commitment. I always wanted to get married, and I knew I wanted to marry Chris after the first half hour of our first date (really, truly; it was that obvious). Still, I really struggled this year as we moved towards marriage. Issues from my past, my family history, my own identity and my thoughts about what makes (or breaks) a marriage came rushing to the surface.

Similarly, I was ready to leave Jersey City. I loved living there so much, but the city was wearing me down mentally, and I remember maybe even uttering “so long stink town” as we drove out. Yet, predictably I guess, I missed it so much. I’d cry when we’d catch that stunning NYC view on the drive in. I felt so claustrophobic in a house 4 times the size of our old apartment. I even missed my old job!

I didn’t share any of these thoughts with anyone. I was fully aware of how bratty it all sounded. I mean it had been a great year for me. I should be happy as hell right? Well, then I remembered how much I hated high school and how thrilled I was to go to Rutgers. Yet I still cried like a baby on graduation day. I was so excited to leave and start fresh, and then it just hit me like a tidal wave. I wasn’t ready to leave. I had made a mistake! Obviously, I ended up (quickly!) getting over this and loved every single second of college (talk about crying like a baby on graduation; I still think leaving college was a mistake- can I go back??). I just had no idea how I really felt about it until I was in the moment.

This year has been a lot like that. I never knew how much I’d miss saying goodbye to the life I’d been building for years. And once I thought about it like that, it seemed so much less crazy and ungrateful. I mean my job and address have changed, and I’m about to relinquish my last name. It’d be weird if I wasn’t a little wary of the change.

Of course, once I actually started bring these things to the surface rather than stuffing them down deep, it got so much easier to deal with. I remembered all the reasons I’m changing. I’m not losing a part of myself by marrying Chris. His love and support have allowed me to be my truest self and go grow into a person I’m so proud to be. I miss Jersey City, but I couldn’t have picked a better community in Cranford. It’s absolutely the place I want to live forever (or at least until I win the lotto and get the heck out of this cold!). My job is challenging at times and has forced me to work like an animal to keep up, but that’s exactly what I wanted!

It took me almost the entire year to get to this point, but it was worth it. I thought I was appreciating all my blessings by only focusing on the good parts and trying to ignore the bad, but I feel so much happier looking at my life from every angle.

I don’t have any resolutions for 2014, but I do have a hope. I hope I can continue to embrace change. There are a few things I’ve put off exploring because the status quo is so easy. Change has been good to me this year, so I think I’m ready for more!

Happy New Year!

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