Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya, 2017

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” —Zora Neale Hurston

2017 was a year that asked questions. A lot of them. The hard kind.

Now’s the part where I could turn this into a synopsis of all the ways America has shit the bed. But I’m going to talk about how I shit the bed— or the bed shit me—and then I took off the soiled blankets of heartbreak and what-the-fuckery and put on new, fresh linens…

Yeah, that’s the end of that extended metaphor.

Eleven days into 2017, my boyfriend of five years broke up with me, because I didn’t want to open our relationship. (I’d later learn there was probably another reason. She’s a bartender.) It’s more complicated than just that, of course, but this is my story and he’s been cast as the flat character Disappointing Ex.

So I had this sad hum in the background through much of 2017. Sometimes it grew louder when I was alone at night or not alone, but on a bad date. But I’m happy to report that it’s fainter and fainter. There have been so many joyful, life-affirming, couldn’t-have-this-without-that moments when it was drowned out entirely. Let’s talk more about those…

In 2017, I…

Got a new job. Probably not the wisest thing to do when I was reeling from a breakup, but it gave me something else to focus on.

Paid off my student loans, once and for freaking all.

Watched history in the making at the Women’s March in D.C.

Started looking to buy an apartment in NYC. It was a lesson in humility and resentment of trust fund kids. No luck finding anything in my price range I actually wanted, so to be continued…

Went out with 18 guys, including a comedian who cried, a guy who packed a change of clothes because he assumed he’d sleep over after the first date (?!), and a man with so many commitment issues that he lives on a boat.

Crossed a river on horseback in Vinales, Cuba on the way to a tobacco farm. Swam with a sea turtle in Akumal, Mexico. Walked a tortoise in New York, New York.

Got Botox. It’s awesome. 5/5. Would buy again.

Tried three exercise classes I’d wanted to try for years: Aquacycling (spin class in a pool), Flying Fitness (hanging upside-down and doing sit-ups, etc.), and Aerial Silks (full-on circus madness). The first two have become a regular part of my fitness routine. The last is… so damn hard.

Read a poem, gave a speech, and almost brought a guy who was shady about his relationship status back to my hotel room at my dearest friend’s wedding.

Stumbled upon a designer dress I’ve long coveted at Beacon’s Closet for $60!

Stopped drinking caffeine every day, biting my nails, and planning my life around anyone else but me.

Saw my niece for the first time in four years — and only the second time ever. We recreated the photo of when we first met.

Fell back in love with NYC. Long-distance relationships can make you question the city you love, the place that’s called to you since you were a kid, the place that’s made you feel most you. Before my breakup, I’d unconsciously started searching for the cracks. And I found them—there are so many to find. But the dissolution of my relationship recommitted me to New York. I started exploring more and found a new appreciation for it on Hart Island, in the seventh row at Broadway shows, and under the fireworks at Central Park. We rekindled the flame.

Sang along in concert with Ben Folds and Chance the Rapper. Discovered the theme song of my dating life. Let Lizzo soothe me.

Was surprised that Henry went viral again.

Read 44 books. These really stayed with me: American Heiress, Conscious Uncoupling (so useful, actually!), Hillbilly Elegy, The Rules Do Not Apply, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, Encyclopedia Of An Ordinary Life, The Examined Life, Arbitrary Stupid Goal, Goodbye, Vitamin, The Hate U Give, Drinking At The Movies.

Watched 53 movies. These really stayed with me: Bright Lights, Postcards From The Edge, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Get Out, Warning: This Drug May Kill You, Blow Out, The Red Turtle, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, Blue Jay, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Not bad for a year, huh?

More in 2018! More, more, MORE.