What a Time It Was

2015 was a difficult year, but it wasn’t a bad one. Like a good workout, it was hard in all the right ways; it challenged me to push myself out of my comfort zone in almost every aspect of my life, and I’m a happier, stronger, and more self-aware person for it. I feel like myself, not the burned-out shell I was last December. That in itself seems like a big achievement.

I began 2015 on a beach in Hawaii, ankle-deep in warm water, holding a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and watching fireworks reflect off the waves. It was a good start to any year, especially when you’re feeling stagnant and restless and in desperate need of a jolt. I hoped it was the beginning of 12 months of adventure, and it was, though everything worked out a little differently then I planned. (But then, the only certainty of life is it always does.)

An auspicious start to 2015.

When you don’t have a steady job or place to live, as was my situation for a few months, you start to question what’s tethering you to a place. Especially when that place is San Francisco 2015 and it feels like every other conversation you have is about leaving it. I didn’t know what I wanted, so I traveled, to New York, Italy, New Orleans, Honolulu, Austin, Seattle — visiting friends and family, taking time off, but also looking around to see if any of those places spoke to me as strongly as San Francisco had before I moved here.

The more I was away (three months in total!) the more I missed my life in the city, and the distance gave me perspective on which parts of it were making me the most unhappy. I’m ending the year and beginning this next one in the Mission with friends both old and new, and though it’s not quite a beach in Hawaii, it feels like the right place to be. If 2015 taught me that San Francisco still has so much to offer, I hope that 2016 will be about extending my life and community in it.

… until something happens and everything changes again. But this year also reminded me that change is not only inevitable, but positive and healthy if you’re willing to grow and learn with it. Which is a lesson I’ll carry with me far beyond 2016.

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