Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Days Later

I thought about doing this for at least ten of the past twelve months, but two things stopped me:

  1. I was never much of a writer, save for my sister’s term papers (you’re welcome, Lauryn) and this award-winning gem:
UConn Student Writer champion, circa 1996

2. I have friends (Oh hey, Breada!) who are traveling around the world and writing blogs for the ages. My life, while pretty fantastic, isn’t quite of blogging caliber.

Then I remembered that today, August 3, 2016, is my one year DC-versary. One year ago today, I left my apartment and took my first solo Metro trip to Maureen’s. I walked in, immediately started intermittently sobbing and mumbling something along the lines of “What have I done?” One year ago today, I left a solid support system in a city I had thrived in for ten years for a new job in a place I had visited once and knew exceedingly few humans. Granted, one of the ones I did know is my rock, but the reality was daunting. She offered me a Kleenex, a hug, and to hold her 2 month-old. I took all without reservation, and then began the process of starting my life over.

Dried the tears, got a coffee, and snuggled this nugget

September, although terrifying, was a turning point. In no particular order, I learned the following:

  1. If you’re going to join a kickball team in an attempt to meet people, for the love of God make sure it’s filled with a bunch of kids who went to grad school in Denver.
  2. Book clubs, or at least one in particular, are filled with probably the most spectacular souls you will ever meet.
The world’s most incredible homemade photo booth
Showing Old Rag who’s boss

3. If you’re out one night and have too much wine, you may end up booking a trip to London.

Buckingham Palace looking pretty regal

But in all seriousness, I was learning other things. Having spent the last seven and a half years of my life as part of a pair, I was finding out who I was without someone else. I realized that even though I didn’t necessarily have a built-in someone to watch football with every Sunday anymore, there was nothing that was going to stop me from donning my Donald Driver jersey and cheese beads and scouting out the neighborhood Packers bar. I found a barre studio where I immediately felt at home. I fell back in love with running after nearly a year and a half of daily struggle to lace up my shoes and get out the door. I opened up to strangers, who in turn opened up to me and made me feel that this was the place where I was supposed to be. I found coworkers who I wanted to not only go to happy hour with, but spend Saturdays with, too. I finally let myself be vulnerable enough to get hurt again and to me, that was a success. At some point over the past year, I realized that I was living a life that was mine and mine alone, and I had never been happier.

So 12 months later, I find myself on a couch in a new apartment, in a new part of the city, resting up for tomorrow. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, you’ll find me at the Grant Statue or the Iwo Jima Memorial at 6:30 am knocking out miles with Marines and Hill folks alike in preparation for the 41st Marine Corps Marathon.

Because when you start your day here, there is no amount of miles that feels impossible.

This weekend, I’ll venture back up to Boston for the first time in a year. I’ve missed y’all like crazy, and cannot wait for some biscuits at Sweet Cheeks, but I’ll come there knowing that this is where I’m supposed to be.

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