Why My Year Was Pretty Decent: 2015 in Review

Deep Ellum, Dallas

I actually had a love/hate relationship with the first day of 2015. I ran my very first half-marathon in cold, rainy weather. It was miserable and my foot had a pretty nasty stress fracture as a result. One redeeming factor of the whole ordeal was the Whataburger Patty Melt and chocolate milk I bought after the race. Whataburger because I’m from Texas and chocolate milk because I’m also five years old. After running in that weather, I earned that meal and it tasted like the heavenly angels themselves prepared it just for me.

I was pretty content with every ache and bruise I acquired from the race. I had accomplished something great for myself — a freaking half-marathon — meaning there was a purpose to the pain. So, yeah, my year started out with crappy weather and a fractured foot.

In February, I started a new job. As a general rule, I don’t typically run towards the edge of my comfort zones with reckless abandon. It’s more of a slow peek-and-step. This new position intimidated me because of the level of talent already on the team. The work forced me to adapt to situations and environments I, of course, was not used to. Did that make me incredibly uncomfortable? YES. It still makes me uncomfortable, but I’m adjusting. That pressure is good for me so this job is already proving to be a great place for personal growth.

This year also marked a full twelve months back in Texas. That may not be a big deal to most especially when we live in such a transient culture. I had my fun living on my own in Colorado — the state where all the cool, outdoorsy people live. I think I’ve driven in enough stupid snow and hiked enough trails to say I’m outdoorsy now. However, I wanted to establish deep roots and I never felt at home. After missing my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary and having to deal with the loss of my grandmother a few months later, it was time to move back home.

For the longest, I had promised myself I would never move back to Dallas. When I was little, Dallas was a big, scary monster full of people who didn’t know how to drive. Now it’s beautiful, exciting, and my home.

Taken from Reunion Tower

I absolutely love being in the city even though it’s still pretty full of terrible drivers. Needless to say, it was easy for me to transition back into watching football, eating BBQ, and sporting that obnoxious state pride we natives tend to have. It’s definitely good to be back with family — even when a few loved ones are no longer with us.

One other notable event of 2015 was the one year anniversary of adopting my dog, Maddie. As is typical, it took a little while before I could really see her personality and true nature. Have you seen those Sour Patch Kids commercials? They are a pretty good representation of her — a sweet, little brat. I needed to have something to care for other than myself. I had a few dogs growing up, but living in the country meant they played the role of outdoor dogs and not fur babies.

Maddie has a rough life indoors with her numerous toys, outfits, and blankets. It’s a little sad thinking about how many accessories she has, but she is very much my fur child now. I wouldn’t trade the joy she’s given me for anything.

I mean, just look at that face.

One other major event I’m (oddly) grateful for this year was my MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) diagnosis. Depression has been a part of my life for a long time if I’m being completely honest with myself. I didn’t understand what it was or how it affected me. The treatment options terrified me and it took a long time before I was willing to admit my need for them. All I knew was it wreaked havoc on my emotional and physical well-being. Now that I know what it really is, I am taking the necessary steps to treat and — one day — cure it.

I don’t particularly care how the cure will come about, but I choose to hope for one. I’m good with either a miraculous healing or wonder drug. I’ll be okay until then and, maybe, help eradicate the stigma that surrounds it in some groups. I have had some interesting interactions this year because of it. Most of those interactions came from people who genuinely cared for my emotional health, but there were a few from those who were simply ignorant and careless. I no longer give time to those influences.

I would say this year was pretty eventful. I firmly believe each relationship, opportunity, challenge, and gift I’ve had this year was given for a reason beyond just personal satisfaction. I hope I’ve been able to make the most of them and can carry that momentum into 2016.

So here’s to the new year! Which I will NOT be greeting with another running event.