What if these are “The good old days”?

“Good riddance!”

That’s always the common theme when it comes to any year-end Facebook posts or tweets. “I cannot wait for this year to be over. Next year is totally going to be my year!”

But what if this year was, in fact, your year?

What if you find yourself so desperately fighting off midnight on the 31st of December because you’re not sure there’s any way the coming year could top the one that just past?

For the first time in entirely too long, I find myself not looking forward to the coming year, not because I don’t have high expectations for it but largely because 2015 was so good to me that I’m in no hurry for it to end.

Professionally, I hit my stride as a writer and lived out a career dream. The product that I put out on a daily basis, be it feature, sports, or business writing, was far better than anything else I had produced in years past. From a career perspective, just about every kid who grows up in the Chicago area dreams of seeing a Cubs playoff win in person, let alone covering one. I was on the field in the thick of the celebration after the Cubs clinched their first playoff series at Wrigley Field ever.

For better or worse, Wrigley Field was the center of it all this year, from covering Opening Day and the Cubs in the playoffs to the Foo Fighters show over the summer, one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen in my life.

The photo that you see is more symbolic of this year than anything. The dim light in my living room, the blinking cursor of my laptop in the middle of the night as I stare at a blank screen trying desperately to fill it with words late at night so I can go to bed.

Chasing your dreams isn’t just a 9–to-5 thing. I’ve maintained any number of 9-to-5 jobs while pursuing my freelance passion projects, and because of that, I’ve been required to burn the midnight oil more often than not. Some people take what is handed to them, others hustle to earn what they get in life.

Has it been worth it? Absolutely. Some chase paychecks, I’ve chased butterflies. From West Lafayette to Coral Gables to Milwaukee to Rockford to the Quad Cities to Vegas to Chicago, every step of the journey of the past decade has been worth it to reach the current destination.

Looking back on it, the absolute worst thing to happen to me in 2015 was a couple of bad but ultimately forgettable dates. After the utter hell that was 2014, I needed a year like this. Here’s to bigger and better in the year to come.

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