I want to say that you have been one of the easiest years of my life. I finally know- at least, I think I know- who I am as person and what I truly want with my life. Sure, dealing with the loss a job sucks. Fighting with friends is awful. So is ending things multiple times with the same guy. But I made it through to the other side pretty much unscathed.
Thinking about everything this past year, I think the biggest lesson I learned is not to settle. Even though I respected (and still do respect) the work members of the AmeriCorps do, I couldn’t be stuck behind a desk all day, waiting for ambiguous instructions. I hated that job. Being let go was such a godsend. Now, I’m employed at the Sparks Tribune and I have to say that I love working there. I look forward to going into work every day. I’m learning a lot and grateful to be surrounded with kind co-workers and management. But even though I admire my position, I’m hungry for more and I hope that the skills and knowledge that I’ve learned at the Tribune will help me succeed in finding a job in the future in something bigger (watch out, TIME Magazine). You always have to stay hungry.
Men. Men. Men. Well, that one man. Was he ever a learning experience. I never thought I would meet anyone off OKCupid and fall madly in love, especially in such short time. We had good times. We had terrible ones. I’m grateful for every single moment and memory I have of us together. Being with Nathan taught me how to speak up more, for the things I really want; how to relax and enjoy spending time simply, even if it’s just watching television on a Friday night; how to turn down my emotional thermostat when it came to a significant other’s feelings. But as abovementioned, our relationship taught me not to settle- not settle for the mundane and for someone I’m not compatible with, who doesn’t want the same things I want in life. Nathan and I didn’t work out but I appreciate the things he taught me. My next relationship will appreciate those things, too. Thank you for your love, Nate. You will always take up a big chunk of my heart.
I’ve met some great people this year. I live with the greatest roommate in the world and am beyond thankful that she answered my Craigslist ad (her cat could be annoying at times but when she wants to be, Petrie is a terrific snuggler). There are some phenomenal women in the AmeriCorps program who will really change the world one day. I cherish them and their maddening love of nature (thanks for getting me out to hike, you guys. My mom’s been trying to get me to do that for years). My newest best friend- we bonded over throwing colored powder at each other during the Run or Dye 5K and she makes me laugh like no other. It feels wonderful to laugh so hard you have beer squirting out of your nose. There is this incredible group of people who organize events at Valley Arts. I’m excited to work with you guys more in the upcoming year. Even my co-workers (yeah, Garrett. I’m talking to you. I was touched when you told me that you thought of me as your family). I’ve gotten closer with old friends- even with the people I never would consider to be close with, like my younger sisters. We bonded during our grandfather’s funeral back in February and have kept up a daily communication about our lives. I feel like I know my sisters better (that’s always a good thing, yeah?). There were old friendship rekindled and some friendships lost but we all know that’s life. That’s how things go sometimes and it’s okay. Things may turn sour but you can always cheer someone up with chicken and waffles for Sunday brunch.
With turning 27 this year, I think it finally crossed my mind that I’m really an adult. I have a grown-up relationship with my mom and both respect each other as independent women now. I’m finally paying back my student loans and actually have a decent amount of money in my savings account. I’m finally doing what I moved back to Reno to do- I’m excited to be back in a college classroom this January. I’ve always dreamed about direction my life would take but now, I have a solid plan. Sure, plans change all the time but I can clearly see myself becoming the person I always wanted to be.
I really can’t wait for 2014. There’s school and work that I’m excited about but also, for the many adventures that I know I will dive into. I hope to finally get my driver’s license and more tattoos (and maybe re-pierce my nostril). There’s a marathon I’m thinking about running and I’m eager to train for. I’m thrilled to start my pole dancing classes and perhaps forming a contemporary dance troupe. I’m excited for all the volunteer work that I’m going to do. Reno is a great place to live and I hope that I can contribute to its greatness, making the city a little better for everyone. I’m looking forward to spending sometime out in the Nevada sunshine, reading in my bikini by the river; to seeing Dolly Parton live in concert; to visiting friends in Los Angeles and New York City; to walking across the Lawlor Event Center stage during winter graduation; to endless bike rides (some out in the bitter cold); to the hugs I will receive from friends, old and new, and quite possibly strangers, too; to working hard and seeing success; to the moments when I’m so happy that I feel like my heart is going to burst. 2014- you’re going to rock!
As I close this letter to you, year 2013, I want to thank you for all the memories you blessed me with, all the insight you’ve provided and all the terrific music that my ears loved (here’s looking at you, Beyonce). Really, thanks for everything.
Lots of love,