With this new year kicking off, it got me thinking about the past year. And, to be honest, there have been many changes over the past twelve months that carry quite a bit of significance. So as we turn the page to a new year, I’d like to take a minute to recognize and appreciate some of the moments that I’ll take with me into 2014.
I spent the beginning with my very best friend, leaving our mark in Boston as roommates. We made amazing memories, had plenty of laughs, and experienced a little depression when making the ultimate decision of not renewing our lease to an amazing apartment in Brookline.
In the dead of winter, I made an impromptu trip down to New York City to visit my cousin, and was surprised (as was she) and excited to be part of the day she got engaged.
I was the maid of honor at my sister’s wedding, where I watched her stare into the eyes of her future husband with more love than I’ve ever even knew could exist between two people.
Come April, I was a spectator at the 2013 Boston Marathon, witnessing one of the most tragic days the city had seen. It was also one of the most amazing moments in my life to see the city come together in support of one another. It truly made the city stronger, and made me proud to call it home.
In that same month, I turned 26-years-young, with a feeling of hope for what was in store for the future. And, I was invited to a job interview that would ultimately decide my future.
I got the job. I accepted the offer. I scrambled around to officially say ‘goodbye’ to Boston and ‘hello’ to New York City as my city of residence.
My inner fitness freak completed her very first Tough Mudder, with a smile on her face throughout the entire course. My dad and his fiancée came to cheer our team on in 90-degree heat, and laugh as we jumped in the Arctic Enema. I only got electrocuted once.
A few close friends of mine threw me a going away party. I was surrounded by so much support, and drank way too many Airbone-infused margaritas (yes, really), Sangria, and bottles (yes) of Chardonnay while playing Cards Against Humanity.
We celebrated my nephew’s first birthday, surrounded by loving family and friends, and spoiling that kid rotten with more gifts than he knows what to do with.
I packed up an SUV with all of my belongings, and drove 200 miles south to a summer sublet in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I became an official New York City resident.
I met a person who would quickly become one of my best friends; someone who seemed like they were meant to be in my life all along, and had me wondering how we hadn’t already had this friendship for years.
I rekindled a friendship from high school, by establishing a new friendship, in a new place, many years later. We soon became roommates.
My first article was published online, making me an official author. I realized just how much I really loved to put my thoughts into written word.
I had, approximately, a bajillion first dates with all the wrong people. They helped me realize what it was – exactly – that I was looking for in someone. And, that I was willing to hold out until I found it.
My dream neighborhood became my permanent residence after countless hours of apartment hunting, and finally entering into a lease. It made my move to NYC feel solidified and real.
I witnessed one of my closest friends since childhood marry the love of her life. It made me believe that true love does, in fact, exist. And, that it’s worth waiting for.
I joined a volunteer program, where I decided to spend my Saturday mornings playing sports with 3rd and 4th graders. It provided me with a humbling feeling and a sense of fulfillment that I didn’t realize I was missing.
My dad came down to visit me with his fiancée, and finally understood why I wanted – and needed – to follow this dream of mine. He officially approved, and gave me the support that I needed to feel confident in making this big life decision.
I decided to run the 2014 Boston Marathon with the team I ran with back in 2012, South Shore Hospital. I could, once again, raise money in my mom’s memory. And I began mentally and physically preparing for the 26.2 mile-course that awaits me on April 21, 2014.
My nephew said my name during my time home for Thanksgiving.
I met some of the most intellectually stimulating, exciting, driven, and brilliant people. We had challenging conversations, and we gave thought to things that matter. These people made me think outside the box and view the bigger picture.
I recognized myself. And I felt like, for the first time in my life, I was exactly who – and where – I was supposed to be.
Here’s to 2014.
By Jessica Coleman