A couple of weeks ago, it hit me. “It’s been a really hard year.” I was on the subway, and as soon as I thought it, I tried to un-think it: “Everything worked out okay. Everyone I love is okay. I have a home and food and friends and family. How can I be so ungrateful?” I felt ashamed.
When I reached my destination, a friend of mine asked me how things were, if so-and-so was better; if situations had improved. I answered that they had and then recounted matter-of-factly all the new problems that had come up. (I’m sorry for being vague. It’s just that these stories aren’t mine to tell.) She looked at me and said, “Oh honey, you’ve had to be old before your time.”
I was surprised to hear her say that. She’s a real New Yorker, by which I mean strong and honest and definitely not sentimental, and she’s had a much harder year than I have. But she recognized that I’d been going through some challenges, and somehow that little gesture made me feel better. I guess it gave me permission to feel the way I felt.
Every year I do one of these year-in-review posts. I’m doing one this year because there are lots of wonderful things I want to remember (and everything did turn out well, thankfully), but it didn’t feel right not to include a disclaimer. I guess it’s my way of saying, I hope you give yourself permission to feel however you damn well please about your own year. It’s okay if it wasn’t the Best Year Ever and you’re just glad it’s over.
Okay, disclaimer done. Roll the highlight reel!
12 Pictures from 2014
Devin and I dressed up as Kahlo and Trotsky for a dinner party. Our friend had picked the Rivera-Kahlo-Trotsky love triangle as the inspiration for her meal, but no one else wore costumes. We did it on a whim and just happened to have fresh flowers for my hair!
I fulfilled my goal of taking my mom to a little island, and it was a dream.
It’s always a treat to see my cousin Vanessa on the East Coast. This was at the 50th wedding anniversary party for her parents-in-law.
My birthday’s in February, but we didn’t have the party until June. The theme was party animals!
Devin’s family invited us to beautiful Maine (my first trip there!).
Devin and I got to meet our new nephew Carlos Manuel. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much love so quickly for anyone on Earth.
After an arduous apartment search (and sooooooooo much help from our friends), we moved into the apartment of our dreams. This is the view from our bedroom.
In 2015, I hope you eat your favorite food. I hope you laugh so hard your stomach hurts and your eyes water and just when you think the laugh attack is over, you start laughing all over again. I wish you 365 good hair days and lots of time spent with all your favorite people. I hope you read a book that makes you cry because it’s that good, and I hope you write that letter you’ve been meaning to write. I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed if you see something unfair. I hope you know you can make things better, in your personal life and in the wider world.