If Steph’s year was like a snow globe, I’d say my year was a little bit like a puzzle. The pieces were fitting together well enough until May, when the entire jigsaw puzzle was flipped upside down, and I spent the rest of the year trying to put the pieces back together. Only some pieces were missing, or broken, or fractured, so I had to get creative.
Most who know me are aware that this year has not been an easy one. In fact, I would argue that it’s been my most challenging yet. I said goodbye to my grandfather, a man who raised me, and a person I loved dearly. I’ve been sadder, more tired, and slower to bounce back then I have in years past. But I survived.
And I guess that’s what matters. It is, certainly, among the things I’m most proud of when I look back on 2013. I’m still standing. I proved to myself that I am stronger, more resilient, and braver than I ever thought I could be. I also did what I could to help my family get through their most difficult year yet. I don’t know if I succeeded, but I know I tried, and for that, I can hold my head high.
Professionally, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. Last year, I climbed out of the pits of depression (and a lay-off) and emerged with a stronger sense of self. This year, I used all I’ve learned to excel in a new job — outside of the journalism industry. After three years in the newspaper business, it was surreal to leave it behind. Me? No longer a reporter? …Now what? Thankfully, I still write, and a normal 9-to-5 schedule has allotted me the time to explore my freelance options. It seems crazy that I get paid to write. Me, a girl who sometimes spends the entire day watching Netflix in her pajamas. Pinch me.
Mostly, though, 2013 has provided me with a wonderful chance to become even closer to Steph. When I met her at my previous job, I knew I admired her, but I never thought we’d someday be running an online magazine together. Without Steph, I wouldn’t have been able to realize my dream of having my own magazine; “Positively Smitten” would still just be a series of notes in a notebook and “what-ifs” in my head. Instead, it’s a real, live magazine with real, live readers (each whom I adore, hi!) that’s almost at its one-year anniversary. I feel lucky to not just have a business partner that I respect, but a best friend I cherish.
How was your 2013? Read Steph’s year-end retrospective right here.