The past few months have flown by in a whirlwind of shifting landscapes, which I guess is a fitting culmination to a year comprised of new experiences. Last May I was settling into something unfamiliar, surprising myself with the ease I felt in leaving things behind and going it alone. I waited for the moment when that realization would hit me, when I would truly feel it, like jumping into the deep end and letting the water envelop me in cold. It didn’t happen that way, though.

This past year has been a marathon– not a mad dash, but a purposeful plodding toward something different. And I think I can say that I’ve reached it: the point at which I no longer feel a crippling anxiety over the things I haven’t done. I can’t pinpoint this shift in perception with tangible milestones or achievements. I guess I would characterize it more as an absence of feeling—a relief from the needling discomfort of stagnation. I’ve discovered an unexpected confidence: just enough to be able to urge myself to jump without the fear that I won’t be able to kick my way to the surface afterward. Enough to feel that this must be the place, simply because it’s where I am.

Last week I had the privilege of seeing a good friend walk down the aisle. After a series of sitcom-worthy travel mishaps, a bout of illness and general work-induced exhaustion, I managed to make it there in time to watch her take the first steps into her new life. I’ve always been sentimental, but the moment hit me with some force. Maybe it was nostalgia for the things we used to do in another time and place, and maybe it was fear that after taking the proverbial plunge, she’d drift away. Those fears were fleeting. I realized that we all have to let go to see what comes after this moment, and the apprehension often stings more than the shock of hitting the water.

Goodbye, 26. I’m holding my breath for what’s next.



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