It was the year that I finally decided I wanted to live in a place that wasn’t a placeholder “until I get married.”

The year I hired an interior decorator and bought all new furniture—and when I say all, I mean every single piece of furniture except for my Nana’s kitchen table and my piano.

The year I decided I was worth replacing my broken wooden spoons, the year I decided I was worth having a garage. 

The year I realized there is only so much I can do in a day; it is okay to move items on the to-do list to a later date, it is okay to say no.

The year I didn’t write nearly enough or read as many books as I’d have liked to or even see as many movies as I wanted or bake as often as previous years.

The year I started painting my nails.

The year I questioned whether I should keep writing, keep teaching, keep active social media accounts.

The year my dad broke his neck and a month later I sprained my ankle.

The year I bought a new car.

The year I got rid of all my aspirational clothing.

The year I put up a Christmas tree but then didn’t decorate it, the year I contemplated having a Christmas party at my new place but then didn’t, because of the sprained ankle.

The year I almost deleted my entire blog, the year I didn’t delete my blog, the year I still can’t decide what to do with my blog or figure out why I still have one. 

The year I finally qualified for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

The year I got to see my brother and sister way more than I usually do.

The year I got marginally better at accepting help when people offered to help.

We might read a variety of end-of-year retrospectives that will make us feel a variety of feels, or receive letters from friends and family with details of travels and accomplishments. It’s often easy to get lost in comparison or rumination that the year just didn’t measure up to expectations—even in a pandemic when those expectations may have been modified.

If you find yourself sinking into a vortex of comparison, take a minute or two and think about your year. Maybe a couple of positive memories bloom from seeds of grief, doubt, or disappointment. At the very least, you made it to December. And that alone is a triumph. 

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