May 2012: quit my job in London, got engaged, repatriated to DC from England
June 2012: moved in with my parents in the Maryland suburbs just outside of DC, started one job
July 2012: adopted Charlie
November 2012: resigned from the job because it wasn’t the right fit, ran my first 10k
December 2012: was offered another job
January 2013: started the second job
April 2013: moved out of my parents’ house into a studio apartment in the heart of Washington
June 2013: was laid off from the job as the organization began the process of dissolving, celebrated my five-year college reunion
August 2013: got married
September 2013: ran a half-marathon
October 2013: submitted Jon’s visa application, ran my second 10k
March 2014: hired by my current employer
May 2014: celebrated my ten-year high school reunion
September 2014: welcomed Jon (and his green card) to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident
October 2014: moved into a new one-bedroom apartment, ran my third 10k
I’m glad 2014 is over. It brought a lot of joy, obviously, in that it was the year Jon and I were legally reunited and began making a home together in America and it was the year that my career got back on track with a job I really love. However, it also forced me to confront many realities I never thought I’d have to face and, in doing so, really challenged me to examine what makes me who I am. It took me three months to apply for unemployment benefits and Medicaid because I was too proud to admit I needed them at the beginning; I never imagined that I’d be included in government statistics as one of the long-term unemployed. I didn’t expect that being long-distance for more than two years would provoke introspection on what I can contribute to a relationship and what I need from my partner more fundamentally than it might have if we had been together, but it caused me to doubt my capacity to be one half of a whole. I was also unprepared for how my relationship with my parents, which was more dependent that it should have been in Jon’s absence, would change once Jon immigrated. And, to be honest, I underestimated the steepness of the learning curve as I navigated sharing myself and my space with Jon again after living alone for 18 months. On top of all of that, I treated my body really badly, gaining back the 25lbs I’d lost in the year before our wedding and essentially abandoning my running.
2015 will be different. It will be calmer, I hope, with much more stability. My fingers are crossed that there won’t be many changes, self-inflicted or otherwise, in my life, with the exception of a renewed investment in my physical health. (I’ve signed up for a 10k in March and a 10 miler in April already with my eyes on a May half-marathon, and intend to continue the momentum of the last nine weeks on Weight Watchers.) My goal for 2015 is that it’ll be a year in which Jon and I can put down roots so that when we do change in the future it’s with depth and maturity.
I’m reminded, as I write that, of a passage in A Wind in the Door, one of my favorite Madeleine L’Engle books from the Wrinkle in Time quartet. The context is irrelevant; the message perfect regardless:
"It is only when we are fully rooted that we are really able to move… Now that I am rooted I am no longer limited by motion. Now I may move anywhere in the universe. I sing with the stars. I dance with the galaxies.”I felt utterly limited by motion in 2014. In 2015, I want to settle in and get comfortable - though never complacent - so that we're ready for change in the years following. Here's to that!