Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye, 2014

2014: what a year! It’s been quite a few years, actually…

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!


  1. I hear you... 2014 was not a great year for me either and as you said, made me question a lot. Though as we move in to a new year, I wish you and Jon nothing but the best! :)

  2. You've been through so many changes in such a short amount of time. Thank you for always sharing it here; it's helped me reflect more on the things in my life. Wishing you all the best in the new year!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I've been going through an extended transition period myself, and because people tend not to share publicly about the turbulent times, it becomes easy to feel like I alone am "WAY BEHIND". It's encouraging to know that others are going through ups and downs of their own. 2013 and 2014 have been rough years, and I hope that I soon will land on my feet like you've done. :)

  4. Here's to that. Happy New Year, Betsy!

  5. Here's to an easier 2015! You should be proud of all the hurdles that you've overcome in your own life over the past few years! xx

  6. Betsy, it was such a pleasure to read this--you are so thoughtful, and it's brave of you to share so openly! I'm right there with you on making physical health a priority this year. Happy new year!

  7. Well done for getting through so many ups and downs over the last couple of years. I'm in awe of your strength and openness. Here's to an amazing 2015. x

  8. Oy. That last paragraph totally resonated with me. Here's to a great 2015, Happy New Year! :)

  9. Good luck this year, Betsy! It has been a real treat reading your blog :) Best and warmest wishes.

  10. You have had a whirlwind couple of years! I do hope this one offers a bit more stability. It is weird to think about how true that quote is. I loved the craziness and constant change of my first few years out of college, the constant moves, the intentionally frequent job changes. But I am just as busy and happy now that I'm married and living in a small town. If anything, I'm more content than I was when I lived my jet-setter lifestyle.

  11. thank you so much, Kendall - that means a lot :)

  12. I wish I had been able to share more when [expletive] was really crappy, especially on the employment front! in retrospect, I probably could have, but at the time... I was ashamed and scared and just wanted to pretend it wasn't happening. But it DOES always help to know that others are dealing with the same feelings. You have my email address if you need it!

  13. wish I had shared it from the trenches, but better late than never! onwards and upwards, friend :)

  14. well thank you - I should have trusted you all (and myself) to share some of it before, but I'm so glad I have no!

  15. thanks, Zoe, you too! and thanks for keeping me honest :)

  16. CONTENT! I love that word. I know it bores some people, but it fills me with happiness :) have a WONDERFUL 2015, friend!

  17. I think that 2014 was a difficult year for many of us! I'm really enjoying reading everyone's year in review and goals for 2015 posts because it shows me that I'm not the only one hoping to improve and expecting 2015 to be great!

  18. I bet 2015 is going to be a fantastic year for you -- and yay for Weight Watchers! I really love the program and actually miss it terribly now that I'm pregnant, but I'm looking forward to recommitting to all that healthy eating and tracking post-baby. :) Your marathon-running is very inspiring . . . I'm not sure I could handle that. Hope 2015 is full of wonderful things for you and your husband!


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