It’s been a year since I started this thing and to say, “a lot has happened” would be a grand injustice to the adventures I’ve had, the pain I’ve endured, the friends I’ve made, and the overall life I’ve lived these past twelve months. Even thinking back to last year and where I was emotionally/physically is so different than where I’m at now.
I was living in my little Manhattan hideaway, fresh off my last weekend at the country club – a bittersweet farewell to gorgeous, fun-filled summer. I was hopelessly flirting with a boy with whom I wouldn’t fully lose grips with until this year. I was a hapless intern, schlepping books from one address to another, desperately searching for what I wanted to do upon graduation this school year. Above all, I was waiting in terrified anticipation of the trip I’d be embarking on in January – my study abroad in Florence. This time last year was one of the most fun periods of my life. Whether it was because of what was to come, the new job I had started, or the place I was living, I’ll never know but it was a beautiful era of long nights with friends, independence, and a multitude of new faces – all leading up to four months of all that same gloriousness, multiplied.
The trip I’d leave for in January would forever change me and months after returning, I still say – without a shadow of a doubt – it was the greatest decision of my life. I saw nine countries, gained twenty-two pounds of pure pasta, gelato, and alcohol, and met people that I couldn’t forget if I tried. How crazy that I could not have even fathomed what has happened. How much crazier that it’s already been a year and that that trip is over, done, in the past. The insane months of prep, departure, and experience – a memory.
Today, I find myself devoted to a job I don’t have to try to enjoy; I have hellish customer interactions on a regular basis but I have some incredible coworkers to vent to and occasionally share a drink with. I’ve moved back home where the rent is nonexistent, the food is free, and my laundry is done for me. The commute is miserable and has me currently equipped with a sore throat as well as an eternally tired body. I’ve been hurt by an entirely different boy than the one of last Fall, in a much shorter and harsher way than his predecessor. Really, I sit here today on the same laptop I was clacking away on the last October fifteenth as a woman just as terrified and in anticipation as I was then. Except this time, it’s for entirely different reasons. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t the slightest clue where I’ll be this time next year. In graduate school? Working full-time? Living at home or on my own? Or maybe it’s because I don’t know who’s going to break my heart next. Someone I already know? Someone I’m going to meet? Or just maybe, it’s because for the first time I don’t want to know. Maybe it’s not about looking ahead and knowing what the year is going to hold before it happens. Maybe it is and I’m supposed to make plans that could fall through. I don’t know what the verdict is. What I do know is that the view from where I am now doesn’t show me much of what’s to come and for the first time, in a long time, I’m perfectly okay with the mystery.