At the end of last year, I declared 2016 as the #yearofme.
I had some very specific goals in mind. I wanted a new start as a not-married person, I wanted to get a stamp in my six-year-old passport, and I wanted a new job.
A couple months in to 2016, I decided that was too ambitious. I was definitely getting divorced, but everything else might be too much.
But then, I decided to go ahead and purchase a ticket to Iceland. So I did.
The very next day, I was told that my job – a job that I have legitimately hated for a long while now – had a possibility of ending on September 30.
This is not the way I wanted to go out. I’d had a rough three months. Getting divorced – regardless of how much I wanted it – is hard AF. Moving out, doubling expenses, losing backup parenting, and working through co-parenting with someone who doesn’t co-parent the way I would structure things if I was in control is hard.
I took ownership of my poor performance, did not mention to anyone that I was getting treated for severe depression and off the charts anxiety, started applying for other jobs, and buckled down.
I thought I was doing a good job. I had a promising series of interviews for a job I really, really wanted.
I took my Bean to South Dakota the day after saying good-bye to the boyfriend for his first of three almost 3-week trips in three months, and trusted in life to deliver the way it always has.
The first full week I was back in the office after my SD trip, everything went to shit. The job I wanted – the job I was sure I was a shoe-in for – fell through. The hiring manager expressed her extreme disappointment in not bringing me on (they went with an external candidate). Two other jobs I’d applied for sent their “no interview for you” emails, and then last Friday I was informed that although my performance was better, it wasn’t enough better (a statement that I think has more to do with a faculty member who has wanted me out for a while than on my actual new and improved performance), and that my job is for real over on 9/30.
I was devastated. I’ve had 8 years of nearly perfect performance reviews, three promotions, and so many raises at my place of employment. Now one 3-month period of depression broke my whole career there.
I wanted out, but I wanted out on my own terms.
You know what, though? This is going to be awesome. I have plans. I’m going to be okay. I’m going to write and look for a great job that won’t make me cry on the regular and learn to be even more me.
This year has been so hard. Divorce is hard. Job loss is hard. Traveling internationally alone scares the pants off of me.
But this year has been amazing. I have some amazing friends who have supported me through everything and never once made me feel like I was taking too much energy whining about my problems. I’ve reconnected with one of my favorite people in the world – and even though we’ve only managed to get together once, I’m still so happy he’s back in my life. I have an amazing four-year-old who is intelligent, caring, hilarious, and the best kid ever. I have a partner who is the epitome of what a romantic partner should be. For every hard thing, I have so many people who can show me that my life is still so, so good.
And right now – right as this is being published – I am in motherfucking Iceland. By myself. Getting my passport stamp and doing this international travel thing.
I am so lucky to be me.
Having the bandaid of my life ripped off this year has sucked beyond all imagining, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way.