In 2019, I worked on creating space for myself. This post is going to be a roundup of things I’m proud of, just to defy the little voice in my head that wants to focus on all the things I didn’t get to or could have done better. I’ll work on it in 2020 (as a therapist once told me, progress isn’t linear—read that again if you have to). I’ll get there, but I’m going to celebrate the small victories along the way.
So, in 2019, I:
Started with a promotion to copy chief at my collegiate newspaper and celebrated winning a prestigious award with my coworkers.
I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a bachelor’s in nonfiction (and enjoyed a surreal and fun ceremony).
I wrote a lot. I wrote a thesis with 12 essays and I felt really good about my progress as a writer. I wrote some reviews and opinion articles. I read one review on camera, a cool and weird experience. I read an essay at my department’s undergrad reading (the final of three annual readings I organized). I blogged here. I had an essay published in a friends’ lit mag, and I’m working on putting together more submissions to other opportunities. (See my Projects and Publications page)
Maybe the biggest writing opportunity I had in the latter part of this year sprouted from what felt like a failure. I didn’t get a job I wanted and was devastated—but they asked me if I wanted to freelance. I wrote one article (coming in March 2020, I believe) and we’re in the works of discussing a 2020 freelance plan. I’m really excited.
I read some good, challenging and thoughtful fiction and nonfiction by Terese Marie Mailhot, Melissa Febos, Brian Blanchfield, Amniatta Forna and Jesmyn Ward, among others. I read (and edited) a lot of news. I found a couple cute bookstores, one I’ve been sharing with friends. I’m currently reading a holiday novel by Jasmine Guillory.
I started working at an advertising agency, where I went from a communications intern to my role as a communications coordinator as part of the same great team.
I bought a car. I moved to a different city. I moved in with my boyfriend. I made new friends that have become really important to me. I had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.
And I started seeing a therapist. Therapy is a private practice, but it’s healthy and shouldn’t be a taboo thing to talk about. I find it useful for my anxiety and for creating space for myself to have a dedicated person to talk through things with. I’m proud of my progress with her and am looking forward to doing more of the work to prioritize myself and be present in 2020.
It feels like this will be a year of seeking what really serves me professionally and personally. As I said, I’m hoping to pursue more opportunities, one of which will hopefully be an incredible trip with friends.
Whatever unknown magic it has in store, cheers to the new year!