January 4, 2017

An Open Letter To 2016

FILED IN: Lifestyle

I can still remember my favorite year to date, like it was yesterday. I landed my dream job doing marketing for a fitness and fashion e-commerce company, I ran my very first half-marathon and competed in my first triathlon, I was unapologetically single, and I planted my roots in the Bay Area. That was 2013, and it’s still pretty dang hard to top.

In 2014, my boyfriend, Morgan, and I started dating— which was a breath of fresh air. And in 2015, we moved in together, which is noteworthy, too.

But then came 2016, and everything was at a standstill. I think everyone stumbles through at least one dud-year, right? A year that isn’t terrible, but isn’t a monumental piece to your story. A year that makes you appreciate all those really great years just a tad bit more. Well, 2016 was mine.

So here we are. Four days in to 2017, and I decided it was time to give 2016 a piece of my mind;

Dear 2016,

You somehow all at once felt like an entire lifetime and the blink of an eye. As soon as the clock hit 12:01, I knew you were going to be a rocky year. Don’t ask me how, I just did.

Our relationship was less than perfect, because in our mid-twenties, you forced us to face issues that most couples don’t have to overcome until much later. You were filled with hopeless career changes, an inevitable move that we weren’t totally jazzed about, financial obstacles, and fighting— because the stress of everything else was too much to cope with. And for that, I resent you, 2016. But I am also thankful. I am thankful because we came out stronger. We learned how to communicate, and understood when we just needed space. We experienced unconditional love in the rawest form. I’d like to think we matured, both together and individually. We’re not perfect, but we’ve come a long way.

My work changed, too— which came with its own set of pros and cons. January 1, I was promoted to Marketing Communications Manager and I began working remote in the months that followed. This meant a lot of time at home, but even more time on the road. I felt like I was living out of a suitcase, and it really took a toll. I couldn’t find the motivation to exercise, and I stopped running and swimming almost altogether. I felt a huge disconnect with the place we called home, with my newly long-distance-friends, and even with my boyfriend, whom I never saw even though we shared an apartment. I feel like you were a thief with my time, 2016, and that’s something I’ll never get back.

In the midst of it all, I launched The Ocean Minded— which was without a doubt the highlight here (one point for you, 2016). In a year that seemed to be stuck in quicksand, the blog was an outlet for me to find joy, be creative and put myself first. I am forever indebted to all of the amazingly talented people I have crossed paths with, they kept me inspired and optimistic. But, I also lacked the ambition and dedication I needed to really grow my brand. I got lazy. I made excuses when I couldn’t make the time to produce more content. I compared myself to the seasoned bloggers who have been doing this for years, and I got discouraged. I put this blog on the back burner, and I regret that. But that’s not your fault, 2016, it’s mine.

Thankfully, not a moment too soon, things started to look up. I came to terms with whatever changes were coming our way. I saw my people— friends and family— on a more regular basis. I was traveling a lot less for work, and more for fun. I dedicated more time to this blog. I felt grounded and stable for the first time in months. 2017 was rapidly approaching, and the undeniably necessary breath of fresh air was within arms reach.

At the end of the day, you were a mediocre year at best, and I thank you for the lessons learned. I came out stronger, wiser and more motivated to do better.

And now, 2016, I am so over you. Bring on 2017, and all the adventures that are sure to follow.

Sincerely,
J

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xx, jordan

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