1. What did you do in 2015 that you had never done before?
Worked as a midwife.
Drove across the country (and back).
Ended a relationship like an adult.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I had a goal of running a certain amount of miles in 2015 and nope, I didn't do this. I ran some when I was in Arizona, but I petered out, kinda how I always do. I am deep in the throes of trying to figure this out about myself - how to set goals wherein I celebrate the path of accomplishments on the way to complete "success," rather than going halfway or more and feeling like more of a failure than when I started. Helpful comments from the peanut gallery will be warmly welcomed. Please, I have no idea how to do this.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Two people! My good friend J. had a baby in July and I adore him and am aching now that they've moved to the West Coast but I am determined to go visit as often as I can. My new friend from work also had a baby in November, and while we are new friends (colleagues-becoming-friends?), her baby is a joy and I've been relishing all the time with them I can get.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, not this year.
5. What countries did you visit?
The Navajo Nation is technically a sovereign nation, so...
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Rootedness. A sense of home. A love that nurtures and supports rather than criticizes and constrains.
7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched into your memory and why?
The day I drove away from Tuba City was a hard, but wonderful day. Breaking up with Richard was gut-wrenching and painful and ultimately a huge relief.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating grad school, passing my boards, finding a job as a midwife were all big. But the biggest one was definitely the daily perseverance of being a new midwife. This shit is hard, guys.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Failing to communicate my needs. Not planning for predictable troubles or difficulties ahead.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, I've been (physically) lucky.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My car. Love it so much that I can nearly forget the pain of monthly payments.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My parents', more than ever. They picked me up and saved me, over and over again.
My puppy's, smartest cutest dog in THE WORLD EVARRR.
My new colleagues', who have wrapped me in love and support and curse words and bad jokes and endless reassurances that yep, this shit sucks and you'll get through it.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Richard's, to some degree. My first MA landlord, for sure. Donald Trump's, as a general rule.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Yale. Moving expenses. Gas.
15. What did you get really, really excited about?
Getting a puppy.
Passing my boards.
Getting a job.
16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Same Mistakes, by The Echo-Friendly
17. Compared to this time last year are you
a) happier or sadder?
Happier in general, I think - I feel so grateful and relieved to be settled and working through the toughness of where I am. I am sad to be "alone" again, but working through that too. And I am riding the waves of intense and near-daily anxiety and coming to terms with what I have to do about that.
b) thinner or fatter?
Thinner. Perpetual anxiety has shaved about 10 pounds, seemingly permanently, off my frame.
c) richer or poorer?
Well, I have an income now. But it all goes back to Yale, so who can really tell.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Running. Speaking freely. Sleeping. Standing up for myself.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Procrastinating. Panicking. Driving. Staring at my phone.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I worked. And caught a sweet Christmas baby right under the deadline, at 11:30 PM.
21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
I fell so dramatically and quickly out of love that it made my stomach hurt. Then I turned around and ached with the falling in love of my patients and their babies and this awful and wonderful and terrible job of mine.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I'm still working through Friends, in order, on Netflix. I'm in season 5 now.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't have the energy to hate anyone. Pretty much ever.
24. What was the best book you read?
Etta and Otto and Russell and James, by Emma Hooper
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
Safekeeping, by Jessamyn Hope
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I loved Brandi Carlile's new album. Also, without shame - Taylor Swift's 1989 album.
26. What did you want and get?
To be done with school.
To be a midwife.
27. What did you want and not get?
A relationship that could become a partnership.
28. What was your favorite film of the year?
I liked The Martian. I can't remember if I saw any other movies in theaters this year...
29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 27 in Arizona and felt more lonely than I ever had before.
I worked, and I caught a baby girl and tried to convince them to name her after me.
H. sent me a cake and Richard sent me nothing at all.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not being so far from the people I love.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Less leggings, more pants. I also cut my hair pretty short just recently.
32. What kept you sane?
My pup. Hiking. New friends. H., always. My parents, forever. Baths.
33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm a Bernie Sanders fan.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Always, women's access to healthcare and abortion rights.
Our country's deplorable attitude towards refugees makes me sick.
35. Who did you miss?
Richard, every single day, until abruptly, not at all.
My family, like a fresh wound that never heals.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
All my new coworkers.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
You really don't need gloves on to catch a baby.
Wine and peanut butter is a perfectly reasonable dinner.
You deserve to be loved without hesitation, deeply, and kindly. In spite of - and maybe especially because of - how hard it is to love yourself in this way.
You will fuck things up. And you will apologize, and do better the next time.
Sobbing in the dark in the bathtub feels like shit, but it's better than the following alternatives: hard drugs, alcoholism, unsafe sex with strangers, binge eating and/or purging, quitting, breaking things, and online shopping when you have no money.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up the year.
I remember one night, a drizzling rain
Round my heart I felt an achin' pain
Fare thee well, oh honey, fare thee well.