“Blank Space”- Taylor Swift

I love the title of this song. Love it because when you look forward to a new year, the title reflects the possibilities. It is a blank slate, an option for infinite opportunities.

And so much can change in a year.

2014 has brought an incredible amount of change to my life. And while change is constant, it can be varied and stressful and unplanned. It can put you in precarious places. And it can give you hidden treasures.

I started off this year unsure. Last year was life-altering, having been exposed to darkness I was aware existed but thought of only in the abstract. And I survived it with what felt like shaky footing.

I discovered that justice is not always just. That a courtroom can feel like its own beating and that the good guys can be just as traumatizing as the bad. I feel disillusioned by the court system, but infinite trust in the police officers that worked my case and stood in court rooms to make me feel like I was not alone. I am amazed by the compassion of victim’s rights advocates and their ability to do their job every single day and continue to come in, for every new case, with the same look of hope and understanding. And I have learned that I too can be an advocate, that my role can change from victim, to survivor, to staunch supporter of the next victim, the next woman bold enough to say, “No, I refuse to accept this. I won’t let it happen again.” And that as crappy as some things can be, there is always someone to help. (Thank you Carmax!)

It took the first few months of this year for me to really find my footing again, to decide that I liked myself, to fight for the person I wanted to be, to be proud of what I could do. I worked out, a lot, and competed in a fitness competition. I added jobs to my plate, to deal with financial burdens like student loans and to grow my knowledge in personal training. I found purpose.

In my personal relationships, I found comfort and strength in friendships. Old and new. I have the most amazing group of people in my life. Ride or die kind of people. My weekends are filled with laughter, nights out, and nights in. I’ve gone to movies, lake houses, trips around the US, road trips, parties, dinners and so much more. I can call at 3 a.m. and vent or lunch time to discuss how many desserts we can get away with eating at dinner. I have found love and happiness and genuine joy. And I hold onto it with all my might.

My family and I have found new footing. My sister’s life has blossomed, bringing a new addition to our Four Musketeers. A fiancé and friend. A good man whose infused Tyla with a whole lot of fun and fresh perspective. Planning their wedding with them has been a privilege, seeing my family begin to grow, and take root deeper in the USA, has been a blessing too.

My mother’s business has expanded, no longer just worker bee but educator, the owner of a school program that helps others find their passion and help people be their best selves. My dad is as formidable as always, a pillar of strength, a constant presence that keeps me on my toes, a friend and example of the kind of person all of us try to be. The wounds from the previous year have almost healed between all of us, now like scars that ache a little when you stretch too quickly.


I’ve discovered humility in a big way. I had an incredible education from a top notch institution, and over 100 rejection letters in my inbox from businesses all over the state and continental U.S. I dealt with unemployment, five part-time jobs, and things that just didn’t work out. But I keep trucking and I think I’ve found a job that will keep me motivated and part of the amazing community that is RVA.

I’ve found that I am intolerant of a lot of things. I value the genuine over the fake, I don’t take the time to invest in one-sided relationships anymore, I will not pretend that everything is ok when it is most certainly not. I will be pissed off at injustice and ill treatment of those I hold most dear and I will fight for them and for myself if I have to.

I’m in awe of how much things can change. How special some people can be and how much they can mean to you. How what once appeared to be a bleak possibility can bloom into full blown hope.

And I’m excited to see what the blank slate of 2015 has to bring. Birthdays, holidays, vacations planned… there is a lot to fight for. To get ready to enjoy.  Infinite possibility.



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