The late Marina Keegan helped me come to a paramount realization about my life this year: it really is just beginning. Let me explain. I was reading her essay, The Opposite of Loneliness, and this paragraph very nearly leapt off the page to strike me awake from my miserable slumber:
But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”
I’d better start from the beginning.
You see, I graduated from college and was thrust into a cold and pitiful economy. Like many of my peers, I struggled to find secure and promising employment but eventually was welcomed (with open arms) into the retail industry. It didn’t take long for me to go numb (literally – I worked in the temperature controlled rooms where perishable food is stored) and fall prey to the misguided notion that this was the top of the line for me.
2014 is when that all changed. I was granted the opportunity to turn my passions into two part-time jobs. Then a few months later, thanks to Marina’s words of wisdom, I accepted my first full-time job.
Marina Keegan is the reason I worked harder this year. For that, I will be forever in her debt. So to honor her and all that she’s helped me achieve, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what a great year 2014 was.
January – February
- Started the year off with a bang thanks to my friend Chris’ NYE party.
- Most of the beginning of January was spent helping Andy move out of a shoebox and into a mansion (at least, by Brooklyn apartment standards). We also paid the light bill at Ikea made quite a few trips to Ikea.
- Paid a lot of attention to my teeth and money to my dentist.
- Enjoyed the best birthday cake ever.
- Saw the Veronica Mars Movie!
- Went to Medieval Times and refused to acknowledge that my knight lost.
- Experienced delight at watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with Bianca Del Rio as well as shock/anger/confusion when BenDeLaCreme was eliminated.
- My 2001 Saturn decided after years of companionship to be a diva and demand a makeover. It is still making ridiculous demands as well as loud noises.
- Visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the Art of the Brick NYC exhibit.
- Celebrated one year of being with Andy by seeing Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
- Said goodbye to my work BFFs some of the best people in the world.
- Started working full-time!
- Celebrated an action-packed Pride (parade, festival, Drag Race Pride Party, was sketched by a subway artist).
- Went on Six Flags Great Adventure’s Safari Off Road Adventure for the first time.
- Spoiled myself by buying the Wii U & Mario Kart 8 Bundle (which was the best decision ever).
- Visited New Hampshire for the first time with Andy and his family (and saw moose)!
- Celebrated Pride yet again, this time at home in Staten Island, where I reunited with a few old friends.
- Spent the 4th with good friends in New Jersey.
- Finally released my short film, All I Ever Wanted, online.
- Saw The Early November in concert again, this time for an acoustic performance.
- Andy and I held our first Gayme night (gay guys + board & video games = amazing fun).
- Celebrated my uncle’s birthday with a super cool cooking lesson for the whole family at Cucina Casalinga.
- Saw two great friends of mine get married! My first wedding!
- Won my first Owly.
- Did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
- Visited Maryland for the first time and saw where Andy grew up. Also took a trip to DC: I finally saw Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and met one Miss Piggy!
September – October
- Saw Jason Mraz for the first time – and in Staten Island – and randomly bumped into one of my best friends at the concert.
- Spent a lot of time watching Andy and our friend Chris design and craft my incredible Halloween costume. I was Ursula from The Little Mermaid and quite clearly won Halloween.
- Saw a few of the sights that Open House New York had to offer this year.
- Went to (and survived!) my first corn maze ever after pumpkin picking.
November – December
- Surprised my brother for his 30th birthday with the family. Learned that my aunt is a pro at pinball.
- Was given the most beautiful chest of drawers from an old editor of mine.
- Went shopping with my work BFF to decorate the office for Christmas and it snowed the entire time.
- Won a lot of stuff, including an iPad Mini!
Yes, Marina. The best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re today, they’re tomorrow, and the day after that too. And now I know I’m ready to begin again. 2015, I’m all yours!