The Lessons of 2014

One year ago today I wrote that 2014 was either going to be the best or the worst year of my entire life. It turns out I was wrong – I chose the wrong superlatives to describe my expectations for 2014.

2014 was not the best or worst year, but the most impactful … the most meaningful … the most pivotal year of my entire life.

After a year of hopelessness and stress in 2013, 2014 was a year full of blessings. My six-year nightmare of a marriage finally reached its end (I know, this sounds harsh, but you just have to take my word for it). After a full year of searching for the right job, then ANY job, I was lucky enough to get two great jobs – the first in sports journalism (how about THAT?) and the second in the field that I most love: international education. After serious doubts about the direction my career path would take after returning to the States, the future now holds vast potential. Most importantly, I was granted full custody of my dear Maia – my absolute everything.

But none of this came easily. The results were great but the process was excruciating and, as most of you know, caused me many sleepless nights and impacted my health. This was not a good thing. Moving forward, I need to shift my focus to improving my health so that I can enjoy the gifts I’ve been blessed with this past year.

Finally, 2014 reminded me of the cold reality that we are mortal and the eras of our lives are transitory.

One year ago today my brother Mike – recognizing the difficulty I was going through – commented on my year-end post,

“You are always in my prayers, keep your faith, here’s to a fantastic 2014.”

One year from that day I am left with memories of him.

I suppose there will always be moments of sadness at the times I miss my brother the most or regret lost opportunities to express my love and appreciation for him. But that is the lesson that I have learned – to not take my own life for granted (“get healthy so you can enjoy it, you idiot”) and to fight the complacency that hinders our ability to appreciate the moments, weeks, years, and eras while we are in their midst.

My wish is for everyone to make the most of their 2015.

To my friends and family, I love you.

Godspeed.

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