2018 was a year of contrasts. I spent the first half of the year ping-ponging around the Eastern United States and the second half tethered to a small apartment half a world away in New Zealand. In January I had a pretty good sense of who I was, but by the fall, much of that had been dismantled. It was a strange year.
I spent some time recently looking back on the past year in an effort to better prepare myself for 2019. While doing an exercise designed to aid in this process, I was asked to come up with three words to describe 2018. For me, they were the following.
Change was ever present in 2018. That and it’s moody twin brother uncertainty. Much of the first half of the year was spent wondering where we would be sleeping the next week. We watched our savings account dwindle as we waited to hear back about job interviews and work visas. Upon arriving in New Zealand, we lived in four different places in the first month we were here. It was unsettling.
Throughout all of this change, friendship provided us the strength and support we so desperately needed. The first half of 2018 I was fortunate to be able to spend quality time with many of the people in my life that mean the most to me. Since arriving in New Zealand, we have met some incredible people who have opened up their homes and their hearts to welcome us.
I have already written about losing my identity since being here. Though I’m becoming more comfortable with who I am now, it is still a big challenge. 2019 will be a lot about how this struggle plays out.
2018 was a year I won’t soon forget. Through change and uncertainty, friendship kept us afloat. And while the search for identity continues, I welcome the opportunity to keep exploring what it means to be me when everything around me is different.