If you asked me a year ago where I thought my life would be today, my answer would have been wildly different from where I actually ended up. One year ago, Fall of 2017, I was newly single, living with my parents, and working at a job that made me absolutely miserable. I had just been welcomed into a close-knit group from my office, who I was spending more and more time with outside of the office. I started working out more, something I had essentially ditched when I graduated college. Honestly, I thought my life was settling into a routine for the foreseeable future. I had planned to move to Boston, but other than that, no major changes were on my radar. So of course, everything had to change.

I ultimately ended up moving to Boston – actually, to Dorchester, somewhere I never imagined myself moving to. But the rent was cheap, and the apartment was great. I was hanging out with my friends nearly every weekend, falling more in love with working out, dating new people, and enjoying life as a single 20-something in Boston. I was working hard at my job, despite the fact that it was an unhealthy work environment. The only thing really keeping me there was my manager, who mentored me and helped me improve in my career. But, my company was acquired in the Fall, and I took that as my way out. In February, I found a new job – essentially my dream job – at a great startup that had everything I was looking for in a role.

Everything was staying the same in my social life, which was a good sign since the common thread between my friends and I was that we all worked together. A few more months passed, during which I met my current boyfriend, and more of my friends started working for new companies. We were all still close friends while we individually moved forward in our careers and relationships. At least that’s what I thought, until one by one, the friends that I had to earn (for the first nine months I worked with them, I was never included in their group), began to shut me out. In fact, I was supposed to move in with a couple of those friends over the summer while in the end, didn’t work out. Fast forward to the summer and I no longer talk to a single one of the people that I once considered to be my closest friends. I see them in passing occasionally, and they act like our friendship never existed at all.

Since the summer, I’ve moved yet again. This time to another part of the city with plenty of my own space, a great commute, and more freedom in all aspects of my life. Over the past year, all of my relationships have changed – friends, boyfriends, coworkers, roommates… it’s all different than it was at this time last year. And honestly, I can’t imagine it any other way.

I’ve been able to build connections and relationships with people who fill my life with positivity. People who, excuse the cliche, build me up instead of tear me down. I’m able to spend more time focusing on myself and finding what I love. I have a job I love, a relationship that fills my life with so much joy and love, I’m more focused on my personal wellness, and I’m on my way to becoming truly happy.

The saying “everything happens for a reason,” used to annoy me honestly. But this year I’ve learned it to be true. Everything does happen for a reason. Life has a lot of twists, turns, tests, and lessons. It’s all about what you take away from your relationships and experiences and how you use them to grow. Maybe a year ago I never would have imagined my life as it is now, but I’m pretty happy that this is where my life ended up.

Emily

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