It’s almost 2017. Whew, we made it! When I scroll through social media this week, I see post after post screaming “Let 2016 end already! Worst year ever!” but I can’t say I share that groupthink. In 2016, I’ve been challenged in ways I never expected and (mostly) responded with growth I am incredibly proud of.
On January 4, 2016, I started my first “big girl” job working at a Fortune 200 company and one of Forbes Top 20 Best Employers in the U.S. Thus began a year of meeting and working with amazing people who are far smarter, kinder, and more experienced than me – basically, I struck gold.
In February, Conner left Texas and moved to New Mexico for work. I stayed in Texas because I refuse to live anywhere without a Target within 1 hour (just kidding – kind of). Really, I stayed to see through the amazing opportunity I had been given in my work life, at the company I fell in love with. C visited me frequently – perks of having a husband with his pilot license!
Fast forward to August, and C relocated yet again to Las Vegas, Nevada. He remained (remains) incredibly supportive of my career in ways that I could never ask for or imagine, and we continued to rack up Southwest points in our long-distance marriage. At work, I grew immensely – not just in skill, but in developing my personal brand and learning to confidently, unapologetically tell my story, all thanks to a couple of incredible people who took me under their wing like the little, lost duckling.
At the onset of the winter months, I made the incredibly difficult decision to leave my dream job and join C in Las Vegas. While in Texas, I met wonderfully kind, brilliant people, who may have left a few red wine stains on my Pottery Barn couch that I hope never come out. It’s the little accomplishments I am sad to leave behind – navigating a different grocery store chain, figuring out frontage roads, little moments of bravery in happy hours and Bible studies with strangers who became friends. Now I’m not sure whether to tell people I’m from Tennessee or Texas, and Willie’s fried pickles with ranch will forever hold a special place in my heart.
As I write this, I am sitting at an empty dining room table, eating cold pizza, and staring at our Christmas tree – the only quasi-decorated corner in this house – surrounded by half-packed cardboard boxes with my last name misspelled “SCWERTS” in Sharpie. We have added one more baby to the family, Minnie (meet her here), and my life has temporarily become one long Bounty commercial for puppy accidents. Conner continues to be the most loving, selfless partner I could ask for, and I am girlishly, butterflies-in-my-stomach excited to be with him again.
In 2013, I studied abroad at Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge – Emma, as we fondly called her. My friends and I ventured into London for a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral one night. The priest read us a quote that I will never forget, that I carry in my heart:
For all that has been, “Thanks,” and for all that will be, “Yes.”
For 2016, I say thanks to the Lord, and to 2017, I scream “Yes!” at the top of my lungs, for a new year, in a strange house, in a foreign city, with the fullest heart, knowing that my hodgepodge family of cheerleaders and advocates now extends to San Antonio, Texas.
You’ve ready my sappy 2016 lovefest long enough! Below are my goals for 2017, in no particular order. Most of these goals have less to do with the advent of a new calendar year and more to do with the start of a new chapter for my family.
- Get plugged in to a local church and small group. Grow my spiritual family in a new city. (Side note: Do they have churches in Vegas?! Half-joking…)
- Hike at least 2x/month in the beautiful, Martian landscape that is Nevada.
- Do fulfilling work with joy. This may not mean finding another “dream job” like my last – lighting may not strike twice – rather, it may mean volunteerism, content creation, and community growth.
- Join a gym or yoga studio – being a homeowner means no more free apartment gym!
- Create an oasis of Southern hospitality and warmth within our new, very Southwestern-looking house. I’m excited to document this process on Amy Lately!
- Be vulnerable and open with new people, holding back judgements and seeing them through the eyes of the Holy Spirit – white, clean, whole.
- Adventure with Conner! L.A., Disneyland/Harry Potter World, Utah skiing, the Grand Canyon, and countless parks are all at my fingertips in this part of the country.
When you look back at 2016, I encourage you to reflect on the unexpected that you handled with grace, and on the expected that you manifested into being. Meditate on your goals for 2017 knowing that destiny is often self-fulfilling. Sending much love – I hope you have a sparkly New Year’s Eve!