A LITTLE AFTER 1AM THIS MORNING or thereabouts, at a nearby pub, I began celebrating 2014. The bar back had been heavy-handed with the champagne in plastic flutes while the bartenders took deep swigs from their own personal bottles. Most attendees had their heads capped with cardboard crowns and conical hats — everyone feeling good, feeling good.

Amidst the celebration I turned to my friend, seated on the stool beside me. She held out a permanent marker acquired by some means from the bar back and signaled, your turn. The restrooms have long been coated with banter, graffiti, wishes, anger and love and in these moments, we enjoyed adding to the ongoing stories on the bathroom walls.

I took the marker and walked into the tiny stall, closed the door and wrote

T H I S   I S   E V E R Y T H I N G

which at that moment, seemed like just the right thing. It was now 2014 and all I could think was of the time ahead of me rather than behind, seemingly infinite despite the finiteness of it all. This is everything! I thought, right now, your life, limitless. Everything, of feeling in the right place and in a time that is so optimistic, advanced, terrifying, gorgeous, unresolved, and with so many unknowns. Everything, because I get every day to learn and blow my mind with new discoveries, from food to people to the mechanics of society.

This is everything because I am healthy, I am loved, I have big goals and the means to achieve them. This is everything because I am strong, because I am finding courage to live with confidence through my lifelong insecurities and fears, because I am enough.

This is everything, this adventure, these late nights, all these wonderful people and some not, these flying highs and lows, too; happy, sad, neutral in rotation. The feelings received when I've done something right for myself, and when I'm down — well, everything keeps me going again and again.

This past year was everything. A medley of the best and worst: exhaustion, success, feeling loved and heartbroken, the splendor of growth and at once, an internal disappointment that I have left part of myself behind. Nurturing new friendships and watching old ones collect dust, phone numbers and names whose meaning have shifted. Episodes of congratulations for achievement, overshadowed by all that is yet to be done. This is everything because there is always more, and the thought of accepting it — of chasing it — while bittersweet, is absolutely possible.

And on the last day of the year I was on an airplane flying over New York City, the crazy, incredible city I get to live in every day, staring down at the specks of brownstones and skyscrapers and ripples in the water thinking, this! This is everything.

On January 3rd I will celebrate my two year anniversary in New York City. I am thrilled to say these have been some of the best years of my life, that I am awestruck, and that everything is awaiting me in life — this is everything.

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