I walked into a restaurant the other day with a question for the manager. The hostess picked up the black phone with a cord behind the welcome podium and called her boss. “There’s a woman here with a question for you,” she said.
I almost asked her, “Who is this woman?”
And then I realized she was referring to me.
Life happens fast sometimes. One minute, you are barely making it through finals as an undergraduate. The next, you are barely making it across the graduation stage without stumbling in those impractical heels you needed to wear for pictures (and so you would be tall enough in the crowd for your family to find you). Two seconds later, you are on a plane to a place you have never been to cross bridges you didn’t know existed. Twenty-four hours after that you are wandering through a country that doesn’t speak your language, but the people teach you more than college ever did.
And one millisecond after that you are doing the nine-to-five drill in clothes that need to be tailored and it’s weird when people refer to you as a woman.
That, my friends, is a brief summary of what 2014 was for me. One year ago, I was on winter break as a college student. Seven months ago, I wore the gown of graduation and carried the curse of post-graduation. Six months ago, I was blessed enough to explore Eastern Europe and find pain in cities that bled history in cobblestones. Five months ago, I started blogging for the CatholicMatch Institute. Less than one month ago I had my first day in my first full-time position.
2014, you have been nothing but a whirlwind. But not one that causes nausea. One that pumps adrenaline into veins and breath into lungs. Sometimes I couldn’t breath. But my heart was always beating.
If someone had said to me in January of 2014 that this year would bring me from San Francisco to Poland, and that in the end I would be at home in Worcester and no where else, I would have said never. I would have said no, that’s not the plan.
Too bad I actually have zero control over the plan. I also have zero control over the fact that people now refer to me as a woman. But I think that was one of the biggest gifts of 2014-there is a woman here.