A Letter to Myself in 2015


I'd like to say to myself that 2016 started off with a bang, but I can't. My first day of the new year was spent crying, questioning the decisions that have led me to where I am today, and calling just about everyone in my phonebook for strength.

Facebook time hop reminded me that two years ago today I was also crying, but for very different reasons. January 2, 2013 I was boarding a flight to London, something I spent months working for and even more months anticipating. The time I spent living in the United Kingdom sparked in me a love for traveling, which eventually led to me relocating to Washington DC after college graduation, falling in love and slowly realizing my dream wasn't as perfect as I imagined.

Last year on New Year's day I spent my time wandering the streets of Northwest DC, taking photos on a disposable camera and still believing that if I worked hard enough everything would fall into place. New Year's 2015 I had a boyfriend who loved me, roommates to talk to when I got home, and barely enough money to pay my monthly bills. A year later I find myself in a much better job, enjoying every moment of my graduate program, but completely alone.

If I could go back and talk to myself at the start of last new year, I would warn that version of me that giving all your time to a group of people who have zero interest in getting to know you will only lead to one day feeling as if you are completely alone in a room full of people. Committing yourself a relationship where you are always the first to call, apologize and move forward will only lead to you waking up one day exhausted, unloved and unaware of where to go next.

This new year I finally began to listen to what my friends back home had been saying for months, and I finally listened to my gut instinct and realized nothing was ever going to change as long as I was the only one willing to admit change needed to occur.

Unfortunately I spent 2015 supporting a man who gradually lost all respect for me, making small talk with people who were openly rude to me, and laying in bed at night wondering why no matter how hard I tried to make the people around me like me, they never did.

Washington DC has been my dream since my 8th grade visit, and like an idiot I believed that my dream was possible while also spending time with people whose idea of fun was my nightmare. I cant count the number of hours I have spent sitting in a bar, making smalltalk with small minded people, inhaling secondhand smoke, and just wishing that just one of them would give me an ounce of chance to show them I wasn't all the bad things everyone assumed I was.

If I could show this letter to me in 2015, I would write in all capitals that it's better to spend my nights alone than to spend them crying on my bathroom floor while someone sat in the next room without a care.

I cant say for sure if things will get any better in 2016, but I am in control of the people I allow to into my life. So for now I am alone in a city full of people, but at the very least I can come home and not worry about what argument I'm going to fall into, what someone is going to say about me as I step away to the restroom, or what innocent gesture will be considered rude.

If I could talk to the version of me on January 1, 2015, I'd tell her that nothing is going to get better as long as I continue on the same path. So starting today I've removed myself from the people who openly dislike me, I've quit trying to convince a man that I am worth respecting and I will do everything in my power to take back the dream I had at 13 years old, the one where I'm a strong, independent woman, with her own apartment in the city, a cat to cuddle with at night, and friends to call on when she's grown bored of sitting at home.


If you've ever experienced being alone in a city I'd love to hear how you got through it. And if you have any advice on how to make friends as an adult I could really any advice. 

8 comments

  1. give it another year and see where it takes you. Do what you can to change things and if things aren't looking up, maybe DC isn't your place to be, even though it's been your dream for so long. There are many other places to which you can call home but the important thing is that you tried and maybe it didn't work out but that doesn't mean it never will.

    You are much braver than most, though....many will not even leave their security of family and friends behind to pursue their dream but you have so that in itself is amazing. I was just about to do that when i was about your age (pack up and leave for Miami because I've always wanted to live there) but then the job I was waiting for came through (if it didn't, I was going to buy my ticket and go) and I decided to give it 6 months before making my final decision. It ended up being amazing so I stayed, despite my desire to live in Miami.

    So while we all plan for things, sometimes they just don't work out but the thing is that YOU TRIED and are still trying which takes so much courage. fuck those who are openly rude to you; you don't need that bullshit!

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    1. I'm definitely not on track to pack up and leave, especially not after all the work I put in to move here. I keep hearing every day about all these terrible things happening to friends of friends and I just keep saying, maybe I dont have it soooo bad.

      But yes! Fuck all those people I spent months trying to connect with. I may be lonely but at least I'll never have to spend another moment trying to be interested in what they are talking about.

      Thank you so much for your kinds words though, definitely needed on a day like today. It is Monday after a holiday after all!

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  2. You will be so much better of without those people, even if it feels lonely, awful, and upsetting it will all be worth it later. You will have more time and energy to invest in people that really care for and about you.

    DC is a tough city to move to, I've had many friends immigrate here only to leave after a year. People are rude, always "busy", and opinionated. But there's a few of us good ones out there! P.S. I'm always open for happy hour or dinner in the city, especially because we work so close to each other.

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    1. I completely know what you mean. I had a small group of friends (very small) when I moved here but every single one moved away in less than a year! I think being from California didn't prepare me for all the awful things people can say over something as nice as brunch.

      But I would be totally down to meet up for dinner! I'm running home to recharge for a few days but I'll be back in DC next week!

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  3. It's really hard to live in any city without good friends. But being alone really is better than giving your time and effort to the wrong people. Congrats on cutting those people out of your life and good luck this year!

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    1. I feel like every night I'm realizing what you said more and more. yeah I'm bored and I have my moments, but at least I'm doing what I want to be doing with my time. I spent a year going out when I was tired, to places I didn't like, with people who I knew didn't like me, so I'm definitely better off alone than miserable but with company.

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  4. I'm sorry this happened. It hurts to lose the love of your life, and pretend to be strong. But new doors lead to new exciting and even better places :)

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    1. I was definitely sad, but not THAT sad. I've been more bummed about not having someone to do all my errands and things with, but so far 2016 hasn't been disappointing

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