Some roads are exciting to drive down. Open highways. Days where the leaves are changing and you fly against the magic of yellows and oranges. Going somewhere.

Some roads feel like a trap. The ones from your house to the grocery store. With red lights that long forever. The mundane. The mandatory.

This year has been a lot of feeling stuck. At one point, on one of those drives where the red lights trap you and you feel like you’re going nowhere, again, a voice on the radio said, “sometimes you have to grieve the death of a dream before you can accept what’s next”. And that was it. Tears. I don’t know who was talking or even what station was on-- it was hum-drum background to a blank stare-- until, yes, this is me. I need to grieve the year I didn’t expect to be able to accept the year that I have, in order to start seeing color in the ordinary again.

Twenty-six started by the seashore. I was going to run a marathon this year. I was going to do burpees until my abs were made of others envy. I was going to be the best version of myself. I was in my mid-twenties- ew- but I was going to start crossing off bucket list dreams.

And then, on February 3rd of my 26th year, I found out I was pregnant. And 26 was the year I never expected. It got weird. I learned a lot about my body I didn’t know. My runs got slower and slower until they were a one-mile shuffle. My identity shifted tremendously. It’s still shifting.

And none of that was bad. But it still was the end of something. It needed to be grieved to finally be able to move on.

So here I am, at the end of 26, the end of the year that went 180 degrees from the way I expected it to go. This year felt refining. This year felt lonely. This year felt like a gift some days and a punishment others.

Here’s to 27 with arms open and no expectations. To running hard again. To motherhood. To new goals and dreams as I re-friend the old ones as well. To grieving what has changed and rejoicing in all that happened and all that 27 will bring. To loose ends. To untied endings. To rejection of an idealized life. To messiness. To family. To 365 days of whatever tomorrow will bring.

27, I’m here for you. Open roads. Let's go somewhere.