May 2015 – I’m offered a job working at a ministry in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
August 2015 – After several weeks working remotely, I make the move to GR fulltime. I move into my friend’s guest room while I get settled and find an apartment.
August 2015 – Only four days after landing in GR, I go on my first date with Nick. He would tell me later that he knew I was a keeper because I ordered fancy mac and cheese and not a salad.
September 2015 – On the way home from a baseball game, Nick asks me if it would be weird if he told people I am his girlfriend. I tell him no, that would be alright.
September 2015 – I text Jesse and freak out about being a girlfriend to someone again, because my track record leads me to believe that I am a terrible girlfriend. She tells me to knock it off; I’m going to be fine.
November 2015 – I move out of my friend’s guest room and into my own apartment with Joy. I rejoice (legit, that is the only word for it) that I have the opportunity as an adult to live with my college roommate again. Because who as an adult ever gets that chance? Joy tells me to calm down and pare down my coffee mug collection because it is taking up too much room in our limited cabinet space.
December 2015 – Nick travels home with me to Maryland for the holidays and to meet my people. Everyone loves him. My friends hesitate to say it then, but later report that they could see then what would come a year later.
February 2016 – I’m called into the HR office of the ministry that moved me across the country and I am dismissed from my job.
April 2016 – I attend the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, where I get to hang out with the people from the ministry who still like me and fangirl over a bunch of writers I have admired for years. A friend of mine suggests that I start working as a virtual assistant.
May 2016 – I start working as a virtual assistant. This means that I am still maintaining social media accounts, but I’m doing it for individual bloggers and not for a ministry. It also means I get to work at home in my sweat pants most of the time.
June – August 2016 – I work, I date Nick, I go home to Maryland twice because my job allows me to work from anywhere. It is by all accounts a very good summer.
August 2016 – Five days before classes start, I get an email from a friend who teaches at my alma mater to let me know they are in need of professor for a section of College Composition immediately. He says he already gave the head of department my name. The next day, I get an email from the head of the English department asking for my CV and references. The next day, I get a call from the head of the writing faculty explaining how the class is structured and which textbook to use. I interrupt her to clarify that I have been offered the class. “I’m sorry,” she says. “I thought that was clear.”
August 2016 – I start teaching College Composition at the college I graduated from many moons before, thus fulfilling the prediction of my former advisor who said I would teach one day. (Sometimes professors are prophets.)
September 2016 – Nick and I celebrate one year together. It is officially the longest I have put up with anybody. It strikes me as really something that I do not want to bail, and in fact would say yes if he proposed.
October 2016 – My class evaluations are such that I am offered classes for the Spring semester and the following Fall. I am grateful. I feel at home in the classroom talking about writing.
December 2016 – The semester ends, and I have not only survived, but have flourished. I am grateful to have been fired earlier in the year because it gave me the freedom to say yes to the right job that came after it. I am grateful to be out of a cube, and out from under a boss who didn’t understand me. I am grateful to be back in the company of young people, grateful to be back at a white board, grateful to be invited into the space of helping college kids become their adult selves…even if it involves a heck of a lot more grading than youth leading, and a heck of a lot more talk about comma splices.
December 31, 2016 – Nick comes home with me again for the holidays. My people still love him, and unbeknownst to me have been in cahoots with him to pull of a pretty perfect proposal. He takes me to my favorite bay town, talks about how excited he is to keep building a life together, and drops to a knee by the lighthouse. We celebrate with my family and my best friends, who were all present for the moment he asked me to be his wife.
January 1, 2017 – Wedding planning craziness takes over my life. We set the wedding date for December 2017, and planning will be the joy and bane of my existence for the year, I can already tell.
January – April 2017 – My whole world is teaching writing and planning the wedding. Sometimes I eat. Sometimes I go to the gym. Mostly, I Google ways to avoid spending a crapton of money on wedding stuff. Jesse tells me to knock it off and start enjoying myself before I rob all the joy out of this season.
April 2017 and on – I promise to continue to enjoy myself. I have all the makings of a really good life right in front of me.