wider than a mile

As I sat down at my desk again, I couldn’t help but wonder: does each year teach us something new, or are we just experiencing different versions of what we’ve already felt?


Yes, it’s time for another reflective end-of-the-year blog post. Brace yourselves.

Can you tell that I’ve spent the majority of my winter break binge-watching Sex and the City from the beginning? On Christmas Eve, I headed over to my mom’s, where we made our way through Carrie and Aidan’s second breakup and season five. In the middle of Christmas Day, my mom suggested that we take a break and “broaden our horizons” by watching Avengers: Infinity War. This backfired since we haven’t kept up with all seventeen Marvel movies, so I was a few Wikipedia pages deep in order to keep us up to speed for two and a half hours. Nonetheless, we made it to the middle of season six of SATC before I went back to my apartment.

While Carrie Bradshaw & company have been on the brain a lot lately, I’m not quite ready to sip cosmopolitans, and Manolo Blahniks don’t fit in my closet (or my price range; my go-to shoes are my $28 block-heeled boots from Target). But the girls have all helped me in their own way, as silly as that may sound. The show came out in 1998, when I was just under two years old. The world, in terms of New York and what goes on outside of it, has changed a lot since then. So has dating. But I’m glad that I haven’t been dumped with a Post-It note.

It’s easy for my friends (and myself) to compare me to Carrie because I’m a writer. But Carrie is the antihero of the show; she’s easy to like and easy to hate. There have been times where I’ve rolled my eyes at her, especially when she repeatedly stops everything in her life to go back to Mr.Big, and when she’s at lunch with her friends and turns the conversation around to make it about her. I mean, we’re all guilty of finding difficulty in breaking habits, being selfish, and doing something over and over again expecting different results. I know I am. For the past year I’ve told myself after each semester that I’m going to “cut back”—but I still end up with four or five classes and two jobs, which affects my sleep and appetite. I’m terrible with money outside of paying my bills.I vent to my friends and family sometimes without asking them if they’re able to handle it.

I don’t have a sex column, but I’m still a woman with a laptop, with many “I couldn’t help but wonder” moments of my own. I  don’t know enough about love to write about it with expertise—I’m twenty-two and without a clue. There’s a little Miranda in me—I’m cold and sarcastic, career-driven. As for Samantha, well, I don’t think I’ll ever come close to having a fraction of her escapades, but I admire her shock value. And I guess my roommate is right when she said I’m like Charlotte—I keep going back out there just when I think all hope is lost. Although I don’t believe in all of that Prince Charming bullshit, and I don’t want a Park Avenue apartment and a string of pearls. I’m not a damsel in distress at her desk, waiting to be rescued or fixed. There haven’t been a lot of grand gestures, and I know better than to expect them. When I think of love, I think of someone who doesn’t want to stop figuring me out, and vice versa. And I do have that kind of love in my life, even if it isn’t of a romantic nature. You don’t have to date someone in order for them to be important to you. Sometimes a label isn’t necessary. Just knowing that someone is there is enough.


In the season four finale of SATC, Carrie finds out that Big is moving to California. She goes to his apartment and he plays “Moon River” for her on his record player. While I usually listen to the Frank Ocean cover, yesterday I opted for the original Andy Williams version. I listened to it a few times and everything from this year kind of hit me all at once, and I just wanted to cry. I thought to myself: Wait, I’ve felt like this before. That “I’m-all-grown-up-now-but-not-really” feeling. It sucks. It’s gut-wrenching. It’s scary.

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Of course we all go into a new year with forced optimism, hoping that we’ll change and become better versions of ourselves. We diet. We try to stick to a workout routine. We cut our hair. We declutter our living spaces. We cut people out, and let others back in. We religiously read horoscopes. But there are still so many things that are out of our control. I’ve done some pretty stupid shit this year, which is to say that the journal I use probably needs its own therapist at this point. I’ve self-destructed more than once, especially this past semester. And I don’t get a free pass for any of it just because I’m young and in my twenties, or because I’m a high-functioning person dealing with anxiety and depression. It doesn’t work like that. In other posts I’ve talked so much about “blooming” and “growing” but in truth, it hurts to grow. It doesn’t happen overnight. And there’s so much forgiveness involved—forgiving myself for being messy and fucking things up and not having everything figured out, and forgiving others in order to move forward. I started seeing a therapist in March, and in the middle of summer, I thought that I didn’t need to go anymore, but I knew I was lying to myself, and here I am nine months later still going.

But this year hasn’t been entirely heavy. On the contrary, I’ve done a lot. I had not one but two internships that are reflective of my interests, during which I even got to help “build” the newest issue of an online literary magazine and plan its subsequent launch party. I landed my first editor position. I started living on my own. I went to New York not once, but twice (probably not going to happen again for a while). I learned more about myself as a writer and the kind of writing that I want to do. I’ve gotten better at defining myself, and my boundaries. I’ve tried, more than once, to be one of those women who can “have it all” (work, school, and a relationship) and failed, which I’m trying not to take so personally, but as a Scorpio that’s easier said than done. Maybe I’m not supposed to have everything at once right now, as hard as that is to grasp, but I need to make the most of what I already have.

2018 has been long. It’s been wider than a mile. Yet I’m still coming out of it in one piece, which is the most rewarding accomplishment of all.

See you next year,

Grace

Grace Roberson