In April, I saw the Broadway production of The Lion King and cried in the third tier balcony of the Paramount Theatre. It was the dawn of my "Mufasa complex," or at least the first time I labeled, my obsessive anxiety surrounding the inevitability of my parent's death. Whether it's tomorrow or 30 years from now, I, like Simba, am and will remain emotionally unprepared.
That same month, I went home for Easter and spent the first and last good weekend I ever had with my grandpa, whose multiple myeloma was slowly but surely eating him alive. I saw him again, for an hour or so in October. I held his hand and he said things that angered me and I nodded quietly like it was all okay. Because, in a way, it was. He died a few weeks later.
In June, I left for French Polynesia. For a month I was alone in a way I never had been before, counting down the days until I would be hurtled across the Pacific, until I was back home. Though the program ended, the depression lingered, consuming the rest of my summer.
It finally left me in October, evaporating like the sweat on Nigel Williams-Goss's forehead. I was mid-squat, photographing him and his teammates as they laid out their next play. When my finger hit the focus button on the unwieldily camera, the weight was there, when my finger lifted, when I captured my shot and they sunk theirs, it was gone.
I tackled November with all the force I could muster, determined to pack my lost months into those four short weeks. I worked hard at my internship, learning how to code and navigate a new workspace. I took on every story and volunteer position I could at the paper, writing long lists of ways our newsroom could improve. I stuck to every commitment I made to friends, a feat for someone who lives on the small high that comes from canceling plans. I didn't sleep much, but I was happy.
If 2015 can top this year, if it can provide higher highs and, inevitably, lower lows, I will count myself lucky indeed.
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