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If you had asked me in December 2014 where I would be the following year at the same time, I’d never have guessed I would have come so far. There are so many things I’ve always said I wanted: to live by the beach one day, to be a “Dog Mom,” to finish the novel I’d been chipping away at writing for the past few years. I also promised myself I’d finally try my hand at consulting. Now, as I look at my life, all of these proclamations have come true—and so much sooner than I anticipated.

Not that 2015 was without its challenges. I received a call from my mom one day last spring bringing news that I’d always feared. This was the kind of call that always made my heart hurt when it was friends, coworkers, or even strangers who were on the receiving end. My dad was sick. To me—and probably to most daughters out there—my dad always seemed invincible. But the instant I got that call, my world changed. Before getting off the phone with my mom, I’d already decided to pick up and leave New York City and move to Southwest Florida to help out in any way I could. Three months later, I’d wrapped up fifteen-plus years of living in New York and moved down to the Gulf Coast.

As soon as I made the move, everything began to fall into place. My incredibly supportive boss offered to keep me on as a consultant. I started getting up every morning before sunrise to work on my book. (I finally finished my novel in the fall, and it will be out this spring—a story for another post.) My dad was cared for by a top oncologist in Sarasota, and on our way to a routine visit, we found our newest member of the family, Maisy Mae the cockapoo.

There was much to be grateful for in 2015, but our family received the best gift we could have hoped for at the end of the year when we got the news that my dad is now illness-free. He’s a fighter and an inspiration. I’ve been living in Florida for a little over six months—which feels like no time at all—yet I’ve accomplished more in these past months than I had in a while. I believe things happen for a reason, exactly when they are supposed to. I look forward to settling into my new hometown in 2016 and continuing to let life take its course. I can’t wait to see what this next phase will bring.