2015 was the messiest year of my life. I’d spent the prior 24 years growing accustomed to having my precious things in tiny little boxes placed carefully on a glass shelf and this year the glass cracked and the boxes were crawling with insects and I lost my dad and parts of my mom and I screamed on runs and hurt wonderful hearts and slept little and cried a lot and messily, messily made it to today. This year was hard. It was a hard, horrifying year that I am having trouble bidding farewell. Because it will be the last year my dad was alive, even if living with an attacked brain. It will be the last year that I have memories with my dad, even if they happened in hospitals. It will be the last year I held my dad’s hand, even if it was to help him stand up. I don’t want to leave the year yet because amidst the fear and agony, there breathed moments of beauty. Real, vulnerable, unforgettable beauty. 2015 taught me that when you keep your eyes open in the darkest days, you will eventually start to see some light. I learned a new type of pain this year – the chronic, burning pain of loss. But I also learned a new type of joy – the joy of letting go and loving hard and laughing after a day of silence and leaning heavily on friends and holding family close knowing that our time together is both limited and endless. There were nights where I so violently feared the morning that I would fight off sleep in attempts to avoid its arrival. But given the opportunity, I would do this year on loop. This year, I fell madly in love, had laughing attacks into the night with my brother, found a home in the New York comedy community, ate most meals at the same table I grew up around, spent days floating with my dad in the pool, watched my dad’s smile as he demolished a massive piece of his favorite coconut cake, sang “It’s a Love Without End, Amen” to my dad as he lay in a coma the way he used to sing it to us and screamed and ran outside and wailed and felt my dad stay with me as he took his last breath and left with the sunset. It was an ugly, beautiful year. I think this year woke me up. I think I’d been sleeping in ambivalence for years, waiting for some one thing to come brighten my life. This year taught me to just fucking change it. It brutally showed me that we are on this weird, unjust earth for a few minutes and waiting is wasting that disappearing time. Even if we couldn’t imagine a worse day or worse words exiting a defeated doctor’s mouth, my dad still allowed us to find beauty in it! To still hear a laugh at dinner, feel a warm hug, see a bright star. He taught me to wake myself up early and to attack. Doesn’t matter how bad the day is – it’s still another day you have alive. Still another day to drink coffee, kiss your love and get outside. 2015 weirdly feels like the first year I lived and I’m afraid to say goodbye to it because I fear that as the year drifts away, I’ll fall asleep again. Memories of my dad will grow distant, the sting of the pain will dull, the worries will start to get smaller, the days will start to repeat and I’ll forget to wake up running. Saying goodbye to this year feels like a more final goodbye to my dad as my living guide and a welcome to my dad as my spiritual guide. I fear that shift. But if there’s any other thing 2015 taught me, it’s to look fear in its cowardly face and say I am not scared. So I am not scared. I am not scared. I am here and here is the only, most spectacular place to be.