When a year starts with a magic I couldn’t even dream of, declaring that it was only going to get better from there was just setting myself up for failure. How could any 365 days hope to keep up to welcoming 2015 on the beach in Barbados, blissed out on prosecco and wonder, held fast in the warm arms of a dream, watching fireworks that reflected off Caribbean surf?

I am anxious to see 2015 end. And, even as I write this – even as I’ve thought about writing this for the past several days – I know it has nothing to do with an arbitrary number we assign to an arbitrary set of days and everything to do with me. I want to blame 2015, just as we want to blame the other person when a relationship sours. It’s not me, it’s you, 2015 – you let me down. You failed to maintain the golden glow with which you started.

Oh sure, I still had 60 days of Caribbean adventures after Old Year’s Night in Bridgetown – a full-access media pass to the Jamaica Jazz Festival, a week in Negril, a quiet weekend in the Blue Mountains, and a dozen mini-adventures closer to ‘home’ in Kingston.

2015 also welcomed me back to Canada. To my cute little house and my awesome little car and my family. To weekends with friends in Seattle and Ucluelet. To a family reunion in the mountains, and a week in Montreal. To friends and celebrations and my life on the wild Pacific coast.

Yet, when I think about 2015, those are not the things that jump out at me. What I see is an ambush by depression and anxiety, a whole lot of financial stress, a slap-in-the-face job search, and a giant gap between the magic of January 1 and the ordinariness of what followed.

2015 has not truly been a bad year. What’s been ‘wrong’ is my feeling like the best of life was left behind on those small islands in the sun. And so I’ll say good-bye, not just to 2015 but to cynical, resigned, slightly bitter me and see if we can revive magical, dreaming Shan. Enough surviving an ordinary life – it’s time for new passport stamps, more sun, and more world-changing adventures.

It’s hard to capture such a full year in just 10 moments. Thanks to everyone who has been along for the ride!
My year in review on Facebook