Obligatory New Year’s Post: 2015 Edition

By the time I finish up writing this, I’ll likely be four days late on my annual year-end retrospective/hopeful year-ahead promises. It took me a while to feel motivated enough, quiet enough, settled enough to sit down and write, something I haven’t done in at least a couple of months. So much for last year’s resolution to write every day. (Though technically, as a reporter, I have kept up this commitment, but not in the way I meant to or thought I would. Semantics.)

It’s fitting somehow that I’m only just now looking back on 2014. For the first time in a long time, the old year bled into the new one. It used to be I took a break for the holidays and came back to new classes, new interns, a new city, a new sublet. This past holiday I met my family in Seattle for a week and came back to the same people, the same job, the same city. I guess I really am an Adult.

Most any way you slice it, 2014 was not a great year. Globally we had the outbreak of the ebola virus, terrible violence against journalists and aid workers in the Middle East, the spread of ISIS, three (three!!!) major plan crashes/disappearances, major unrest between Russia and Ukraine. Stateside we lost count of how many unarmed Black men and women were killed, either by other (white) citizens or by the police. I can’t name a single person who would want to do it over.

For a little levity--makes me laugh every time I read it

For a little levity–makes me laugh every time I read it

2014 was not a banner year for one Ms. Nadya Faulx, for reasons professional and personal.  Despite my hopes and feeble attempts to make NPR keep me in their warm embrace of free coffee forever and ever, I moved across the country from D.C. to North Dakota in April to take a job with a small paper, a move that took me away from friends and familiarity that, now especially, I’m almost desperate for. It’s been a more difficult adjustment than I’d expected.


Typical bar decor


But from that hectic, simmering pool of bile and used hypodermic needles that was 2014 came nuggets of inarguable good. If the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that by some universal will, I always end up where I need to be when I need to be there, and I think 2014 was no different.

Life in D.C. was great–no need to “silver lining” that one. Yes, rose-tinted glasses, nostalgia, etc., etc., but really, I was building a decent life there. Sure, I could have done without the moving-every-four-months pattern I found myself in as an intern with little to no stability or sure bets for the future, but I loved working with the Diversity Office at NPR and getting to be a part of that environment. I was close to Brandon; I had friends in the city. If I could have stayed, I would have in a heartbeat. I left behind a lot there.

Everything after D.C.–that’s where I need to remember to focus on the positive things:

1. Moving meant renting a car, playing whatever the hell music I wanted, and enjoying a solo road trip.

2. The drive from Houston to Dickinson meant three days to hang out with my dad.

3. I came to Dickinson because I got a job, a real JOB, with hours and benefits and some kind of permanency; whenever I get down on myself for failed job interviews or unanswered cover letters, I’ll remind myself that I did at one point get a real job on my own merit, that some employer wanted me, and that I can do it again. (More importantly, I got a job doing what I wanted to do–in a roundabout way.)

Chasing a tornado in Watford City--as reporters do

Chasing a tornado in Watford City–as reporters do

4. I live alone again and it’s glorious, more glorious than I remembered. My bathroom is disgusting. There are dishes in the sink. My kitchen is a mess because I spontaneously painted a wall red and now have to peel it all off. But there are no roommates to appease by changing any of it. (I know; I’m so American in this respect that it hurts. So, I like my own space.)

5. I got a cat! Let it be known, on record, that I am not a cat person. Cats, on many levels, scare me. But Dragon (nee Lucille, as he was known when I first took him home from the pound and thought he was a female) is the Merlin I always wanted: affectionate, needy, almost endlessly accepting of my overwhelming amounts of love.

Dragon loves me shark-costume much.

Dragon loves me shark-costume much.

One of my fave pictures of Dragon in one of his fave hang-out spots

One of my fave pictures of Dragon in one of his fave hang-out spots


6. I got a dude. We met at a rodeo; he is a former rodeo clown. Only in North Dakota.

7. I proved to myself that I can still take some scary chances and land on my feet (with lots of help from my parents and sister, who have kind-of-patiently listened to me fret and whine and bitch throughout).

Not a bad place at all, really

Not a bad place at all, really


I rang in 2012 in Denver, 2013 in Chicago, 2014 in D.C. and 2015 in North Dakota; I’d be stupid to try to guess where I’ll be a little under a year from now. My hopes, like anyone else’s, for the next 12 months are that they are better than the last 12. That we all learned something from 2014 that will make us just a hint more wizened in 2015. I know for myself that means talking to my family more, challenging myself at work, doing things even if they scare me or stress me out (which is everything, so…keep at it!), saying yes AND no more often (to different things) without second-guessing my gut about them, and taking much better care of myself so I can be a better person to everyone around me.

Also, travel. But that’s my resolution every year.



Put a Lid On It: 2013 Edition

Well, that’s that. 2013 is over, and holy hell, did a lot of stuff happen this year. I mean, a lot of stuff happens every year–let’s not exaggerate the enormity of this particular one–but a lot of BIG stuff happened these past 12 months. And as people are wont to do every December 31, I am of course compelled to reflect on just what exactly happened this year before kicking off the next.

So, to recap:

-finished grad school and got a master’s degree in journalism

-moved to another new city

-moved twice more within that same city (and swore I never would again, both of those times)

-interned at AFP

-began internship at NPR

-made some surprising new friendships–surprising in the best way possible

-was reunited with best friend, Brandon, when he moved to the same time zone (I’d prefer he moved within walking distance, like in Denver, but having him a four-hour bus ride away makes my life a little more complete)

-had about as serious a relationship as I’ve ever had (and then watched as the relationship ended in the most protracted, painful way)

-took a break from dating (angering my mom), then started dating again (delighting my mom)

-finally started learning Arabic

-started learning ASL

There’s plenty I didn’t get to, as well–I didn’t leave the country, for instance, and never did get a tattoo like I wanted to. Foresight has never been my strong suit. But still, I went into this year with a vague notion of how things would play out, and even though I’ve careened far off that course and in a direction I’m still not clear about, I wouldn’t change a thing about where I am now (except maybe my living situation–D.C. real estate is. the. worst).

As for 2014, I, as usual, have only some watery ideas for what I want to accomplish, how I can be a “better” version of my 2013 self. I’m set on some concrete goals: visit at least one new country, and get a job.* But in general, my goals for the future year are pretty much the same as they are every New Year’s:

-create more–write, knit, make jewelry, cook, draw (poorly), paint (even more poorly)

-be more open and more generous, in every way

-do a better job of staying in touch with far-away friends

-trust that things will work out the way they are supposed to

-face problems head-on

-give myself more credit, because 25 1/2 years in, I still haven’t fucked things up too terribly

I’m more excited to be starting a new year than I am sad to be leaving the old one. I’m as a nostalgic person as any, but  I love the idea of fresh starts, no matter how arbitrary. I’ll be in a new house in a new neighborhood, starting a new semester at NPR, looking for a new job, maybe even getting a new tattoo. I’m ready for 2014.

*job will ideally be in journalism, and more specifically, in public radio–so I can use my degree but never fully pay it off