Yesterday morning I found an eyelash on my wrist. And instead of making a wish, I reminded myself all that I am thankful for, and that I am proud of myself. It takes a lot to hold yourself together while your entire body is tempted to drown, and no one tells us that enough. At the beginning of this year, I’d wished for resilience, but I didn’t realize that at the heart of resilience is our ability to endure. And that means having to brave storms you didn’t even think could exist. It’s been a year of so much laughter (so much) and losses, endings and incomplete beginnings, fractured friendships and fractured hopes - the entire spectrum of unbelongings. There were times I felt I’d touched the sky, and there were times I struggled to find home - in places as much as in people. But something about being pushed against the wall instead made me feel thankful for all that I have. I think that’s what unbelonging does: unravels you out of your comfortable sadness, and makes you remember the laughter over the losses. And I want to remember how much I laughed. The strangers who gave me home. And how it all taught me that happiness isn’t a choice, gratitude is. Belonging is.

I took this picture sometime in the summer. We came across this piano casually sitting in the middle of Morningside Park with zero fucks to give about how out-of-place it was. And that is my wish for the year ahead: to be at peace even in places and moments of unbelongings. Because if you can unbelong from places and people you once called home, you can make yourself belong in the strangest places too.

So let’s hear it, 2018. Bring me your strangers.