It has been a little more than five months since the last time that I have checked in here. Things have been evolving and reshaping my life and my relationships in ways that I could not have foreseen at the beginning of the year.

For many, and myself included, 2016 started out with uncertainty, anxiety, loss, and only a small hope for fresh paths that could have led to huge growth and opportunity. It was in these tumultuous first days of the year that I was able to see and absorb the lessons about myself and the woman into whom I had the potential to evolve. It was important for me to also look at the people with whom I surrounded myself and what they could mean for my future.

With 89 days left in this roller-coaster of a year, I am quite frankly surprised at the new, altered state of my life. So what has changed?

First and foremost, I am thriving in my new career. There were dark moments of doubt and high points of praise in the first six months of becoming a pastry cook, and I really do believe that this was a wise decision on my part. In my opinion, risks are not always worth taking; however, a field change on the eve of my 30th birthday has led to the possibility for a hard-earned and wildly rewarding career projection.

In my life with The Man, the biggest changes have taken place. At the end of 2015, I had spoken with a Fire Wife blogger about potentially contributing to her blossoming site. I was unfortunately turned down simply because I was “only” the girlfriend of a firefighter. At the time, I was wildly offended because in my situation, the title just couldn’t mean a difference in the dedication I felt to The Man and his career. But over the year, I have been able to see that my relationship approach isn’t the rule, it’s the exception. Not all girlfriends (or boyfriends, for that matter) view the everyday relationship as something that is permanent and deserves the respect, dedication, and loyalty that marriage deserves. The casual approach may be especially true when you are dealing with a partner having a career such as that of a firefighter… some are in it for the thrill.

Today, while still not a Fire Wife, I am happy to announce that The Man and I will be getting married! The proposal wasn’t easy for him to plan. As any woman who is with a firefighter knows, finding a day or time to just date your partner can be hard to come across. It was even harder being that I have been working a not-so-set schedule for months, so we had struggled to find a time for the two of us to be home together for a full day together. One day in the recent past, we started the day with a kayak adventure down the street from our beautiful Queens apartment. Then we grabbed some sandwiches and headed to the lush park where I had first fell in love with his big blue eyes and his calming conversations. We chatted about the noisy park visitors, where the last three years have taken us through, and the adventures that lay at our feet. As the sun began to set, we strolled until we found a quiet and secluded spot under a tree by the river. The Man got very nervous and I knew what was about to happen. We giggled our way through the proposal and then spoke excitedly about our next steps.

The date isn’t set, but we will be planning on autumnal nuptials in the future!

So just like that, I have taken the journey from fire girlfriend to fire fiance. We have fallen into our routine as pastry cook and firefighter, and while this lifestyle isn’t easy to maintain regular relationships with friends and family, we are working to figure it out all out.

And that is the biggest lesson that I think people can take away from my adventures this year. Things are not perfect now, nor did they even start off as perfect– heck, at times, it’s far from even being slightly easy– but as long as you continue to work and figure it out and make it work for you, your family, and those who matter, success may be easier to attain than you might think. I started 2016 off with so much apprehension in my heart, and now, I feel delighted in the fact that I still have 89 days to fall deeper into the atmosphere of comfort, support, love, and hope that I and those around me worked so hard to create.

Happy Fall, everyone!
Stay healthy and loving.