Something about a clock striking midnight on the last day of December gives millions of people this sense of hope and commitment.

2015 brought many grand experiences for me. I saw my first MLB and NFL games in person, my second niece was born, I lost 35 pounds, signed up for my last college classes, my best friend got engaged, was accepted to write for HVFH, accomplished my second 3,000 mile road trip and I also met someone.

The last few months of 2015, however, started to dig at me on a soul level where I didn’t want to exist anymore. The adage when it rains it pours started a bit after my 27th birthday. An article I submitted about milestones missed got me thinking: was I OK with not being married or having kids yet and just going on about my life? By October, I cracked. Issues and unresolved grief from years prior came flooding back along with new thoughts. The amount of weight I lost to feel better about ME and becoming a better athlete held no merit, I was feeling like a failure in school, I was losing hope in people I loved because I didn’t see my own worth to them.

In one week: the garbage disposal started leaking, the furnace went out after 20+ years and the first snowstorm lead me to hit a median in my car which resulted in an estimated $900+ in damage.

How could I start a fresh New Year with all this financial stress while still trying to find my mental focus on me again?

An epiphany occurred in a salvage yard trying to find a spindle for my car.

Here's hoping there's a spindle part in there!
Here’s hoping there’s a spindle part in there!

My partner and I both had the day off work and he went with me to find this used car part. First we arrive and the systems were down and everything I was told the day before on the phone was turned around on me; figures. So we went to a restaurant that was closing the next day; forever. We ended up getting to sit under the disco-ball at Piccolo’s and enjoy a meal together #twofer. A call to the salvage yard took us back there and the hunt for the part began. One car was completely gutted and another with what I believed to be the part- was left.

It was a sunny, cold afternoon in a place of neither of our forte. In this moment, I realized how the power of being in the presence of someone that wants you in theirs– no matter the environment, turns things around. This changed my whole 2015 outlook.


Things started working out. I started attending therapy more often to function again, my house is getting a new furnace this week, I am using the opposite side of the sink to wash dishes for the time being, my car was fixed which turned out to cost under $150 with the help and wisdom of family and my relentless attitude to ‘do it myself’.


I awoke in 2016 and my news feed was full of posts of positivity. I realized I will need a second job to support my friends and family, Bed Bath and Beyond registry habits for all the weddings to be taking place along with babies being born and how strong the belief of what a new year means to each person – will bring. I am hopeful and happy again.

I myself am not aiming to lose weight, get married, read a list of books, travel to the pyramids or anything deemed as significant. My goal and hope in 2016: be in the presence of someone that wants you in theirs (even if it is eating air popped popcorn and binge watching Netflix). 2015 ended this way, and I didn’t need to wait until a clock striking midnight to figure this out. 

Elle Patocka

Elle Patocka is a Czech lady born and raised in South Omaha Nebraska. Her life has taken avenues unforeseen and some well planned in advance- and that has continued to make all the difference. She lives by the notion to be altruistic and live life because ‘’ you never know when your bus is coming.” Her view from home is seen from 5 feet 3 inches, mostly lying down in a hammock, browsing vinyl, skating, mosh-pitting and sweating with strangers at concerts. Elle recently had two pieces of her writing selected to be published in her College magazine and website The Metropolitan- this has checked her bucket list off of becoming a published writer come true and she hopes to continue to write in any form possible.