Where Would I Be Without You? 2021 Edition

Jimin Shim
7 min readNov 30, 2021


Every year brings so much with it: memories, friendships, relationships, new music, old music that you’re newly discovering, old music that you’re re-remembering, hellos! goodbyes! both heartbreaking and enchanting.

I’ve been sharing something similar to this (though this will be my first time doing so through Medium) since 2018, and every year, it always comes back to this: I don’t know where I would be without you (likely in a much sadder, lonelier state )— without the deep love, support, and visibility that I am so lucky to experience.

So without further ado, some thank yous to the people who have helped me love, grieve, laugh, scream, learn, open, and grow* through 2021:

To my friends and family: Thank you for continuing to show up for me over and over and over again. Patience is such a pure form of love, and you are so consistently patient with me. As I grow through the fun things (celebrations, small victories, big wins, happy coincidences) and the not-so-fun things (struggles, panic attacks, heartbreaks, confusions, frustrations); from birthdays to holidays to every other significant or ordinary day in between; I cannot overstate how blessed I am every 👏🏼 single 👏🏼 day 👏🏼 for the ways in which you all fiercely rally for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Dan: Thank you for opening my eyes and showing me what a healthier love is capable of looking like. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see my own shortcomings so that I can show up even better and with more love, honesty, and vulnerability, not only in my future relationships, but also with myself. Thank you for not only having been my boyfriend, but also a best friend, and creating some of our happiest, funnest memories with me. Most importantly, thank you for teaching me about cruise control.

You know who you are but I don’t yet want the world to know who you are: I still have a long way to go, but thanks to you, I’m starting to understand and feel and give an affection that is non-possessive, selfless, open, and honest. Thank you for making me so FRACKIN’ happy, in a more open and freeing way than I’ve experienced happiness before.

It feels so light yet deep and full all at once. And that is such a huge gift, that whatever happens or doesn’t happen for us in the future, I know I will not regret this time we’re getting to spend wrapped up in each other––and that’s not something that I could say before (at all, not even close). I used to want the good things to last forever. I would worry excessively about the possibility of losing it, to the point of self-sabotage. But now I know that we can appreciate things for what they are without needing them to be bound to time (even if I still want them to be sometimes 😇) Thank you for helping me work through this mind shift.

To another subset of my friends, my family, my therapist, as well as ~ myself ~ 💁🏻‍♀️ this time! Thank you for helping me work through tremendous heart pain (as in emotional pain; thankfully my anatomical heart 🫀 is fine) that has been deeper and more significant than any I’ve experienced before.

annnd part of this pain was certainly my own damn fault (raise your hand if you know what it’s like to be your own worst enemy! 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙃) Even so, I’m simultaneously the most hopeful, confident, and encouraged that I’ve ever been (!!!!) (Isn’t that amazing? I think that’s amazing.)

Opposing things can (and often do) exist together, and at the same time. I know that past versions of myself would not be handling life the way that present me is, and I’m both grateful and proud of the progress that I’m making. I’m also endlessly thankful to all the people who have supported me through this time, including those who owe me nothing yet have extended their love to me without being asked, anyway: Zigs, Emanni, Dom, Manuel, Hannah, Jess, Cat, Donna, Sophie, and the list goes on.

Brandon, Manuel, and Lauren: Thank you for being some of my favorite people to have a conversation with even though we haven’t seen each other in person for years (or even met yet!)

Brandon: For being my go-to person whenever I’m curious about stocks, investing, finances, how to make the most out of a travel/hotel experience, and, coming soon to a Messenger chat near you: chess 🤓

Manuel: For being my most consistent pen pal and generously surprising me outside of postcards when you know I’m going through a hard time.

Lauren: For being someone I feel so comfortable with already, who I can open up to, and who I have a great admiration and fondness for–all despite us not having met in person (yet 😉)

Jasmine, Robin, and Salesforce: At the beginning of this year, I had the privilege of starting a new job that is meaningful and fulfilling, with a team that is even more supportive, fun, and all-around wonderful.

My girl Jasmine has been my rock since January, now both inside and outside of work. I’m so grateful (how many times will I use the word “grateful” in this single post? But truly, I am just so damn grateful) that we were able to begin our Salesforce journey together; that you so quickly and organically transitioned from being a “work friend” to a “friend,” no qualifier necessary; and for all your support, the best book recs, our NaNoWriMo attempt (lol), and our venting-slash-spilling-the-tea sessions.

Robin: Work would absolutely not be the same without you and your trust, understanding, flexibility, and authenticity. I feel so fortunate that I have a manager who I respect and appreciate not only as my leader at work, but also as a human being in general.

I got to cross “ride a hot air balloon” off my bucket list! Thank you Zigs for coordinating such a magical adventure, and eddiekim for being born (and dating someone as cool as Zigs).

To San Diego and Wangerino: Thank you for helping me finally understand the appeal of the beach and ocean, and why so many people find the repetitive crashing of waves to be calming/soothing. I obviously have so much more to thank you for (see Gratitude Paragraphs #1 and #4 as a starting point), but the breadth and depth of the Pacific Ocean will have to do for now.

I’ve tried many, many new donuts, boba shops, and desserts. The list of people to thank for this one is quite long, lol.

I’ve begun therapy (!!!) and self-work that has been so relieving, liberating, and helpful. I’m telling y’all, therapy with the right therapist truly lives up to all 👏🏼 the 👏🏼 hype 👏🏼 Thank you to my amazing therapist and the friends who have supported me toward finally getting started on this journey of healing and self-discovery.

I have a place I can call home (at least until August of 2022 when our lease is up lol), that I love and feel so cosy, comfortable, and safe in. A place that I finally decorated! A place where I’ve finally fully unpacked for the first time in years! Thank you, Thomas and James, for being the best roommates and two of the only people I will still happily live with.

Thomas: Thank you for being one of my longest-standing best friends; showing me tough love when I need a nudge to do my physical therapy or go to the gym; sharing all your homemade Rice Krispie treats with me; teaching me how to inhale properly (OH what a difference it makes); surprising me with breakfast donuts nearly every month; letting me cry on your bed and soak your pillows with my tears; our roomie smoke sessions that I so look forward to every week ☺️; understanding my sense of humor; and so much more.

There are an additional handful of you who might not think that you’ve made it onto my gratitude list. Even if I didn’t explicitly call you out by name, your small gestures, a passing question, an extension of support or lending an ear that time through Instagram or a text message — those all stand out in my mind and I remember them dearly (for better or for worse, my mind often does not let me forget even the briefest of interactions 🙃)

So to close, thank you for your kindness. I hope that you extend the same softness and grace to yourself and to others that you’ve so generously shared with me.

Happy end-of-the-year-ish, everybody. Cheers to an even better 2022.

With gratitude (because one more isn’t going to hurt, after I’ve already overused the word seventeen times),

*Words from Andrea Gibson, a special and talented spoken word artist from Boulder, CO ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 Their mind and brilliance have helped me and brought me to tears in the best cathartic way many a time.