Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ramblings and reflections on New Year's Eve

Well, it's that time again: that day out of the year when the Earth finally completes its orbit around the sun another full time, a day we give more meaning to than perhaps it merits.  A day that, in spite of its less-than-stellar origins, has come to bear significance as a time of reflection on the past 364 full rotations of the earth and what we have spent our lives doing during those rotations.  And as cynical as I try to be about the celebration of a day that frankly is just like any other, here I am anyways writing a long blog post on a dusty blog that I haven't written in for a good few months that only you, Reader, might end up reading.

I'm okay with that.

Because I've definitely come to face this interesting scenario multiple times where I idealistically want to view something one way and realistically, sometimes cynically, come back from a different angle and counter that vision.  It happens in all areas of my life, and occasionally this odd dialectic causes the original vision I have for a certain area of my life to dull in color, not because I've obtained a more realistic or more idealistic understanding of the vision, but rather because I've allowed the train of the vision to derail.

So here's to being okay with viewing life with all of its complications.

Here's to making mistakes and learning from past mistakes and still being faced with the temptation to recommit those mistakes, because change is never a passive process and it often involves a conscious shift in our decisions, our actions and reactions, that occurs in the moments we know we want to end differently.

Here's to finding friends only to lose some of them while making new friends along the way, because each and every single person had some purpose in crossing our path, whether big or small, and the glory of it all is that those people are every bit as messed up and beautiful as us.

Here's to attempted and failed romance as well as success in relationships, because from these experiences we learn what we find attractive in people, what we don't, how to be supportive, how to love, how to be persistent, when to stay silent and when to speak, how to share burdens, and how to trust.  Most importantly, we learn more about ourselves.

Here's to never-ending change, because not only is it a necessary facet of life (an unknown author once said that without change, there would be no butterflies), but it's also what keeps life interesting.  It keeps us on our toes, keeps us from getting too comfortable, keeps us growing.

Here's to the inevitable closing of certain chapters of our lives and opening of new ones, because the pages that we wrote are achingly beautiful and the ones that are yet to be written eagerly anticipate the putting of ink pen to white paper.

Here's to late nights spent writing papers, late nights spent with friends, late nights doing a combination of the two, and late nights blowing both of them off, because odds are we had a reason and excuse for each one, whether valid or not, and by the time we wiped the sleep out of our eyes the next morning we came to understand that that night is now woven into the big tapestry of our lives.

Here's to dancing warm nights away to bachata, to watching as one by ones your friends and acquaintances fall in love and get engaged and get married and have kids, to jumping into Lake Michigan at the end of a semester when it's cold still just because you can, to nervous breakdowns and panic attacks that you eventually learn to handle or at least cope with (this too shall pass), to delicious food shared with amazing company, to conversations where you allow yourself to be vulnerable for once, to discovering wild new places and stumbling upon incredible details of nature, to late-night walks shared with that friend you could never do life without while sharing deep and emotional conversation, to finally taking classes that you actually enjoy and actually attending most of them because you truly care about the department, to catching and identifying enormous insects that would probably scare the living daylights out of most of the people you know, to climbing the enormous snow piles that the plows make in parking lots, and to laughing so hard while reading a friend's message that you cry or you choke on your hot chocolate (or both).  Here's to surviving.  Here's to living.

And here's to you, dear Reader.  Because you are weird.  And complex.  And special.  And loved.

So, where does this bring me to in the next orbit that the Earth is about to embark upon?

I'm going to leave the country again, this time for a longer while than I'm used to (you can follow me on this tumblr if you're interested in updates, it's empty now but will start being written in towards mid-January).

I'm going to walk in the commencement ceremony, because I'm actually graduated (whaaaat).

I'm going to keep getting used to living life not quite knowing what's going to happen next but having at least a general direction and vision, even if that vision is subjected to constant questioning and internal discussion.

I'm going to let old chains be broken by the Chainbreaker.  See one of my most recent blog posts.

I'm going to make more time for reading and writing in my day-to-day life, because now that I've had a few weeks where I've had the opportunity to do so, I've realized that I've been missing it and how much it helps me be a more educated, literate, and creative person.

And I'm going to be open and willing to accept opportunities for other adventures that I cannot imagine at this moment, without fearfully working myself up about "what-if".

Happy near-completion of the Earth's orbit around the sun once more.  May you experience many more of Earth's rotations about its axis and orbits around that flaming 5,778 Kelvin ball of hydrogen and helium.  And may each of those days hold more meaning than you ever thought possible.  May each of those days hold something, big or small, that causes you to fall asleep at the end of that day thinking that it was special in its very own way.  May you love stronger than you ever thought possible.  May you live.

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