“Another year has passed. It has gone by so quickly.”
That’s what most of us will say, tonight, tomorrow, as we celebrate new beginnings.
For me, it’s not so much the swiftness of time, but the overall lack of it.
And while that may seem similar, it isn’t.
This year was a slow one, and it seemed to last forever.
Still, I never seemed to be able to do all the things I wanted to do.
I admit, I sometimes set unrealistic goals for myself:
read a 500 page book, reply to all 120 emails, clean the house, cook a meal, work out, write a paper, backup my hard drive, go swimming, finally start writing a novel, reread that paper, play a game, interview my grandparents and write their life story, backup my hard drive again, make YouTube videos, watch all Sorkin series again, make good YouTube videos, learn sign language (just because), see some friends, pay all my bills and get a haircut.
Yes, I do understand that all of that is impossible in just one day.
But in the mornings, it really seems doable…
I’ve learned to pause at the end of each day, and list some of the things that I did manage to do.
I’ve decided to do the same for the year that has just gone by.
Not all good, not all bad. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, I guess.
This year I sidestepped the loss and sometimes fell face down in it.
Last year, my father passed away. And so 2015 was the first year “without”, the first birthdays, fatherdays, holidays, performances, winnings and losses, coming home to an empty chair. And while 2014 was mostly horrible, as watching someone suffer and caring for them day after day, night after night, drains every last bit of energy from your body, we also had amazing moments together. A year of long goodbyes. 2015 often made me wish for those days again.
As of tomorrow, the sentence “no, he died last year”, will have to be replaced by “he died two years ago”. The addition of that extra year implies distance and closure and the ludicrous idea that we have all somehow moved passed the loss.
And of course, we haven’t. We move around it and with it, never passed it.
In 2015 I have seen friends move, get married, have children, start lives they never thought they’d have. I have seen some happier than ever, and saw another stumble into a psychosis, and bravely climb her way out, holding on to hope when there seemed to be none. I saw my family and friends at their best, sometimes during their worst days. And while you could read all this in a corny, cheesy voice (go for it), there’s an honest and neutral truth to it all.
I have learned so much from all of them.
2015 is the year in which I said goodbye to the man I thought I’d love forever. But the end of my relationship coincided with finding a new passion, for telling stories in a different way: using all the media I use, letting myself be scattered across platforms and allowing my mental chaos to be visualized. The stage didn’t seem like such a scary place anymore. Just a stage. Really. For all the things I wanted to say. See, there’s a corny metaphor for life in that, but I didn’t say that, ‘cause, you know, that’d be corny.
With all the terrible things happening in the world around us, there are so many things I’m thankful for and looking forward to.
Here’s to a new year.
May it be better and brighter, but move ever so slowly.
Dream big, it’s only the beginning.