At the end of every year I try to sit down and get some words down, but the simple act of doing that this time around has seemed pretty impossible. I don't even know what 2017 was, other than a lot of confused stumbling through the dark and hoping that tomorrow will be better.
And I mean, look, 2016 was pretty awful toward the end there, and I think maybe we all came into 2017 with the hope that it'd surprise us and exceed our (already low) expectations. Instead, every day has felt like life or death for a different reason. If I had a nickel for every exasperated text I got from a friend that sounded like "what is happening" or "the world is just fucking awful" I could buy my own private island and hide. We've been called to rise in rapid-fire succession this year, and that's certainly it's own TED talk on self-preservation and responsible media consumption, but the fact remains that in a world where we need our hearts just a little more than usual, there's never quite enough of it to go around. There's too much that needs saving.
No wonder New Year's Eve feels a little like an apology.
I've false started more times this year alone than I think I have in my whole life. I've skinned knees and bruised elbows and left a few fresh scratches on my own heart, but when I go to tally it all up, I realize I've also found peace hanging upside down 10 feet above the ground. I've found time to fill up the empty corners of my life with brush markers and pole sits. Some of my friends have done truly extraordinary things in the last year, and sharing in the joy of their successes has filled my heart in ways I didn't know possible. There have been small wins that start to fill in the holes the losses have left behind.
So yes, I hope that in 2018, you do stick to that diet, or write that book, or make more money. I hope to find my way back here more often than I do now. I hope terrible people stop trying to kill innocent ones, and that we all manage to find ways to fix what we can, where we can, however we can.
But, I also hope that a two year old screams your name for the first time with such indignation that your heart bursts into uncontrollable laughter. Or that on your drive home from work one night, the sun sets just so and you wonder why you've never noticed how bright the city hills can glow with the warmth of home, even during a bitter winter. That even if joy can't blow the windows open, you find a way to enjoy the breeze.
And I hope that in those moments when you believe yourself un-worthy, un-lovable, un-anything-other-than-relenting, you can remember that we are all more than a collection of the things we've gotten wrong on this never-ending road to finally getting it right. There's still so much time.
Happy new year, everyone.