On New Year’s Eve a couple of friends were rating the past year according to a 10-point scale in which 1 was a “2010 was so bad let’s not ever talk about it again” kind of year and 10 signaled a year that was positively brilliant, perhaps filled with some meaningful milestones, turning points or successes. I gotta say mine was a perfect 10.
I fell in love, I did well in school, I interned at the United Nations, I got a new job, and now I’m closer than ever to concluding a two and a half year-long saga to repair my teeth from a bicycle accident. This is not to mention that I had one of the most fun summers I can remember while my friend Priscilla was temporarily living in NYC in addition to spending time with so many new and old friends. And I started this blog!
Sure the new year is just the turning of a calendar page, a way to track time. But I think there’s a lot of power in epochs. A new year is a time to decide to do some things differently in the coming year, to feel a release from the past and a sense of renewal, to get a new start on being the best versions of ourselves that we can be. We have a choice when we wake up in the morning to have a good day or a bad day, regardless of the challenges that lie ahead.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my own share of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad years. The choice can be hard to make. It takes a lot of strength and courage, as well as love and support from family and friends. It took me the better part of 30 years to realize that finding my own happiness is my responsibility. No one can make me happy but me. Others can share in your happiness and certainly they can add to it, but to get there you have to figure it out for yourself. While I have my own romantic and maybe a bit naïve notions about the new year, you don’t have to wait until 2012 if your year is already off to a bad start. Our calendars can be made up by us, and can be changed as often as we see fit.
At the start of last year I wrote in my journal, “2010 is starting out to be a fantastic year – maybe my year!” It was. Thanks, and be kind.