Moments ago, I posted my bitter feelings about celebrating the New Year. Mostly, I find the holiday to be filled with hypocrisy only because people will wait ALL year for this one special moment. Instead, I try to celebrate the very magic of the "New Year" every day I wake.
That's what New Year's is, you know? A night to reflect on all the past events in review and to make new plans for the future of you and yours. My problem with the holiday is: shouldn't we be reflecting, planning, and celebrating these moments all the time?
(So allow me to do just that.)
This year has been the best yet. Every year, I'm surprised by how the past year has trumped all the ones before it, and I truly think it's because I've found ways to celebrate every moment regardless of how big or small they may have been. Our lives are blessings and I'll treat every moment as a miracle. Every day there are so many things to celebrate: find them.
Looking back, this year has been filled with new and grand adventures like taking a road trip to Florida with my family, hosting a Swedish teenager, and falling in love. But when I reflect on the whole year, it's the small moments that make life that much more precious to me. Quite literally, this blog is titled: "It's the Small things" and now, more than ever, that's applicable.
I could go on and on to list all of the moments from this year, but when I reflect on all the memories I made in 2015, the easiest way I could share them is to show you.
Here it is:
but 2016 will be amazing.
I've always been bitter about New Year's Eve, and as I've gotten older, I've found that I'm not the only one who doesn't understand this silly holiday.
Sure, there's magic involved. We await the final few days of the current year, for at one magical moment at 12:00 AM, a new year has been set forth in front of us. Day 1 of another 365 Days.
People place so much pressure on themselves to celebrate New Year's Eve in the best of ways, feeling as if they don't, they won't celebrate the passing year with a final hurrah or kick off the new year with a bang. Mostly, people end up drunk and disappointed that this year didn't turn out the way they wanted and that we all have to return back to work in a few days. The magic doesn't last.
For me, this is just another night worth celebrating another new opportunity. I truly see any day as a celebration: another day of breath in my lungs and life in my heart, and if I'm really lucky, it's another day with people I love. That's what I see worth celebrating. That's where the joy lives.
It's a new year, yes, and maybe at midnight you even feel like a new you, but don't fool yourself into thinking that at midnight, everything starts anew. It doesn't. It's just another day, in a long series of days, that you've survived. Celebrate that.
And now here's my point:
Life is short. Our individual actions may only affect things on a small scale, however our collective actions affect this pale blue dot that we call home. This is not by chance that you and I exist here at random together. We have an opportunity of choices for our picking.
So let me tell you: Choose to do the right thing. Choose to be the better person. Choose to be courageous and brave. Choose to spread joy. Choose love, and then choose it again.
If I should do anything on this planet and within my lifetime, let me love.
Around the seventh grade, my eyesight had become so poor, that I was forced to wear glasses all the time. Originally in fifth grade I had gotten glasses to help me see the chalkboard at school. I didn't wear them then, deeming my glasses to be "uncool." I paid a worser price when by the end of the eighth grade year, I officially donning glasses at all times.
I grew to love my glasses, and still do. In many ways, they're part of personality. But they aren't me. I've always said that my eyes are my favorite thing about me... The way they change in the different sunlights or the way the green turns into a rich brown dependent on my mood. I love my eyes, but they've also spent the past 12 or so years hiding behind a pair of glasses.
Yet today, I woke up and without putting on my glasses, I walked myself to the window, pulled open the curtain, and admired the moon and the stars for the first time without my glasses. Beauty doesn't even begin to describe the emotion I felt in admiration of the night sky.
Back in the fifth grade, when I had first placed my glasses on my face, one of the most profound things I ever experienced was when I realized that trees had individual leaves. To anyone who has perfect vision already, this may seem unbelievable. I remember asking my mom if all trees had leaves like this and if the night sky was always so perfectly crisp as I then could see it, but only with glasses. I had spent the first 11 years of my life in some sort of nebulous haze. I had seen so little.
And yet yesterday, as my nerves abounded me, I felt overwhelmed with the excitement I'd soon get to experience. Back in late October I finally agreed to have LASIK, something I had debated doing for the past decade or so. For awhile I opted against it because I was fearful, and then I opted against it because I felt self-conscious of my face without glasses. Finally I accepted it as something I had to do. My glasses held me back, quite literally prohibiting me from seeing things completely and fully for what they are. Today, I woke and I saw.
After my half-hour long procedure yesterday, I sat up in the surgical chair and I immediately noticed I could already see my doctor's face. His cheeky smile welcoming me into the world of sight: sight without glasses.
He asked me if I could read the time on the clock from across the room. It read 15:37... a profound moment of recognition: I could see.
When I awoke this morning, finally able to open my eyes on my own and to look around, I didn't have to reach for my glasses. Things are clearer and crisper, but the simply amazing and astonishing part of it all is that these are my own eyes. I can see with my own eyes.
It's liberating, humbling, incredible, and quite literally miraculous.
Someone once told me that my eyes are my life's greatest investment, and today when I woke, I suddenly realized exactly what that meant.
I fear I cannot write for you at this current time.
For days, I've pondered topics of what I'll write about in this week's blog post. Ideas surfaced including that of terror in the US at the Sunday morning breakfast table or of instant gratification while discussing my broken Keurig machine. I started numerous commentaries, but they all dead-ended. I've saved them as drafts for the time when I'll be able to find the right words to share my thoughts.
And today of all days, with the devastating news of another brutal shooting, I should be quick to put my fingers on this keyboard and feverishly type away my raw emotions of how my heart is breaking for the world.
But... in my most selfish sense, while my heart does ache for the cruel, broken world we live in, one very powerful emotion is overriding all others: hope.
In the simplest of ways, I can say only:
The whole world is going to shit, and I'm falling in love.
"I have no special talent.