As with every New Year’s Eve, in a few hours my mother will gather us round to list down the “Best of 2015.” It’s a family tradition where we quietly enumerate blessings, new experiences, and other things-to-be-grateful for. Obvious highlights like Bea graduated! or Mom finally retired! will get their fair share of claps, but we keep the rest of our list mostly for ourselves.
Like a report card of the past twelve months, the lists assure us of what we have to show for all the adventures and scars we earned along the way. But on the flipside, it’s just as important to look back on the stuff that probably won’t make it to the “Best Of” list. I want to be able to look at all of the challenges, goodbyes, and heartaches and let them go without necessarily carving out a silver lining. Maybe it’s just enough to acknowledge the moments when the world shifted ever so slightly, and we caught ourselves slowly becoming.
There were a lot of growing pains in this year’s 365-page story. In many ways, I felt my world expand but also shrink. I graduated from the university I love and reluctantly left behind college life. Friends came and went, and yet the ones who stayed grew with me in depth. I fell in love with someone I didn’t see myself falling for until it happened in the most natural way possible. I went on grand adventures and realized I still have much to conquer in my own backyard. I caught myself at peaks of happiness, but I also felt myself hit rock bottom. I started working at my first job and learned that you don’t need a whole lot to win when you’ve got a creative knack for making things happen. I traveled literally halfway across the world only to realize that home was actually the same five people I had with me. And of course, I started this blog!
What a whirlwind year. So much has happened, and still there’s so much left yet to happen. But then again, maybe every year is like that. Perhaps at the end of next year I’ll catch myself writing the same things, only differently. And that’s okay. Because writing our stories down is how we tell the world that we were here, and that we lived. We celebrate finding that common thread of meaning beneath the surface of our everyday because that’s what laces together the moments between the mundane and the extraordinary. By honoring the best—and worst—of every year, we thank ourselves for having the courage to see things through and remember those who helped us stay whole.
So let’s welcome the new year armed with good intentions and shiny resolutions because it’s the best way we know how. Starting with page one all over again, I hope for nothing but two things: a steady hold on that thread of meaning and the strength to proceed with more passion, more presence, and a whole lot of kindness.
Thank you, 2015, and everyone who was a part of it.