I always find New Year’s Eve to be a little melancholy.
Maybe that’s just my own issue — and my own predilection to see the glass as half empty. Though I consider myself a happy person, it’s easier for me to lean toward gloom-and-doom than sunshine. It’s not something I like about myself, and I’ve worked hard to become more positive since going through Some Issues as a teenager.
Though 27-year-old me is very far from the 14-year-old version. Thank goodness.
Despite some great things that happened in 2012, I’m not sorry to say goodbye to a year that was both exciting, challenging and heart-wrenching. With the death of my uncle in January came my first metallic taste of real, visceral loss. I was lucky to make it to my late twenties before losing an immediate family member, I know, but it didn’t make it any less difficult. We all miss him.
I tried hard not to let that early devastation color the entire year. I made it my mission, actually, to continue moving forward and try to be a better person — a better sister, daughter, granddaughter, girlfriend. I will remember this year as one in which I really grew up — and not just because I ended it with a ring on my finger. I tried to comfort those who needed comforting, aid those in need of help. I tried to be strong when others needed me to be — even if it meant stuffing down my own feelings. We do that sometimes, don’t we? For the people we love.
But this wasn’t a dark year. I won’t remember it that way. My sister and I made a memorable weekend jaunt to New York City to see “Newsies,” which was awesome, and I loved getting away — just the two of us! — in the spring. Spencer and I took our first trip together in May, hitting Northern California, and I fell in love with Yosemite National Park — and more in love with him. In June, my entire family took our annual trip to the Outer Banks — and in August, Spence and I went to New York to spend time with his family.
I spent time with loved ones, tried to keep in touch with friends, worked hard. I took my first hot air balloon ride, snapped tons of photos and read lots of books. In December, my sister and I both got engaged — I know, you’re already sick of me talking about it! — and I’m grateful that we’re planning our nuptials at the same time . . . because I’m finding it hard to think about my little sister growing up. My own crush of wedding plans will distract me from the sadness I’ll inevitably feel as we both move out of our childhood home, something that weighs heavy on me.
But on New Year’s Eve, a day we bid goodbye to one year and welcome another, I’m feeling calm — and inspired. Though I’m not sure what 2013 will hold, I know it will be a big and bold and exciting and complicated and beautiful one. I’m not making any formal resolutions, but will plan to try and stare down the challenge I’ve faced for a decade: living in the moment. In 2013, I hope I can slow down and breathe, choosing to take it all in, and find pockets of time to just be.
Now who’s got the champagne?