Last Year

The year seems to be a good benchmark in identifying where we are. How far we’ve come in the last 365 days. Why that’s the standard of how we measure things - I don’t really know. But it kind of works. There aren’t too many of these years - so we give ourselves these annual touchstones to remind us of our progress. To keep in check. To see if we fare better, or worse from the year before. Before our time runs out for good.

But life isn’t a single line that we move backwards, and forwards on - even though it’s easier to think of it that way. Rather, there are many lines, all stacked on top of each other. We make strides in certain ones, while regress in others. Last year you could have been sad, but rich - and now you’re poor, but happy. Who is to say what’s better, or worse? It’s just too damn hard to squeeze everything in a single barometer. It’s more complicated than “I had a good year. Or, I had a bad year”.

But if you did have a bad year, chances are, you’re getting caught up in one or two things - when there were many small ways in which you’ve improved since last year. It’s just a matter of stopping to think. Something we don’t always do. And when we do - it’s usually from the wrong angle. Or one that doesn’t sufficiently benefit us. Little gems seem hard to excavate - but in a terrain of darkness, they glimmer even stronger. Remember that. So keep your eyes on the sparkle. And use your misfortunes to strengthen your radar.

We gain and lose things in the course of a year. The process is interchangeable - it’s just how things are. And personally, for everything I gain, I wonder about what I’ve lost in return.

I resemble it to a snake shedding it’s skin, in order to gain a new appearance, it’s necessary to remove old clothes. But a part of you is imbued in those old clothes. A certain scent, a certain tear, a certain blemish that you imparted. How can you just get rid of it?.. But at the same time, you can’t show up to work with torn clothes, just as one can’t wear a stack of t-shirts to mask the holes of an old one. The best you can do is appreciate the good days spent wearing that old fabric, and take those memories with you, as you wear something new. That way, you’re honoring both the past and the present - while keeping your heart open to the future.

(Originally Published 9/23/18)