Once more, we stand at the precipice of a new year. For some, the passing of 2011 is like saying goodbye to an old friend you fear you may never meet again. For others, this blasted year can’t be over soon enough. For me, it’s a little of both.
I am physically and mentally more mature than I was 365 days ago and in retrospect, I feel like I grew a lot. Yet, it’s worth remembering that in the grand scheme, 2011 is no different than any other year that has come before or will come in the future. Once the headlines have faded from living memory and smeared themselves onto the neglected pages of history books, what will remain?
Two thousand eleven was a year like any other — people lived; some died. We destroyed more than we created, but what we did create was beautiful, if short-lived, like a flash in a pan of gunpowder at the moment of ignition.
We wasted time. We isolated ourselves from each other in the name of connecting with each other. We doubted ourselves. We thought we were too fat or too thin or that our gums showed too much when we smiled. We thought we weren’t brave enough or smart enough or talented enough, but when we really gave it our best effort, we proved ourselves wrong. We promptly forgot our success.
We tripped over ourselves. We messed up. We misspoke. We misunderstood. We jumped to conclusions. We ran red lights and sped on straight stretches of desert highway. We told brutal truths. We lied.
We lost faith. We broke down and we refused to admit fault. We slammed doors. We self-medicated. We fell in love out of love in lust in love again. We were certain that no one had ever felt as heartbroken as we did in that awful, lonely hour.
We let our loved ones down; we let ourselves down. We criticized and tore each other down to build ourselves up. We failed, yet we tried anyway.
We spent hours staring at a blinking cursor on a blank Word document and couldn’t think of damn thing to say.
We lived out our part in a continually unfolding story; a narrative as old as the universe that will continue to be written long after we have taken our last bow. Here, at the closing of the year, I take comfort in the fact that I am a small piece of a greater whole. I find solace in the knowledge that my time is brief and that my contribution, be it a sentence or just a word, is going to live on in some form. The years will pass, but the words will remain and the story goes on.
Happy New Year.
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