When I eventually retell the story of my life, I think that I’ll say that 2013 was the year that everything changed. The funny thing about stories is how the details vary with the telling. The exact words are misquoted, the specifics are glossed over, timelines are stretched or squeezed and the wrinkles in the narrative arc are smoothed out. The truth is, many of our stories end up being a hybrid of fiction and reality.
The past is always changing. Histories are built upon fragile memories. That idea might scare some, but I think it gives each one of us power over our lives. We can take a painful experience and turn it into a moral fable. We can take liberties with the specifics of our stories; we can make ourselves quicker on our feet, faster with a clever quip, more daring. The past is written by those of us in the present.
So, when I look back on the passing of another year, I can choose to see it as a mishmash of disparate experiences or I can see it as the year I moved across the country for love. This was the year two sets of my good friends found out they were having their first child (and one baby arrived before the end of the year). It was the year I visited both the Canadian and Mexican borders. This was the year I wrote a novella, the first year I got a paying writing gig outside of college and the year I left a place I loved for a new adventure. I never could have imagined being here a year ago.
Soon, 2013 will only be a memory. In ten or twenty years, the story may not reflect the reality of what I see, feel and believe today, but that’s okay. My present is only the first draft of the future’s story, to be shaped by the course of my life. And when I tell the story of 2013, I’ll be sure to mention that it was one of the best years yet.
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I’ll be back here in 2014 with more stories that may or may not have happened. In the meantime, you can find me counting down the hours until 2014 on Twitter. Thanks for reading and I wish you a joyful new year.
The Year in Focus
A Year Like Any Other: 2011 In Retrospect
A Farewell to Flagstaff