This is, as I'm sure you've become aware, the last day of 2011. This is not a trivial thing...rather, it is an opportunity to look back at where we have come from, to look forward at where we hope to go, and to consider where we are in this moment. This past year has been nothing like what I expected before the calendar turned. In the past twelve months I have graduated from college, moved to a new city, started a new job. I discovered new passions, gained and lost relationships, and tore a ligament in my knee. Even this blog has changed...I began it as a way to express myself to myself, without any intention of other people reading it. That didn't last long...in 2011, this blog was viewed more than 11,000 times by more than 8,500 different people, one of whom invited me to publish an article with his magazine.
If you had told me a year ago that I would lose my most important relationship or that I would be questioning my calling in life, I would have probably blinked twice and imagined that I would be miserable by the time 2012 rolled around. Thankfully, that isn't the case. And that's the amazing thing about life...no matter what you plan for, you'll always get something different. And even though it's different, it's still good. Maybe even better. I may not have found my soulmate or my dream job in the last year, but I've found new friendships and gained a new home. I have much to learn, but I've learned more than I could have ever imagined in the last year.
So here we stand, ready to embark on a new journey, into a new set of days and weeks and months. All the things I've said and done in the last year no longer count...in a few hours, I'll be starting over. A year from now I hope to look back and see that I accomplished big things, that I chased my passions and discovered more about myself. I have an entire year ahead of me, ripe for the picking.
At the same time, I don't want to write a set of resolutions or make a list of plans. The things which will define this next year for me are things I likely have no idea about, involve people I have never met, in places I have never been. It's both frightening and exciting to step out into the unknown, like the feeling you have right before a first date. Or a third date. Or whatever. The point is, I can't wait to discover what this next year has in store for me, for the people I love, and for the things I'm passionate about. I'm also hoping this whole Mayan apocalypse thing is more Harold Camping than Oracle.
Here's to the road ahead, unseen and untraveled. Here's to the ones I'll find, the ones I'll lose and the ones who prove to be true. Here's to a more peaceful world, a more loving Church, and maybe some more wins for the Irish. Here's to starting over, full of hope for what tomorrow may become.
And so on...