I seem to do my very best thinking and writing late at night... go figure! Ah and yes, it is officially New Year's Eve - the last day of 2011. This blog is going to be loaded with a dash of emotional nutrition, a handful of quirky thoughts, and a hint of some 2012 flavoring. I love it!
Usually on NYE, I do very little. If you think about it, every music venue has an expensive cover, every restaurant requires a restaurant in advance, and you're usually driving on the highways at 12:30 a.m. New Year's Day with myriads of people who have had their fill of champagne, alcohol, and gosh knows what else. It's intriguing to look at and think about--but not fun to be in for most of us who prefer quiet social gatherings in our own homes--allowing for greater clarity and reflection on the year in closing. Not to mention that NYE is filled with the expectation that people will sell their first born in order to enjoy a prie-fixed, three-course meal out. That's actually nice, but nonsense at the same time! NYE is the last day of a long year, filled with emotion and should really be a chance to reflect on the good, the bad, the challenges, and the triumphs.
Personally, I don't usually do much for NYE. I'm lucky if I can watch the ball drop on television from four different time zones while toasting the new year and my television with a flask of bubbly. Last year, my mother held a dinner party and a married couple who were friends of mine joined us. It was nice. It was quiet. It was something different. Then there is this year, today, and tonight.
This will be the first NYE I have ever spent hanging out with someone I would consider more than a friend. It kind of reminds me of getting dressed up to go to the Senior Ball in high school, with the only difference being that my date is someone who isn't a paired acquaintance, but someone I actually "like" who may "like" me in return. And a new story, a new relationship, and a new beginning aligns itself with the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. I am excited--like I may find myself ontop of the world at midnight; but I am also nervous that things won't be right as they should be. As I should have them be. The flip side, is that my company is someone who is bright, attractive as heck, and has her act and her deck of cards in order. (I actually found out not long ago, speaking of cards, that she plays Bridge and belongs to a Bridge players association. How awesome is that!) NYE is not just a "second date" in my opinion, but something resembling a story from Cinderella. Or so that's what plays out in my head as I'm a romantic dreamer, both hopeless and hopeful. We have tentative plans, but the thing is, no matter what we end up doing, we will fully enjoy seeing each other to the max. That--and not how little or how much money spent--is what's most important. I will have pictures to follow, but have made a mental point of not posting any in the coming days without getting my new friend's view and approval first. Because in my mind--her feelings come first and that's the most important thing to me--her feelings and her heart. That will be my first objective on NYE with both of us having a blast painting the town red second.
So what are we celebrating? We (you reading this and I) are celebrating a year full of ups and downs amidist an unstable economic climate, politics as usual in Washington D.C., anniversaries, engagements, graduations--a potpourri of this, that, and the other thing. For myself, 2011 has been a year of figuring out who I am, who I want to be, who I can be, and who I don't want to be. It has been a year of accepting that I have limitations and learning to respect those limitations while embracing my strengths and attempting to capitalize on those. Many attempts to forge a career path that might or might not include graduate school in my future have had challenges. Beneath what I try, I am an artist, full of depth of sensitivity and emotion. I love the art, music, and mulktimedia fields. But because so much of what I do relies heavily on my vision, I must take extra steps in 2012 to become more of an active (not passive) player in my own life. This means connecting with Lighthouse for the Blind to see what advocacy and support services I might be eligible for even though I can still see and still have some sight. I have to utilize my 24-Hour Fitness gym membership that remains active more and do an hour-and-a-half split into three half-hour sessions of rigorous exercise a week. And I have to pour far more of myself into art if I ever hope to build a portfolio in the future to use both professionally as well as for a graduate multimedia program--something I think I want but am not yet 100% sure about.
The director of youth ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Church recently challenged me in an e-mail reply in response to my anxieties and worries. The message she sent me has a message of change in the way I see and do things. Her message was triumphing adversity and sticking with something no matter how difficult things get. And while I felt that she was disspassionate in her brusque reply, her message indeed came from a caring place: Change stars from within; do something and do it well. When the going gets rough, tough it out. The difficulty in change lies in figuring out where one can break through and where one can accept their limitations. I also do not feel she understands where I've been. But the idea of triumphing adversity as a theme for 2012, is huge for me.
What will your triumph in the face of adversity be in 2012?
As you sit around your house tonight eating treats and sipping champagne or head out the door, here are some things to keep in mind as one year ends and a new one begins: Keep learning to open your heart bigger to others and to the world. Keep working on your goals even when they become challenging. Self improvement doesn't begin with others--it begins with you--at your own pace. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Always take the high road. Embrace change, because change is the one constant that will never stabilize. Vow to move forward in 2012 with manageable, small resolutions that are implicit of a "one for me, one for you" approach so a win-win situation is created.
Lastly, as you toast in 2012 and watch fireworks, remember to hug someone and wish them a happy new year. That's what I plan to do with my new, magically wonderful friend. Enjoy yourself tonight. Do not drive if you've been drinking. Remember 2011 as a year of greatness and further self discovery and keep an open heart and mind.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!