I started the year with a thousand people dressed to the nines as flappers and gangsters, floating around the Rocky Mountaineer train station with enthusiastic hiball-fueled fury in a sea of flowing white curtains, draped chairs, live music, silver streamers bursting from the ceiling, and complimentary cloyingly sweet champagne.
I spent the year’s end in Maui, lying on beach after beach, rubbing coconut-scented oil onto my skin and listening only to the waves, living day by day and wishing I could be someone with filthy dreadlocks who lived in some village in the middle of nowhere walking around barefoot and buying cheap booze the Safeway and driving around in some old beater, smelling the fragrances of the island – sea salt, hibiscus, coconut, pineapple, kalua pork. I spent a week in Maui that was a relief, a finale, a climax of all the other crazy events, wins, losses, utter disgraces, that plagued and filled and fulfilled my previous year. I spent a week in Maui realizing that whatever happened, good and bad, were blessings, and that I cannot and will not be defeated by them, by anything. Moving forward in life scares me, but so does constantly living in the past. Opening myself to possibilities is sometimes the least scary thing we can do.
This year, I lost someone – physically and mentally, and with that came many, many mental and emotional losses. However, I did what I set out to do years ago, what I’ve always always wanted to do; move to the coast, pursue something terrifying and challenging and nervewracking, just to see if I could because someone gave me a chance to do so. In that journey I met good people and bad people and had good days and bad days and busy days; so many busy days. And at my lowest, I remembered that, I am alive. Because it had been so long – so long – since I cared enough about something to cry about it in front of someone whose opinion mattered.
This year saw me journeying to Seattle, Vancouver Island, Maui, Anaheim, the gorge, and back home again. It saw me make temporary and permanent journeys. It saw me taking risks, cutting corners, burning bridges, staying inside, going out, making new friends, losing old ones, and realizing that those who sometimes present themselves as friends, do not have our best interests at heart, and in strife, prove themselves not ‘friends’ in the slightest. And that unlikely friendships and bonds can form between people from different worlds with different interests and completely different lives, simply based on a few pints and a chat on some unexpected, idle week night.
My life is charmed. It doesn’t seem so at times, but it really is. I’m lucky; I’m lucky that I’m independent and that I have what I have, what I’ve always wanted, and that I have the potential for something greater than I ever thought I could have. In 2013 I needed to remember to be grateful and I needed to remember humility and honesty and loyalty and the meanings of all of those words rather than just hurling them out like stones into the water. Stones create ripples, but only momentarily before their impact dissipates entirely. These three words should be held onto, placed into pockets and on shelves, visible, so that they may last forever.
Happy New Year.