My auld lang syne

Funny how each calendar year seems to have its own personality (or lack thereof). I have a great memory for years — when someone asks when an event took place, I can tell just by the nature of it when it had to have happened.

For example, 2001 was a year of great achievement and great loss for me. Nothing in between. 2002 was a year of trepidation and uncertainty yet for blind risk because anything had to be better than the status quo — I left Pittsburgh and moved to D.C. on a wing and a prayer and little else. The only bad thing about that, in retrospect, is that I went from a fantastic social life to practically none at all.

2003, though, was for fun and friends and celebration. However, 2004 was just for general suck, all around — lots of loss and anxiety. And 2005, well, brought some long-awaited people, places and things to me. It was a year of magic, of growing up, of admitting that some people were right and realizing why people do what they do to get by.

2006, I’m hoping, is another 2003 — of life, light, hope and laughter. Because it’s time for that — now is the time to live and love and just do everything for the sake of feeling good.

Although I am up to my ASS in work right now and will be ringing in the new year with a lot of exhaustion and stress over unfinished projects, both professional and personal, I was just letting my mind wander, and it went to New Year’s Eve as we were ringing in 2004 at my apartment. I had a house full of friends (and we got on the phone with several who couldn’t make it), and we were drinking and laughing and just plain enjoying each other. We spent the next day at another friend’s house — again, having the time of our lives.

That circle has all but disbanded, unfortunately. It’s so hard to keep in touch with people when everyone’s so freaking busy, but I think about them often. One is overseas, and I miss her so. The rest, well, I probably shouldn’t say it publicly, but I miss *most* of them.

That party saw me growing apart from someone in the crowd, and I found that I couldn’t give up that one person and still keep the others. It’s like a divorce when a relationship of any depth ends — someone ultimately “keeps” the good friends and the other is left to miss them.

Sure, we all tried to stay in touch on the DL, but I found that it was to be a package deal (when you’re the one who walks away first, because you simply can’t come up with a single reason NOT to and others may not have felt the same way, people like to schedule reunions. And I am not the sentimental type who succumbs to those). And for so many reasons, I decided it was best to return the package — to regift, if you will. To let someone else find a true source of joy where I no longer could. To give myself wholly, just somewhere else where I would be more cherished.

The problem I stilll have to this day with the situation is that the friends I had to give up by proxy were some of the most outstanding human beings who have ever walked this earth. People for whom I stood up at their wedding. People who were so good to me when others from whom I expected so much more were simply not. People who will occupy significant real estate in my heart till the day that I die. People who understand why things have to be the way that they are but who hopefully can remember me fondly.

I wish everyone well — and I mean everyone — from that time in my life. But I am also not breaking my neck to look back, either. This year, I’ll be hanging out with lots of good people and enjoying a hockey game in my city. Life could be — and has been — a helluva lot worse.


To the loves of our lives, and not just the romantic ones. The people who roam freely in our memories and fantasies, who uplift our spirits and keep us smiling.

To memories that don’t suck and to those that have yet to be made with people whose beauty and worth we’ve yet to truly discover.

To loving and being loved as much as we deserve, and no less.

To disentangling ourselves from our current obstacles that are keeping us from enjoying the short time we’re given.

To retaining (or restoring) our purity of heart that keeps us appreciating what we have, being grateful for what we’ve done and being attuned to the little blessings that add up and earn us even more.

To 2006. And to all of us. *clink*

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