I was never so happy for midnight as I was at 11:59pm, December 31, 2011. I was sitting with my dear friend Sarah and her daughter Vayda, eating vegan sausage party squares and waiting for the ball to drop.
The ball dropped. It was fantastic. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Let's revisit 2010: I was just beginning my life in southwest Michigan, and my life was stellar. I had no complaints, and I made sure everyone knew how much I loved life. I had a great apartment with great roommates, a great job, great friends, great family, and a bright future.
Then 2011 rolled around, and Sol's father swept me off my feet. I didn't expect him, I didn't necessarily want him, but unfortunately I couldn't say no to him. Normally, I'd say that everything happens for a reason. But the months I spent with him? I'll probably just chalk those up as a loss (but hear me out). Because of him, I lost touch with many of my good friends. Because of him, I had to leave a job I adored. Because of him, I was sentenced to nine months of working at a job I despised. Because of him, I also spent nine months pregnant and alone. Because of him, I gained a considerable amount of weight, threw up more times than one human rightfully should (damn you, morning sickness!), and was stricken with ridiculously intense hormones that made me start sobbing during every Cymbalta commercial. 2011 was not good to me.
Now, as I find myself on the home stretch of 2012, I'm quite content with life.
This morning I woke up looking forward to the workday. I got dressed in my pre-pregnancy clothes (woo-hoo!!), got Sol ready, dropped her off at daycare, and rolled into work somewhere around 8am (punctuality isn't really an issue there...). I turned on my computer, went upstairs to make myself some coffee in the Keurig. I came back to my office, vibrant and wonderful (yes, complete with color and personal effects), and immediately got to work. While tapping away at my computer and making calls to suppliers, I've been sipping my Caramel Drizzle coffee and humming along to theme songs from Star Trek, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park (on my "film score" Pandora station, obviously). Every so often my phone buzzes to let me know I've received a text. This last one was from my old friend Jozef, reminding me of our dinner plans tonight.
Today feels worlds different from my life a year ago. But when I think about it... no, life really isn't all that different from two years ago. I'm working at a job I love, drinking the same coffee, listening to the same music, reconnecting with the same good friends - friends who know me well and care about me. I'm loving life.
Don't tell me you can't go back in time. I've done it. Yes, I've managed to do the impossible. In a very Inception-like, Stephen Hawking-ish, astrophysics type of way (ha.ha.ha.). I've torn chapter 2011 and all its contents from my books. As if no time has passed between December 31, 2010, and today. As if I just woke up this morning and went about the business of my 2010 life. No, it's not crazy; it could potentially be the most genius thing I've done. I am moving on with my life as though 2011 never happened. It works. Really.
On that note, I invite you to forget any ugly memories you have. Focus on the good ones.
Wipe the slate clean.
Look back and find what's worked for you - what's made you really, truly, fall-on-the-floor, dance-on-the-ceiling happy - and do it! If you've lost touch with an old friend (or in my case, an entire group of old friends... and I say that with a mortified grimace), call that old friend up; if this friend is truly a friend, it won't matter how much time has passed. If there's a certain perfume that reminds you of happier days, wear it. If it's a coffee or baked good that brings a smile to your face, indulge. If it's a movie that makes you laugh out loud, watch it. If life is better when you listen to an entire Lionel Richie album, then by golly, you sit there and listen to it all night long. If it's a book that inspires you to live a more meaningful, whole, joyful life, re-read it. Cover to cover. It might go against all the laws of the physical universe, but perhaps in order to move forward, we need to step back.
P.S. On a totally unrelated note, you get 10 points if you caught all the Lionel Richie references :)