A beautiful year

I’ll start with a few great things about 2012.

-The Mayans have once and for all been proven wrong, but I have discovered someone who is creepily more apt at commanding fate than them (and it’s not Nostradamus): Gene Wilder. In discussing his role for Willy Wonka, he said that his entrance would be like this:

“When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself… but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”

-The world at large is happier and more accepting than ever about gay rights (might we remember Brokeback Mountain, which was a lovely story played out by two of my favorite men, featured in some of my favorite gifs: http://johnkrasinski.tumblr.com/tagged/*dd (Jake) and http://johnkrasinski.tumblr.com/tagged/*10things (Heath)

But the beautiful year is not in reference to 2012.

2013 has something that shouldn’t be defined by resolutions and things that you’re trying desperately to change; it’s not about starting with a blank slate and looking toward the future with hope. It’s the wide-open realm of possibility; your life could change in unpredictable and startling ways, and not necessarily for the better. You could travel, you could write, you could take photos, you could make art, you could move cities, change jobs, and say goodbye to dear friends and loved ones. The point of demarcating a new year is not to try and forget the years leading up to the current one.

2012 helped as much as any to bring us to be the people that we are. Why should it be so hastily changed and forgotten? Did you accomplish nothing in a year, developed no new relationships, and learn nothing about yourself?

If there’s anything that you should take into 2013, it is your past. I’m not talking about the messy lost significant others or a falling out between friends, or petty gossip with coworkers that makes you harbor jealousy and anger. I’m not talking about the brief stint of alcoholism, or the books you wish you hadn’t wasted your time on. I’m talking about the moments that brought you enlightenment, that brought you joy, that made you think you took one more step toward understanding this perpetual fight we call life.

2013 is a beautiful year. We will see the things that remind us of the past. We will be stronger. We will be smarter. We will be happier. And we won’t treat  the coming year as an experiment in changing who we are, but an experiment in finding it.

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