Sometimes I think about New Year’s Eve in 2019. I recall blurry strings of lights, frantic planning and adapting, the splash of beer as plastic cups collided, the roar of ‘happy New Year’ into the open, unmasked air. I left the bar and meandered home in a happy, muddled state.
I remember thinking of the year as a blank page, one which would soon be filled with a story, and we were all dreaming up paragraphs. This would be the year we found love, the year we put ourselves out there, the year we traveled, or chased a new dream, or asked for that promotion at work.
Instead it was the year we discovered the planet had brakes, screeching ones, and our stomachs lurched as the driver’s foot slammed itself down. Weddings, flights to London, concerts, high school graduations, all reduced to a scribbled smudge in some calendar box.
I will write about what came next, the stories that emerged from the year without stories, another time.
Today, I am thinking on the people who carried me through. I am picturing the faces of the people who searched for me, found me in the lost days, shared in my laughter and shouldered my tears (Looking back, there was plenty of both.). In my time, in my way, I’m going to write them love letters.
I want you, each of you, to think on this past year. Think of who lifted you –– is lifting you –– from the mire of ambiguity, steadying your feet on shaky ground and serving as your reminder to believe in better tomorrows. I hope you are seeing someone, or multiple someones, and I hope you will tell them. Hand them flowers in the form of ‘you’re my hope on the hardest days.’