Guys, it’s 2017. Shoot, time has flown by. I remember when I was in elementary school and we hit the millennium. I felt so lucky that I could be alive at such a time. A millennium only happens once every thousand years (duh) and I got to witness it. My little seven year old brain thought it was the coolest thing to happen to anyone.
In the year 2000, I rang in the New Year at my Grandparents’ house in North Dakota. I dressed up with my Grandpa in silly clothes and we marched around the house banging on pots and pans. It was by far the best way anyone could ring in a new year in my opinion and I’m sure no New Year’s Eve will ever compare.
This New Year’s Eve did not top that one, but it was probably the loveliest since then. What did I do? I sat on a couch alone, eating popcorn and journaled my way into 2017. I wrote about the year I’ve had and the year that I hope is in store for me. I wrote about my weaknesses and my strengths. I wrote about my parents, about my sister and brother. I wrote about heartbreak and friendship. I wrote about how I view myself and how I believe others view me. I wrote about God and his goodness, and the things about this world I still don’t understand. I wrote about what I want to do with the rest of my life and who I want to become.
The thing is, I hate New Year’s Eve. It’s my least favorite holiday. It’s a build up to this moment where you let go of the old and welcome in the new. A new year. A fresh start. It’s a celebration of “what if?” It’s the hope of something better.
I think the reason I am a New Year’s hater is that I’m generally not a very hopeful person. People would describe me as a bubbly person and yet I am extraordinarily pessimistic. Though as years have gone by, I have gotten better at keeping the Debbie Downer within me at bay. I often convince her to “try, try, try” even though she knows it is likely that she will fail.
This year as I journaled from 2016 into 2017, I realized that for the first time since I was that little girl banging on pots and pans with her beloved Grandpa, I had hope. I looked at the year I had just lived and celebrated its highs and mourned its lows. I then looked at the year ahead and instead of seeing statistics, instead of seeing the odds stacked up against me, I saw the possibility of something more… something better. I think for the first time in seventeen years of New Years… I saw a glimmer of hope.
The song above was written by the Debbie Downer within me—the pessimist, or as she would argue, the realist (co-writer of this song is Francesca Reggio). But we wrote that song last year and this year… it just might be different.