So this is the New Year
Ten… nine… eight… seven… six… five… four… three… two… one…
Cue the champagne, the fireworks, the midnight kiss, the confetti, the banging, clanging noise makers, the cheers and well wishes for a new year – twelve months stretched out before us, filled to the brim with endless possibility.
How will we remember 2008? Will it be remarkable? Will it leave a mark on the pages of history? Or will it pass us by quietly? Just another moment in time that will eventually fade from our memories?
Not a single one of us can tell. Standing at the edge of a new year – we cannot see what lies before us – we cannot tell what the future holds.
It’s exciting and thrilling and absolutely terrifying.
Because life is unpredictable. As much as we attempt to plan and schedule – filling the lines in our calendars and BlackBerrys with appointments and practices and meetings and recitals and games and on and on and on – life happens. Time and space and God and the great expanse of the universe do not account for our plans.
Life is filled to the brim with starts and stops and ups and downs and backwards and forwards and insides and outs and all things random and chaotic and contradictory.
There are moments of complete and utter bliss, mountain-top moments that fill our hearts, our minds, our bodies with this overwhelming joy and laughter and contentment. Moments when the sun is shining and the birds are singing and it’s all one big cliché but absolutely nothing, nothing can go wrong.
But then things do go wrong. And there are tears. And heartbreaks. And death and suffering and pain and misunderstanding and ignorance. Moments of total and absolute tragedy and loss and humiliation and loneliness.
All these heartaches and joys leap-frog each other, dance around each other, mix and meld into each other until life is this great, big, jumbled mess. It’s strange and awkward and entirely beyond human understanding.
We search for answers. For the why and the how and the what. Constantly questioning and pondering and wondering the meaning of all of this – this strange thing we call “life”. And oh so rarely do we actually find the answers we seek. More often than not it seems that we are left empty handed – even more befuddled about this mixed up, crazy world.
But you know what? Maybe that’s okay. Maybe – as we are all in the midst of our own little grail quest – the search for the meaning of life – the actual finding isn’t the important part. It’s the quest itself. The journey. The people we meet. The questions we ask. The adventures and mishaps along the way that make it all worth the travels.
Life is not just a beginning or an ending. It’s an entire story. My story. Your story. Our story. Each full of tragedy and comedy and romance and unexplained mysteries – hundreds of chapters and countless characters. Pages and pages ahead of us unwritten.
And so, at the beginning of this new year, I wish you all safe and happy travels through the next twelve months, through all of life. May your story be wonderfully unpredictable.
Come what may.