This month didn’t go as planned. Actually, this year didn’t go as planned. For the first time in a while, the glass feels half empty at the end of the year. There are things missing. I know I have been MIA from the blog, and I managed to get in only one Documentary December post (despite having compiled a list of documentaries a mile long). I won’t make excuses for forgetting to write, or not making the time. It just didn’t happen.
We found ourselves at the end of a very long kitchen/dining room/etc. remodel, in the middle of a very busy holiday season, and at the beginning of a new season of grieving when my grandmother passed away earlier this month. Nonna lived for ninety-two incredible years. She left her home in Palermo, Italy to move to America and give her family a better life. She was brave and bold and kind. She was selfless and a spitfire—a true testa dura. She loved the stock market and made the best cannoli in the world. It wasn’t unexpected, but her passing still hit me like a ton of bricks. We’ve never lived in a world without our Nonna.
As rough of a year as this was overall, there was a lot of good in 2017 too—things I want to remember for as long as I can. January gave me late afternoon sunsets and early evening moonrises, time in the woods and up on the mountains, and animals who love me. February was some kind of magic: my puppy turned ten, I sang and danced and watched my favorite band perform for the first time, my sister and her fiancée got engaged, and I witnessed some magnificent sunrises. March was cold and quiet and cuddly, with lots of snow and hoppy buns. I found new music and old friends and enjoyed the sunshine in April.
For the month of May, there was another trip to Chicago and a few more hikes with my puppy and a goodbye said far too soon. June found me on the road to Ithaca and New Hampshire, laughing with friends, and watching the summer sky on fire. In July, there were new friends and “see you soon”‘s, beaches and alpacas, baseball games and swimming. August was sunflowers and family, a solar eclipse, brunch at my favorite spot, the beginning of a new Taylor Swift era.
September saw me knock down walls and build love in their place, pick apples and bask in the golden hour sunlight. There was field hockey and kombucha and romping in the leaves for October, of course. November brought a new reputation and spoons and straws and a few hundred laughs. And then bittersweet December, which offered a musical night with my best friend and snowflakes and unimaginable loss, but still somehow light and warmth too.
“It’s December, and I have learnt that you can be both strong and fragile, all at the same time. So, when you feel like you have fallen apart so many times before this year, don’t forget the strength that has always been holding you up.” — melodramatlc
I often beat myself up because I haven’t crossed things off of my “list,” or because I put things aside and forget to pick them back up, or because, like I always say, I am not where I thought I would be in my life. It’s the end of the year—something I have been both dreading and looking forward to for what feels like forever—and I have decided to leave all of that behind at the end of this year. I am done waiting around for other people to be ready. I am done saying “no” when I could just as easily say “yes” instead. I am done denying myself the life I want because I don’t think I’ve done enough to “deserve it” yet.
My life isn’t something that’s waiting for me just beyond that next milepost or benchmark. It is right here. Right now. Every sunrise I wake up for, every sunset I make time to see, every star I find sparkling in the sky. It’s all right here. I just have to take a leap and catch it.
What do I hope to bring into the new year? Well, we’ll just have to see what happens once the clock strikes midnight…