Originally written on Dec 27th, 2019.
2020 is four days away and soon, your extended family will start to send you those stock ‘happy new year’ photos by the billions. Folks will buy discounted fireworks and fall asleep, in impatience to the moment the clocks strike that midnight hour. Kids and pets will become witnesses to the igniting gunpowder flying up in the air as we all gaze up at the stars. Hey, even the moon might make an appearance, although I’m not too sure how I would confirm that. The new year would change just about everything, and nothing.
If you know me well enough, there’s a good chance I will have mentioned to you, my hatred for endings. And, as a result, new year celebrations. OK, hate, is possibly too strong a word; Uneasy? Troubled? Unnerved?
Once, I vividly remember writing into a blank word document, like I am currently, as another year was ending, and I could hear the usual firework noise through the window. I compared it to cinematic background music and wrote with intense sentimentality how the world was celebrating the demise of something with such joy, ushering a replacement. The pseudo-deep conclusion was the reminder that the year I had sat down to mourn, had also once been the replacement, itself. The whole piece deserved to be rewritten but the finesse of my writing wasn’t my top concern that night. I had other worries.
2020 is four days away. I don’t feel any older. Time, on the other hand, has passed. To even begin to comprehend its passing in these words would take more than my lifetime. Which reminds me, I found my pair of magnets today from back when I had bangs. What’s that? I had bangs as a kid. What’s that? Magnets?! Why, yes. I’m not certain if this was only a Saudi Arabia thing but magnets were as popular a toy as fidget spinners. They looked just as I remembered. Just as far away from being perfectly polished. I’ve been walking around the house with them in hand, accidently forgetting them on the kitchen counter. I felt a little older, then.
How do people do it? How do they happily summarise their entire year into compact lists and paraphrase their growth into this long, but not too long, paragraph? This was meant to be that. To tell you, with help from my heart holding onto itself as I held onto it, about the year I’ve had. My year in review. I already feel like I have forgotten all the important details, buckled under the pressure of the impossible task of conveying how I found life to be, this time around.
And well, more importantly, why do it? The ‘why’ has both weighed and balanced my brain on the other end to the question of ‘how the world was celebrating the demise of something with such joy?’. The post I wrote upon turning 21 in June mentioned the word ‘transformative’, amongst other things. You should read that over this. She was correct, she also sounded proud, and happy; oblivious to this whole new year looming in the near distant.
2020 is four days away and I preached to an audience in 2019 how we must risk delight. It’s natural to feel like a sham, no? When you give your first talk, the world looks rosy. Your benchmark of mishaps is low. The applause is real. The nerves, too. But your world remains rosy. I still marvel at the placement of delight and risk next to each other. Had I been my own audience, I would have heard the two words and found my cure for this year near-end blues. I’ve not been able to distance myself from the state of poetry long enough to consider writing a second talk, to judge whether the world gets rosier.
I don’t know. I say that a lot. It’s usually because I do not know. Other times, it’s when I don’t know how to say or write something. Which isn’t a surprise. This is all too common. I’m not sure if it’s worse than not having anything to write, but it’s a close second. I’m worried about the year ahead. Tomorrow, I’ll maybe scoff at this intense sentimentality. I’ll bury everything behind 2020 changing just about everything, and nothing.
Who knows, a few years from now, I’ll wish I’d have rewritten this? I don’t know.
Until next time.