I have been trying to find some clever hook to captivate you into reading this. I have been trying to find one for weeks now. I have written out more ideas than I can even count, and yet all of them, so far, have been erased. I think that might be just because 2017 has been a year that it almost impossible to put into words, but so utterly worth sharing that it bears trying.
This is not to say, at all, that 2017 has been an entirely easy year, or anything close to a perfect year. It hasn’t been. Not for me, not for the world, not for probably anyone. But, in a time when I am sure each one of us is being bombarded with clickbait articles and memes trying to remind us of why 2017 is a lost year, or just a year worth forgetting, let me counter that and say that 2017 has, in fact, been a good year. 2017 is a year I will never forget.
This year started, as so many others have before it, with me, sitting in my living room, listening to a livestream of a band I love, streaming from a venue I love in a town I love, and it will end with me standing amongst my friends in the very same venue, listening to that same band. If that isn’t the definition of full-circle, nothing is.
But there has been so much more. From getting to see one of my favorite musicians of all time, Molly Kate Kestner (who you may remember from a Blog Post earlier this year), not once, but TWICE, to finally seeing artists like Macklemore & Panic! at the Disco live in concert, to going to a new music festival with some dear friends, to seeing one of my favorite bands, The Lil Smokies (about which I did another Blog Post), not once, not twice, but FIVE times as of tonight. (Can you tell my life revolves pretty heavily around music?)
But it was not all good music and easy living. In June, my grandmother passed away pretty suddenly. In July, I had all my camera gear, and my laptop, and a couple bags of mine stolen out of a rental home we were staying in while my family was out to dinner. And then, this past semester took a deep toll on my mental and emotional health. That on top of all the pain and crap that our world has dealt with would be enough for someone to think that I might be one of those in the “2017 is a year we all want to forget” camp. I promise you, I am anywhere but there.
I went into 2017, looking at it as the year I wanted to be unabashedly myself. I didn’t really know exactly what that meant for me at the time, but I knew it felt like “the next step” (whatever that meant…). As today, 2017 ends, I can say that I feel like I did that. Sometimes that meant stepping out of my comfort zone or being alone for a bit, but all in all, when you don’t expect anything from life and just learn to go with the flow, life has a way of working out well, if just not always in the way you expect it to.
While in the history books, some people might look back on 2017 as the year the world started falling apart, I will look back on 2017 as a year that I grew into my own. Not entirely, of course, one grows and learns each and everyday of their lives (if they are paying attention), but in a way that I will look back and realize that this year was the start of something. For lack of a better term, one day 2017 will be the good old days.
I know there are many of my readers out there that can’t stand living in their parents house, or in a certain city, or just can’t wait to grow up, but I am here to tell you that there is good in everything. You just have to be willing to find it and use it to grow. Whether it is that nine-to-five job that you do just because you need the money to fuel the life you one day want to achieve, or you’re trying to create something out of nothing and run a business on your own. Whether you look at where you are now and are proud of it, or you look at where you are now and you can’t wait to see what’s next, know this: as long as your goals aren’t just hopes and dreams and you, even in a small way, keep yourself aligned to whatever path you believe will get you there AND are willing to listen to the universe when it presents something new for you, know that whatever you are doing is worth it.
Someday soon your whole life is gonna change. So, don’t miss the magic of the good old days. Keep your chin up. Keep your head down. Keep grinding. Keep striving. Be mindful of the world around you. Know that whatever you are doing, you are good enough. But most importantly, don’t let life pass you by. Go camping under the stars. Stay up late talking with the ones you love. Take a roadtrip. Smile regularly. Know that you are loved.
Here’s to a 2018 full of taken opportunities, grand adventures, and creative confidence in whatever it is you do.
Blog Post Musical Accompaniment:
Macklemore (feat. Kesha) – Good Old Days