New Years, and the old one too
2015 started with a plane. With voluntary lost-ness. With a language I couldn’t wrap my mouth around and a pura vida pace I didn’t know how to sync my steps to. 4 months in Costa Rica.
I tripped on sentences, ran late to the bus stop, bruised my shin so bad it looked like a third kneecap. I ate beans. And rice. And slabs of meat. I laid on top of sweat stained sheets and prayed for the food to digest. I wrote. I wrote in a hallway sized computer lab that smelled of mildew. I wrote in a hammock by a pipa fría vendor who jammed to Michael Bublé. I wrote by the light of a tiny lantern in a room without windows. I wrote to remember myself. To yank my soul out of the midst of lo siento, no entiendo. To say yo sé. I wrote to etch meaning into discomfort and freedom into fear. I studied Spanish. I learned the salsa. I danced because when I danced I didn’t worry about words. I stared at the sky. I talked to the stars. I studied Spanish. I walked. I laughed ’til I peed my pants. I trusted strangers. I spoke Spanish. A man named Raúl asked me about my dreams and I told him I think I want to write. I realized I think I want to write. I spoke more Spanish. I walked. I said thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I said goodbye. I got on a plane.
I said hello. I danced at the wedding of a childhood friend. Change tasted like non-alcoholic champagne, but I didn’t mind, really — I liked the sweetness. I went to Colorado, to Rhode Island, to Boston — for the people this time, not the place. I started a job. I sat in traffic. I sat at a desk. I typed numbers. I sat. I typed numbers. I sat. I borrowed keys from my boss to use the bathroom. I sat. I wrote on a hidden legal pad when no one was looking. I wrote stories. I wrote letters. I wrote words for my grandfather’s obituary. I cried with my father, and with my mother, for different feelings but for feelings all the same. I ran. I watched flying meteors over a hay field sky from the roof of a car with friends from colliding worlds. I said goodbye.
I said hello. I moved into a crooked home with five of my favorite humans and we fashioned makeshift family from snuggles and no bullshit. I found writers. They created because they didn’t know how not to. I danced and I laughed and I cried some and I kayaked some and I watched indie movies that mirrored my uncertainty and I camped in a cloud and I wrote argumentative essays and I wondered what was the point of arguing and I drove six hours for a concert that reminded me how perfectly imperfect it is to be alive. I finished the last fall semester of my undergraduate career.
Now it’s 2016 and I’m scared to say goodbye this time. I’m scared to wear my gown and throw my cap. I’ll probably hit someone. I did in high school. Sorry, Jamie. I’m scared to navigate the great chasm of “what’s next.” It’s dark down there and I can’t see what’s coming.
But it’s a new year and I think there’s light to be found. Let’s cheers in spite of the chasm. Cheers because of it. Let’s cheers to 2016, that non-committal and uncommunicative bastard. May he be a year of courage. Of growth. Of whatthefuckamidoing. Of searching for jobs and burning soup and bingeing on Netflix and probably also chocolate and probably also wine. I’ll look at the sky. I’ll walk. I’ll write. I’ll write and I’ll question why I’m writing and I’ll write anyway and I’ll say hello because change can taste so sweet if I let it.