Here’s to Every Day

I’ve been in Mexico for almost two weeks, the longest I’ve been in my hometown since 2012. I usually visit for a weekend to attend a friend’s wedding, eat some tacos, and fly back to Texas, happy to have seen the mountains of Monterrey and happier to return to the home I’ve created in Austin. I brought my computer with me, thinking two weeks is a long time and I’ll get some writing done. I brought three books, thinking two weeks is a long time and I’ll get some reading done. But I seemed to have forgotten the peace I find in the people here, in the laughter of friends I grew up with and the company of family I see once a year. It’s been a great 13 days of food and drink and music and the broken roads of the city that raised me. But this morning I woke up early, thinking it’s the 31st, the last day of the year, and what a year it’s been.

The best part of the last day of each year, thanks to social media, is looking at people’s “bests of 2015”: their favorite books and TV shows, travel spots and defining moments of their year. Some people end the year looking back and some looking forward. They write about their goals, hopes, and wishes for what’s to come. They talk about losing weight, quitting smoking, getting a new job, finding a partner. It’s one of those things, like posting a photo of your Halloween costume or the flowers you got on Valentine’s Day, that becomes repetitive, expected, but I always enjoy. I know what my 2015 looked like, what it felt like, what it represented, but I want to know about yours, too. What was important to you? What happened in the past 12 months that follows you into the new year? Who did you meet? Who did you miss? What broke your spirit? What lifted you? Who gave you a second chance? What place changed your point of view? What did you learn? Who did you love?

I think of my sister in a new relationship that makes her happy, and my sister-in-law living half a world over, venturing into unfamiliar places with someone she loves. I think of my friends, working hard and taking chances, talented women believing they can make a dream reality. I think of my best friend, going through a major life change and trying, always trying, to be better. I see my husband in a job he loves, working alongside people who respect him, and my parents supporting their daughters in the only ways they know how.

In 2015 I celebrated my first wedding anniversary. I witnessed same-sex marriage become legal in the United States. I traveled to seven places I’d never been to before. I quit my job. I wrote for three new publications. I saw live music that made me cry. I read a book that changed me. I brought my new family to Mexico and gave them glimpses of my first home.

In 2015 I didn’t quit smoking. I didn’t lose 20 lbs. I didn’t finish a novel.

I thought this year would be easy, but it’s been full of challenges. The main challenge was believing I am good enough to do what I want to do. I am trying. I am happy. I am lucky. I am thankful. I work hard.

Here’s to 2015, to 2016, and to every day we fill a room with laughter.

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