There’s an episode of How I Met Your Mother that talks about Graduation Goggles. Robin describes them in terms of high school:
It’s four years of bullies making fun of all the kids with braces… but then on graduation day, you suddenly get all misty because you realize you’re never going to see those jerks again.
This is a common sentiment on New Year’s Eve, though the object seen though the goggles is not high school, but rather the year that is ending. Year End Goggles.
For me, personally, this year hasn’t been great. Sure, there have been high points. I had my first boyfriend. I moved into an apartment with two of my best friends. I made two short films and a Doritos commercial. My friendships with people at my university deepened into relationships that I think really will last a lifetime.
But, it wasn’t all great. I had my first break up. I broke someone’s heart. My classes were all hell this semester. I had to withdraw from a class for the first time (admittedly making me feel like a failure). I often felt misunderstood by the people around me. I let stress take over my life, probably making me really difficult and unfun to be around. And I topped it all off with getting my wisdom teeth extracted 4 days before the new year.
There’s even more, I’m sure, that made the year not so great. I say that mainly because when I look back on the year, my Year End Goggles don’t make me feel happy, but rather disappointed. Or melancholy.
I’ve heard a lot of people making analogies to 2013 being like the growing period for a character, and 2014 being the period when they finally become who they want to be . I have little faith in that being true, but it’s a nice sentiment all the same. Real, true growth, I think, takes a hell of a lot longer than one year to achieve. I mean, I currently don’t even think people can change, and I’m trying to work through how people can grow in spite of that.
God, I’m just now realizing how hopeless this sounds! I don’t mean to sound hopeless!! Perhaps that should be my pledge for the new year, I think:
To seek out the beauty in life, as evidenced through relationships, films, culture, and faith.
I want to live fully. I don’t want to be weighed down by anxiety and stress and hate life because I allow it to become too hectic. I want to learn to say “no” when I need to, so that I can make room for what is important to me. I don’t want to slide by on the notion that just getting through the year is acceptable. I want to make it a year where at the end, I can look back and say that I dedicated my time to what was worth it, and to what I loved.
Here’s to hoping I can actually do that! And that you may be able to do that as well!
With sincerest regards,
Ps. A quote from “The Station,” by Robert J. Hastings:
Only today is there light enough to love and live. So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow… So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along.