Adios 2013. Looking Back on Another Year

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I’m sure you’ve already read about someone’s self reflection of this past year by now.  In the last moments of another calendar year gone by we can’t help but to reflect on how far away the beginning of the year feels, especially with all of the memories rolling around our minds in between then and now.  It’s an exercise that I enjoy taking part in, and something that I used to do more than I give myself time for these days.  Looking back through an entire year we can surely find a long laundry list of life experiences to ponder about: twists and turns, surprises (both good and bad), goals that we’ve achieved and those that never came to fruition, friends and family we’ve spent time with, friends and family you’ve loved and lost, new developments in a career paths, boring moments we often forget, beautiful memories we’ll always keep close, glorious highs and unbearably taxing lows, gorgeous sunsets seared into our souls, dark and rainy days that feed our need to slow down, and every unknown and undocumented variable that just being human on this planet can procure.   The sum of our experiences equates to the result of each and every one of our existences, and the new year is a beautiful time to reflect upon that.

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Just one year ago today Elissa and I were what you would consider professional couch surfers and unqualified, non-profit attorneys at law.  We had to end our journey through Latin America because of some very serious family issues that were calling us back home from the outer Huayhuash Mountain Range of Peru.  It wasn’t easy leaving 9 months of exploring to go back home to deal with the toughest situation we’ve ever had to face.  It was painful clicking “confirm purchase” of the one-way tickets back to JFK.  Awaiting us, without even 1 minute of time to reflect on our indescribable life changing adventures, was a mountain of legal problems, an insurmountable financial crisis, and a face to face battle with addiction against a family that refused to give up.  Love became the strength that would carry us beyond the challenges facing us, and I love to reflect on the strength we had to fight in those moments as a team and devoted family.

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Eventually we made the decision to crash land in Boston once again.  We found an over-sized apartment on a small budget and slowly turned an empty space into a home.  We traveled and explored our environment with every chance we could find in our schedules, not letting go of the wanderlust that carried us through 13 countries the previous year.  We cooked a ton of food in our cozy kitchen, and found our neighborhood staples when self service wasn’t appealing.  We danced, we laughed, we drove around New England, we swam, we kayaked, we explored, we created, we gardened, we photographed, we relished, we cried, and we flirted with the sweet parts of life and fought with the bitter ones.  We took in this year as it came, and ended it with a 35 day train trip across the United States to see places we had been to and those we had only had heard about.  We ended the year on a high note, and can’t believe the position we were in just 1 year ago today.

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Time has a funny way of making you feel like a fool if you dwell on it too much, and it also has a beautiful way of showing you that it remains a constant force in our lives that can bring about change if you fight for it.  I hope that each and every one of you has some time to reflect before marching straight forward into another year that will come and eventually go.  Be the change you want to see in this world, and enjoy the process along the way to the best of your abilities.  Happy New Year everyone!

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