People have asked me how the New Year has been treating me, but when they do, I tell them that my new year has yet to begin. Because my birthday falls in the first month of the year, I hold off on all resolutions and serious celebrating until the twentieth of January. Unlike many people, I love birthdays. It’s true that on average 18 million others share your special day, but it sure does feel nice to have one day of the year designated just for you (and those other 17,999,999 people). That is why I consider birthdays the real “New Year.”
Last year, I woke up in Paris. One of my best friends made the flight to join me. We explored, we learned, we laughed, we grew (apart). When I look back on the past year, I wonder how it feels so long ago, and yet I haven’t got that much to show for it. I’ve made new friends, lost old ones, loved, cried, succeeded triumphantly, and failed miserably. I’ve buried old hatchets, returned to old wounds, created rituals, and ditched bad habits. Maybe if I measured my year in the minute changes rather than extravagant events, I’d see just how far I’ve actually come.
I’d planned to awake again in another time zone, but I realized last year how much I’d missed spending my birthday with all of the people who mean more than anything to me on a day to day basis. I wanted to be surrounded by the people who truly make my life whole just by being there. I wanted to have a chance to thank them for helping me navigate this thing called life.
And while it was fun to FaceTime them from France eating baguettes braless, I’d rather do it in person.