When I was very, very young, my family would cast tin on New Year’s Eve, a tradition rooted either in my parents’ hippy past or our Scandinavian roots. The tin would melt and once dropped in chilled water, would solidify. The form the lead took symbolized your fate and fortune for the coming year.
I grew up with another, more practical tradition: that of the New Year’s Eve inventory. There’s something so tidily satisfying about listing the good and bad events, goals accomplished, and various firsts of the year. While we deliberately quelled the New Year’s Eve casting due to the health risks of melting down tin at home in the kitchen, the List just faded away. This year, however, I welcome the return of, if not a List, an accounting for of the last twelve months.
As far as your standard, run-of-the mill, resolutions, in 2012 I started going to a therapist once a week, lost 14 pounds, grew my hair long for the first time in five years, and finally, almost completely quit smoking after on-and-off for eight years.
I also packed up my life in San Francisco and moved on after six years. After briefly (one day, maybe?) considering selling all of my belongings, I decided instead to dump it all on the deck out back and invite everyone I knew in the city to take everything and anything they pleased. Years of accumulation included capes, dresses, doc martens, 100-year-old copies of Hamlet, and a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln. My friends hauled away everything, and I left the city with a newly trim collection of books and clothing, and my only piece of furniture: my mother’s table.
I moved to England to continue my studies and enter an MA American Literature course. I moved into a 120-year-old terraced house with my three English women. Hilarity and oddness and one broken wrist (mine) ensued.
Not only did 2012 not bring around the end of the world, but it reminded me of my strength and resilience. This year reminded me that, despite how utterly old and worn-down I’ve felt for the past few years, I’ve got my youth (though my housemates might beg to differ) and big, big plans. Life is good. 2013 is the year for adventure! As well as lots of treks around Norfolk, the Glastonbury Festival, the Spanish countryside, and my dissertation! But mostly adventure.