This morning, I felt like I should write a New Year’s post. The only issue was that I didn’t want to do it.
Then I started thinking about all the things I should write about as a proper look back on the year. But I didn’t want to write about them.
And I blame LiveJournal for this. Yes, the old blog site where many folks shared way too much on very public blogs. I had almost forgotten that I had one, until it was hacked by somebody with a Russian IP address, that is. Cue my desperate removal of all things “Oh crap! I actually put that out in public?!”
However, one of my old posts stuck out at me. It was a blog I’d written in 2005, a few weeks before my first graduation from university. I found myself getting all nostalgic as I read twenty-one year old me’s list of things I had accomplished over the four years that I had lived on campus, earning my BA, and becoming, well, me. But I read to the end of the post, then l looked for the rest of it.
So many of my favourite stories from university hadn’t made it onto my list of what I thought were my most unforgettable university experiences. There were no mentions of the random construction materials that ended up in our communal living room, let alone the stories of how they got there. I hadn’t mentioned our hallways, plastered with pictures of friends and adventures. I didn’t include the fact that I never took classes before 11am because I just fell asleep while taking notes whenever I tried.
But I did talk about wearing paper streamers in my hair. Only I can’t remember doing that. And I mentioned watching an outdoor movie. But I don’t know who I watched it with. I wrote about being given money to buy a bunch of desserts, and although I remember buying them, I’m not sure what they were for.
In 2005, however, I thought these were the most memorable things I had done. I thought they were the things that would stick with me, the stories that would become legend in the life of Ashley. The things that made me me.
Only they weren’t. And I didn’t figure that out until years later.
So, I’m not going to post a look back on 2013, because I don’t yet know what parts of the last year will stick with me. I can’t tell you which events will still make me smile five years from now, nor which things will raise my blood pressure in years to come, yet seem insignificant today.
Because I don’t decide – at least not consciously – which parts of my life stay with me more than others. I’m a dash of one event, and a pinch of another, but the recipe for me is still being worked on. I’m getting tweaked and fine-tuned with each year, but that year’s changes aren’t instantaneous. I need time to ferment, to make everything – all my experiences – come together like a good craft brew.
So I can’t tell you what was amazing about this year. Not because nothing amazing happened, but because I don’t know just how amazing it was.
At least not yet.