Time exists outside of our control. Its influence on us is linear, unidirectional. We are helpless to do much beyond follow it into the future.
This unforgiving march means that every experience we share will one day be lost in the journey time forces upon us. To bear with such things, the self-aware must become comfortable with saying goodbye.
So wraps up another year. With it we also shut the book on another decade. As the calendar shifts the last two digits from 19 to 20, we are forced to reflect.
We are forced to review what it is that time is forcing us to leave behind.
I think humans have a coping mechanism for time’s impermanence. Our minds are good at holding on to the fleeting moments and never letting them go.
We sit in reminiscence and smile for the triumphs dealt to us. We let that feeling wash over us like the warm water of a fresh bath. As we grow, these good times become more vivid as if we could transplant ourselves back into these very moments.
There exists a caveat to this. We do not only hold on to the good, after all. And like the soothing hyper-realness of our pleasant times, the stinging pain of the bad are just as sharp.
A simple misplaced thought back to a moment in your history can elicit the most guttural of reactions. A smile can warp into a downturned expression and tears can spring at a moment’s notice.
I suppose this is the human condition. We are present interpretations of our life experiences. The dynamism that exists within us is only possible when a blend between the triumphant and the tragic meet.
So exists our one escape from the bind our memories have on us: moving on. Ending a chapter, saying goodbye. We take pieces of these memories, however longstanding they may be, and use them to build ourselves.
Every year we are forced to engage in this ritual. The end of December is certainly not the only time it springs up.
Saying goodbye is a part of life. For me, every goodbye is hard. That shedding of an old layer leaves me vulnerable and afraid.
And that’s ok.
From vulnerability, fear and pain, growth blooms like meadows after a harsh storm. If we look to nature and see how beautiful change can be, then to emulate that change in our own lives after devastation should be just as natural.
I choose to believe this as I step off the cliff into the new decade unexposed.
Whatever it is you’re choosing to let go of on this final day of the year, I wish you well.
Cheers to the new decade. To a new life.