Stomach wrenching every direction. Head spinning so much, clarity becoming impossible to achieve. Like most people, I spent the last couple hours of 2016 and the first few of 2017 over indulging in liquor and stupidity. I spent most of my tip money pounding drinks trying to beat the 2 A.M. buzzer. I tried rather pathetically to hook up with a hair stylist I met earlier in the day, her “tall, dark and handsome” compliments overpowering the part of my brain that would normally rationalize these types of decisions. Even in the moment I knew it was a dumb idea, trying to fill the holes in my heart with meaningless companionship, but I couldn’t help myself. I reverted back to the same, promiscuous behavior that plagued my life the last couple of years.
I had a chance to go home after work and simply call it a night. I would have awoken this morning feeling well and ready to make something of a day that so often is merely spent recuperating. If I did that, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post right now.
Expectedly, all my aspirations for the night didn’t come to fruition, forcing me to ride home alone in a taxi with an old hippie whose beard touched the steering wheel. As I lay in my bed, the clock quickly turning to 4 A.M., I was reminded of everything I did this year. I met new people (including one overzealous trucker who touched my lips), shot deer rifles, endured the stomach flu, and got dumped. These were the first things to spring to mind. They weren’t the best moments of my year, but they were evidently the most memorable.
I pitied myself for a few minutes, thinking about everything in life I did not have. The middle of the night, and I had nowhere to go, no one to roll over and talk with. I turned on my favorite TV show in hopes of finding a semblance of solace, but even that was just noise. I was completely alone, both physically and metaphorically.
But then I started thinking about everything I did have. I met an annoying dude at a bar that wouldn’t stop touching my lips. I had spent three months in one of the more remote parts of the state learning too much about the dangers of poison ivy and Lyme disease. I weathered through a whole week of constant stomach cramps and agony by eating french fries and drinking off-brand cola. And I got to spend the majority of the year with a woman I will always love and consider my best friend. This was no grandiose year, but it was the best year of my life.