Two-thousand and seven is coming to a close and I couldn't be more pleased with putting this year in the books. I can honestly and whole-heartedly say it's been a great year. Maybe not a great year for film or politics or sports, but definitely a great year in my life's account. Yeah, I know, you don't really care, but I'm going to tell you a few reasons why anyway.
For starters, I'm ending the year in love. The weight of this statement and feeling in my life, right now and for the latter half of this year, has not been undervalued on my end. I know exactly how much better my life, and this year, has been since I met Althea. She'd be upset if I used this space to talk about all the reasons why I love her, but just know that if you see me and I'm smiling it's likely not because I got a pay raise or a promotion or a new car or the Cowboys won the Super Bowl (although I wouldn't complain about any of those). It's because of her.
Next, I have to thank God for keeping me healthy this year. I've always been fearful of an early death. Don't ask me why (I think it has to do with that grandiose, self importance thing), but I have. So every time I reach the end of another year, I have a nice long prayer with the Man Up Above and say thanks in about a million ways.
Not to be forgotten, 2007 was a great year because of the many new and improved friendships I've made this year. These people know who they are and I hope they also know how important they are, each and every one of them, to me. I hope to repay you with my friendship in kind. For those of you in D.C., look forward to a party in early '08. If you're not in D.C., don't worry because my 25th birthday party plans are already in full throttle and I'll just say it myself: have very high expectations!
Similarly, 2007 has been especially memorable because I started the year by finding a pretty sweet apartment not far from Downtown D.C. where I can walk to work, enjoy Dupont, U Street and Chinatown in minutes, and - most importantly - spend more energy walking around and enjoying the city instead of driving in traffic. I'm looking forward to a car-less 2008 as well.
Lastly, and there are many other things I could mention here but, I would like to take a moment and try and explain the least tangible, but most meaningful reason why '07 has been so great for me.
Each year since I was 11 or 12, I've had this concept that each year should be better than the previous. It's not any ground-breaking concept or notion, but it's one that has helped me live an interesting and purposeful life thus far. Technically, that would have to mean that 2007 was the best year I've ever lived.
I know it sounds funny saying that. I admit it's hard to compare being 24 and living in the real world is a good bit different than being 12 and watching Real World. Still, it's not a faulty assertion that I have had a good bit of control over what is in my life and how I let it impact the way I live. For those that know me well, you know that planning is a big part of my life and it's helped me make the most of my time to achieve my goals.
That said, 2007 was so much better because I started to let go. I always figured it would happen later on in life, but more and more each day, week and month, I realized that I could let go - of my plans, of my control, of my 11-year-old self - and still achieve my goals while enjoying life more, taking my time to appreciate my surroundings, and taking it all in. Althea is just one of the major catalyst for this realization, but she is also one of the prime reasons why it's been so easy to do this. I met her on a day that I never would have had in 2006 or any year before that. I was sitting, relaxing and reading, in a coffee shop with no sense of urgency or purpose...just livin'. L-I-V-I-N as McConaughey would say.
And I did a lot of livin' in '07. It's a high bar for next year to jump, but I have faith.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!
P.S. Next week will be the official debut of the new direction of Diatribes by Joah: Provocative. Controversial. Right.