I don’t know about anybody else, but with each new passing year I have these moments where I forget about all there is to know and worry about. I let myself drift away from my responsibilities into a childlike state. It’s weird, but I simply allow myself to feel what a kid would feel.
Growing up in the 90’s, I still remember when the year 2000 sounded far, far away and felt like it would require some “epic transformation” for our entire planet. Probably one too many science fiction movies as a kid, but I really thought when we reached these unpredictable 2000’s we would have flying cars, teleportation, the ability to take pictures by blinking, and robots that would do all of our chores.
And while that last idea has fingerprints all over it from some lazy 7 or 8-year-old, it doesn’t diminish the fact that I’m more than 20 years removed from those crazy visions of what I thought our current world would be like. Bottom line, it’s surreal. I mean I'm still thankful we made it through that whole Y2K fiasco. Feels like it wasn't too long ago my family finished the last of the water bottles and gallon jugs my grandparents went out and bought!
Depending on the lens you decide to look through, our world isn't all that different. We still pump our own gas (well, apparently everyone outside of Oregon), we still sit in traffic, cash still works, and although we have driver-less cars now, all 4 wheels still need to be firmly planted on the cement.
You might not have the imagination that I did when I was a kid (depends on what you view as too much melatonin), but what kind of things were you expecting for 2017? More importantly, what did you envision last year looking like for you? Put the flying cars aside, maybe you thought you’d be married by now…I know I did. Forget about teleporting from here to your favorite vacation spot, I’ll go out on a limb and say you thought the house would be a little bit bigger, the car a little newer, the job more prestigious, and the bank account… well, let’s just say an extra zero would be nice. I say all of that with a certain decisiveness because I’m guilty of it myself.
I moved to Columbus on December 17, 2011 (mind-blowing it’s been 6 years). I still remember the day when my mom and I came out to look at apartments, Ava was 3! She’ll be turning 10 this year on the second day of Summer.
I find this year so important for me because everything I want is right out in front of me. It’s here, It’s about to happen. On January 11th I officially start my student-teaching experience after years of contemplating back-and-forth whether I should even get into teaching. After 7 seasons of being away from the game of football, I have plans every Friday Night this fall to coach wide receivers for the Westerville South Wildcats. And most importantly I will spend this entire year planning where and when I will say “I do” with my best friend in the entire world.
If I could write a letter to the younger version of myself, there’s a chance he might be disappointed that flying cars don’t exist yet. But, if I told him about some of the things we do have (i.e. a machine that spits out any kind of pop in whatever flavor your heart desires), I bet it would get him a little more excited. I’ve been waiting for 2018 for a long time, thinking back it’s probably longer than I even realized.
It may not look exactly like what I envisioned, but I’ve lived this entire journey. I’ve stood tall. I didn’t just survive, I thrived to get to this exact moment. It’s because of that I am able to truly see how far I’ve come, and I appreciate it that much more. I'm hoping that you will choose to say the same things about yourself.