Just about this time last year, I was with my sister, scarfing down 12 grapes as the clock struck midnight in a jam-packed Madrid square.
And now, I sit alone at home, in front of the TV, and reflect.
Don't worry. This isn't a complaining post. Due to work and traveling and general Advent business, today I've had only my second get-things-done-at-home day of the entire month and that is cause for celebration.
Besides, there was no possible way I was going to top Nochevieja in the Plaza del Sol, so I didn't make any plans. It's kind of nice to give my introverted self a break from people this New Year's.
I started 2014 off with abounding optimism. I was traveling and hanging out with my family, two of my favorite things. I lived in Spain. I had a beautiful apartment, an easy job, and unlimited sightseeing potential.
My plans started to change pretty quickly, but it really wasn't until October that I lost that optimism. I think that's a new record.
You may know that I don't deal well with change, or with feeling a lack of control. I started working at a day care in August, a place with a fabulous Assistant Director and friendly teachers and a class I adored. And then, seven weeks into my new job, suddenly I was being moved to a different center. I was devastated. It's taken me this long to get over that [and I'm still not 100% there, to be honest].
So looking back, I'm glad for another "fresh" start. I've got some exciting traveling things to look forward to, further in the year. This new class of mine should be staying the same after this month. I have lots of good days and lots of things to be thankful for.
It's not the same as it was 12 months ago, but then again, I don't want the same. I don't want to be in grad school right now, or starting a career at a company I could see myself committing to forever. If I had wanted that, I probably would have had it already. And that, I think, is why I keep beating myself up about being a college graduate still living at home and working an hourly wage job, temporary as that all may be. That "American Dream" is still so prevalent that I have trouble seeing my own dreams underneath it.
[Okay, I'm going to complain a little bit here. Working 40 hours a week, plus 1 hour for lunch and 1 hour of driving each day, does not leave much down time for figuring out what, precisely, my own dreams are. There's not a lot of room for any kind of creative pursuits or higher-order thinking, really. Hence the no blog posts since August. How do people do this their entire adult lives?]
I don't really make New Year's resolutions, because I know myself well enough to know that I won't keep them, but I want to start 2015 off with a promise that I think I've made to myself, consciously or not, for quite some time: I promise to try a little harder to do things that are rewarding. To blog. To meet up with friends. To read. To go on walks. To travel. To create.
It's a New Year, y'all. Anything is possible.