Everyone loves to reflect on the past. I am no different. When New Year’s Eve rolls around, we all think about the past: the good and the bad, the failures and the successes, and then we look forward. We look forward to a new year with the similar good and similar bad, with challenges and opportunities that are only different because they are fresh in our minds. Personally, I am not such a fan of this process: treating each year individually, as if they are discreet events, and cataloguing what happens to try and see what “score” we would give that specific year. Life is too fluid and long for such a premature rating and we don’t change radically overnight because humanity decided 365 days is enough time to fit in all one’s moments.
Many people are saying that 2016 was a bad year. While I can’t disagree with them, I don’t like assigning blame to a single entity, like a scapegoat that answers to all of us. Nor will I blame anyone else for my own shortcomings. For me, 2016 was bad not just for the celebrities that died or the election that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. No, 2016 was awful because I was awful. The year was a failure because I was a failure. My “scorecard” represents a mountain of evidence that I didn’t live up to both my own expectations and those of people I care about. I won’t spell out these failures (and yes there were successes, although few and far between) but trust me when I say they were there and they were real. It was a bad year because I was bad, and no other entity deserves the blame, at least in the very personal sense.
I do not write any of this to seek sympathy or to find comfort anywhere. I am writing this to hold myself accountable and for others to hold me accountable too. I want to do better in the next year, not so that my scorecard for 2017 shows I was a “success” but so that I may do better in every subsequent year. I want to look back on my whole life, without the blinders of ignorance to shield me, and know that I did the most amount of good, for the most amount of people, whenever I was able to. I will be happy with nothing less and I should be held accountable for nothing less.
So I do not look forward to the year 2017 with any special consideration. Instead, I look forward to the rest of my life, knowing I made changes to who I am to become the person I want to be. Believing that my new philosophy (do the most amount of good, for the most amount of people, whenever I can) will not let me down. Hoping to make amends, to heal, to learn, and to grow as a human being. And finally, wishing that other people will hold me to these promises, just as I will always try to do for myself.
On a more organizational note, I apologize for not posting as much as I probably should have over the past few months. If my tone in the previous paragraphs is any indication, I wasn’t in the best of spirits to be writing about fine dining and business pursuits. I should have more time to write regularly in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.