How to Begin a New Year (And I Mean This One)

Photo Credit: HelloHolly

I’m back.
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After weeks of applying to MFA programs, chasing down letters of recommendation, filling in blank after blank with personal information (not to mention the days spent shopping, wrapping, and decorating), I’ve stepped back to this blog with a different mindset.
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Perhaps it’s the thrill of the new year, all the sparkle and promise that goes along with the image of the blank slate.
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A chance to get it right this time around.
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Wandering around the blogosphere, I’ve come across amazing new year perspectives. Donald Miller suggests taking Viktor Frankl’s advice in looking at 2012 as if you were living your life the second time around. Jeff Goins urges you to trade in unattainable resolutions for new habits. And Leigh Kramer drew my attention to the idea of shaping the new year around one word (more to come on the words I chose for 2012).
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No matter which advice you subscribe to regarding the new year, it all circles around the beautiful concept of the second chance.
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As humans, we crave the forgiveness and redemption that comes with a second chance. We long for the chance to make right what went horribly wrong in our hands.
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I fumbled my way through 2011.
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I quit my job, shook hands with uncertainty, said goodbye to that steady paycheck, and moved out of the city that had caused me nothing but grief. I watched one of my best friends move into the city and job of her dreams, and I watched the other heal and grow stronger after a series of unfortunate events (to put it lightly). I watched my baby sister step from kindergarten into first grade. I took in as much live music as I could, enjoying The Daylights, Needtobreathe, Shaun Hopper, U2. I applied to what felt like a million MFA programs. And I even found myself lost in a maze of downtown Galway streets, taking in the local bands of Killarney, and feasting upon brown bread and dark brew in Dublin.
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Every day adding up to the perfect year.
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And yet I fumbled my way through it.
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Because much like Mick, I couldn’t get no satisfaction.
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And it left the bitterest taste in my mouth for 2011, a year that I should have celebrated as I stood out on the grassy green of Prospect Park in Brooklyn a few nights ago, ringing in 2012 beneath fireworks and Orion’s belt.
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This year I have plans to savor it all, the bad along with the good. The routine along with the adventure.
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Because I cannot take another year of dissatisfaction eating away at my heart. I cannot take another 12 months of waiting around for something to happen so that I can finally feel alive. I cannot take another 365 days of self-pity and whining and pining for more.
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Thank God for this second chance of sorts.
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What are your plans for 2012?