Hanukkah just ended. Christmas is on Monday. And the year is barreling to a rapid end.
It’s the first time in seven years that I’ll be home for New Year’s Eve. I usually spend it in Aruba, but because we were just there for the wedding in November, we’re staying home for New Year’s.
And somehow that’s brought a collection of memories from my past to converge into this moment.
On Wednesday, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in six years. She’s quite a jetsetter and has lived in a few places around the globe over the last few years. And somehow our schedules haven’t matched up. But I distinctly remember the last time I saw her. She was living in Austin at the time, and I visited her for my 24th birthday. I was reading Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and our weekend became an unexpected pow wow of empowering deep conversations.
It was on that exact trip that I decided I would change my life, and I was determined to create my own version of a Happiness Project. I decided that the coming 2012 would be the year my life changed.
By June of 2012—just six months later—I became dangerously ill. And then I fell in love with Garrett.
So it was special to see my friend. We meant to meet on Monday, but she got sick, so we pushed lunch on Monday to just tea on Wednesday. And she works at Facebook, so she was at the Boston office while in town. I thought of cafes near her and recommended one I knew.
As I rode the T (Boston for ‘subway’), I realized it was December 20—my exact last day of PR four years ago. Something special always seems to happen on this day every year. And I thought it was sort of special that I’d be in the neighborhood of my first PR job almost 10 years ago. As I walked closer, I realized I wasn’t just in the same neighborhood—the café was actually in what used to be our cafeteria.
The company had moved many years ago, and I hadn’t been back over there in years because I had no reason to go. But there I was—just about the summer solstice, on the exact last day I ever worked in PR—having tea with an old friend at this somehow sacred site.
I thought about who I was last time I saw my friend. Who I was last time I spent New Year’s in the US. Who I was 10 years ago when I started PR. Who I was even four years ago when I left.
Like a wrinkle in time. Somehow being here for New Year’s opened a portal for me to go back to memories of who I was back then. And to reflect on all of it.
I often say Aruba has a timeless quality. Where time ceases to exist there for me. And maybe not being there allowed time to catch back up
On this very tail end of Mercury Retrograde, I’m flooded with memories and reflection. Of friends I see far too infrequently. Of decisions I’ve made over the years. Of old work, old colleagues, old mentors. Mostly, of gratitude and appreciation. Even for the stuff that seemed inconvenient at the time.
If it all hadn’t happened just that way, I might not be here today. And I really like where I’m at right now.
And I love the people who helped me get here. Even those who might not realize the part they had to play.
For me, the holidays are always a time of reflection. A time when the continuity of tradition reminds us of years past. And how we got to where we are. And who was there. And how beautiful all of it was.
I’m sitting and reflecting about the phenomenal past decade. And I can only imagine the magic that the next will bring.
What reflections are coming up for you?