Archive for January 1st, 2008

A Glorious New Year

TO DESCRIBE MY NEW YEAR’S eve as tame would be the understatement of, well, the year. My fiancee and I spent most of the day in bed with the stomach flu, wrestling with fits of nausea and watching Doctor Zhivago while timidly noshing on saltines. I’m almost positive we were asleep by 9 p.m.; the only thing to clue me in to the fact that the New Year had arrived was the commotion caused by neighborhood revelers and the fizzes and pops of their illegal fireworks. Startled awake, I leaned over for a sleepy New Years kiss, and then passed out for the next eight hours.

But such is life. Though we weren’t able to join in the joyful consumption of copious amounts of booze or bang pots and pans to welcome the spirits of the year to come, we were together, and that’s more than enough.

So now New Year’s Day has arrived – a day, like any other, that in cultures across the globe symbolizes redemption and possibility. We shake off old habits to become our new selves…or so we try. For me, this means a renewed sense of determination in my goal to be writing on January 1st, 2009, from a seat somewhere in Seoul – or somewhere similarly far away (hopefully without the stomach flu). For The Daily Transit this means a renewed effort to, in fact, be “daily.”

The list of things I want to accomplish in the ensuing 12 months goes on: to finally be able to confidently say that I am fluent in Korean, to find a steady reporting job, to write more frequently for my own sake, to read more literature, to become a more fearless traveler, to slow my frenetic mind and to enjoy the subtler moments of life.

Knowing how to begin is of course the most difficult part, and though everyone has their own ideas, it is for this reason the majority of us reach year’s end with a handful of regrets.

Seeing the changed face of my hometown over the last couple weeks has been a lesson in impermanence. This morning I stared out across Puget Sound to a remarkably clear view of the Olympic Mountains, their peaks cutting into deep purple clouds, and something inside me shifted. Past failures and stresses seemed to have evaporated, wrenched out of my system like that vile flu. I thought, Beyond those snowy caps is the world, a glorious new year, and all the opportunities they afford.


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