We stand on the precipice of a new year, taking a deep breath and a momentary pause of reflection before diving off of a cliff into the Great Unknown.

To be honest, it kinda feels like a horde of zombies and face-eating bears have been chasing us around for months. We’re running toward the edge of that cliff as fast as our legs can carry us, racing toward the sweet freedom of the unknown because it feels like anywhere else would be better than where we are right now.

A lot of shit happened in 2018. Not all of it was good and some of it was downright awful. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve audibly said “What the FUCK?” during this past year because let’s face it: the shit shows just kept coming – one right after the other.    

Will this new year bring the fresh start so many of us hope for? The one that many of us so desperately need?

Unfortunately, I’m not psychic and I don’t know what to fucking tell you. I’m sure that whatever happens will be interesting, at the very least. With any luck, we’ll all survive what’s yet to come. I’m not necessarily talking about current or future political maneuvers here, although that sentiment certainly applies.

I’m talking about health scares. Or bank notices. Job losses. The sudden expense that comes with replacing your refrigerator, your car, or your roof in an emergency. Paying for braces because your kid has wonky teeth. A partner or spouse who decides the grass will be greener somewhere else. All of those little things that shit on your day or your week or your month. They’re the nasty wrenches that get thrown into your plans unexpectedly, leaving you scrambling to figure out how you’re going to handle things. 

And that’s kind of what life is about. You deal with it one day at a time, one situation at a time. You make your way through because you have to – one foot in front of the other – simply because you are alive and it’s what living people do. We have to hold on to the hope that things will work out because one way or another, time will keep marching onward.

With the dawning of the new year, some of us will take steps to shed the old in favor of the new and it is both exciting and terrifying. Why, just this afternoon, my 16-year-old daughter cut my 13-year-old daughter’s hair to get rid of her frazzled dead ends. Just a trim, really. Much screaming and crying ensued, followed by emphatic threats of murder and suicide from both sides. Each party faced an existential crisis for about 25 minutes until the dust settled and the hair, after it was washed and dried, actually looked pretty great in the end. And so… the world continued on.

My point is this: life will flourish and sustain, even in the wake of tragedy, political stupidity, spontaneous haircuts, or any one of the many unforeseen difficulties that stumble across our paths each and every day.

No matter what this new year has in store for you, you have to embrace your fear of the unknown. Take it into both hands, gently. Look it in the eye. Whisper sweet nothings into its face if the spirit moves you and always remember this: 

You’re a boss and you own every bit of that motherfucker. 

Without worrying about the things that might go wrong, envision the things that might go right. Think about what you’d like to achieve this year and try to take steps that pull you in the direction you need to go. I’m the last person in the world who would claim that you can achieve whatever you dream since I’ve been dreaming of publishing a book for years and have yet to actually do it, but I’m taking steps. Some days, they are microscopic steps – but they are steps nonetheless. 

Will I do it this year? As already mentioned above, I’m not psychic so I really don’t know. But I am going to try, and I am indeed hopeful. Will you achieve your goals this year? I don’t know that either, but I am indeed hopeful that you will. 

Perhaps most importantly, will the world become a better place this year? In spite of everything that currently speaks to the contrary, I am indeed hopeful that it will. 

Whatever happens, may this new year be kind to you. To all of us.

Alison Huff

A lover of lapsang souchong tea, unnaturally-colored hair, and Oxford commas, Alison’s stories are written with a signature blend of humor and brutal honesty. She often jokes that she became a writer so she could speak to the masses without actually having to TALK to them face to face, but words are indeed her greatest strength. She revels in weaving them together to tell an entertaining story, rouse laughter, offer reassurance, provide sympathy, or just to give the world a piece of her mind.

1 Comment

  1. Jolyn Bush Reply

    Love how this draws the reader in and offers such peaceful resolve.

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