“For the present is the point at which time touches eternity.” –C.S. Lewis
The concepts of time and eternity is something that Lewis has written about in many of his books. With tonight being New year’s Eve, I often reflect upon the past year, or so, like most people seem to. The way my brain works, my thoughts tend to move towards time as a sequence–as seasons, and circles. There is a constant about time in the sense that you can always count on time to change things.
I will admit that often times I feel like the years spiral in circles. It appears that I find myself in similar places year after year, and yet, I’m not. Once I take a moment and consider the good, all the ways that I’ve grown, I realize that I’m not simply just running in circles. Those circles get larger and more wide-sweeping each year.
This year, I must admit that I have felt stuck in the sentiments embodied in the words of the Death Cab for Cutie song: “So this is the New Year… and I don’t feel any different.” Perhaps a large part of that could be that I am stuck at home with a nasty cold, while the majority of my friends are married or dating and out celebrating the end of what in many ways has simply been a bad year. Or maybe it’s the fact that even staying awake until after midnight and celebrating in whatever way I deem fit (with writing, music and wine) won’t be so different than so many other nights, being a student and all.
But I am choosing to focus on the present. On the good that is now. On the hopes that are ahead for the future. I am choosing to focus on the fact that in a few months I will FINALLY be graduating from college with a double major in Literature and Creative Writing. I am choosing to focus on the hopes of future travel plans and more writing. I am choosing to focus on the hopes that 2017 will be a better year than 2016.
In the words of another favorite writer of mine, Sierra DeMulder:
“To give voice exclusively to our successes (and not our failures) is a form of violence against one self, as it sets an unreachable standard and further misrepresents what it means to be human: flawed, wildly contradicting, still trying, still worthy. Instead of admitting we contain multitudes, we self-curate and isolate, hiding our pockmarks because they blemish the perfect picture of our life that we have painted.
The truth is: we are not always good and that is okay. At times, I was not my best this year but that does not mean I do not deserve another one. It does not mean I will not try to be better in the next.”
So this is the reason that this isn’t just a post about resolutions, but about the fact that New Year’s day, and all of life, is so much bigger than that. It’s not about making a list of hopeful aspirations (although that most certainly isn’t a negative thing!) and then beating ourselves up because we don’t accomplish them.
In many ways, I am on the “cusp of adulthood” and in the course of my life, if I have learned anything it is that life offers no guarantees that the plans we make will turn out, So often when they do turn out, they happen in ways we never expected.
That all to say, that just as Lewis says, we have hearts set on pilgrimage, on eternity. The only way we reach eternity in this life, is by taking life in stride. With the good and the bad, the successes and the failures. Being real, being raw, and being vulnerable and not painting over the flaws, but finding the beauty in them.
So here, as the clock strikes Midnight. I raise a glass and toast potential, a toast to the new adventures and opportunities that the New Year brings. But most of all, a toast to right now. This moment, for it all ends too soon, and this is the point we touch eternity.
Here’s to 2017. Let this be our year, every year.