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As countries like Australia and New Zealand celebrate the new year ringing in, the rest of us patiently wait. Europe, you will be next in a few hours, and to my readers who are already in 2020 I hope this next year and decade go incredible for you. Full of adventures, opportunity and love. For me, it won’t happen for another 11 hours. Some of you may recall last year, or was it two or three years ago, that I said I do no do resolutions. It remains true to this day, as everyday is a chance to make change. However, I do understand the significance of rolling into a new year.

Besides the obvious writing of a new number, it’s symbolic of a fresh start. Many of our worries should be swept away with the old year. Understandably, there are those out there who’s concerns will still follow them into the new year. One’s in hospitals fighting illnesses, others struggling with depression, some running from debt, among many things. The fight goes on for some of us, but maintaining that mentality that what you did in the past must not haunt you now nor in the future is important. Getting up and pushing forward is what we’re all doing to some degree. As you all know, 2019 will not be ending smoothly for me.

In January, it started off celebrating my nephew’s first month being on this planet. Spring is kind of a blur, as I still searched for full-time work. But from Spring to Summer, I attended concerts and events where I met some cool people; and even a celebrity or two. Then things began taking a turn, as we had an unexpected loss in the family. At only 19 years old, it was so soon. That same moment was when I got the call for the interview. When word came of the family passing, I got the other word of the job offer. I should’ve seen the sign of what was to come.

Yet I took the offer, and in two weeks time boxed up what was my life and moved it over an hour away to the capital. It all started fine, as I learned everything thrown at me. I tried to explore as best as I could, and even attended a fun soccer festival and met more famous people once more. But in that time, my car died and nearly took me with it with where it began to have troubles. The fact it made it as far as it did might say two things: that I knew what to do, and that maybe the car itself knew it couldn’t go until it carried me away from the steep hills to safety. However, that affected my wallet as I still am haunted by the impending “Will he or won’t he” get a new car. Santa did not get me a new car this year.

Good things are coming, old sport.

That delayed my desire to travel right now, but the goal is next summer. As weeks passed, and I had meetings every so often about my performance being slower than expected, the stress of such a possibility of being let go got real. I was struggling to befriend people, or even go out and volunteer, out of fear of committing to something only for me having to pack up and leave again. Then the stress went away, as I simply thought “if it happens, it happens” and I’ll find what I’m really supposed to do. After Thanksgiving, I felt things were improving very much. I felt good in my performance, and I was cheerful with the holidays approaching. I even made a few friends, who wanted to hang out soon. All that, while hiding to myself the fact that my dad was going to have surgery to see if he had cancer.

I opened up to my supervisor about it, but that everything else happening right now gave me hope that things were getting better. That was December 13th. On December 16th, I was told that I had been let go. A day before my birthday. The day before my dad’s surgery. As I sat in the car calling my friend, I will admit I broke down to him. I simply couldn’t believe this was all happening. Other memories flashed in my mind such as the lake, the passport, deaths, and now what transpired over that week. When would this curse end and stop following me? I will never forget what happened on the 16th, and rest assured that moment will always be told as part of my life story. The moment when a mistake was made, but that I was set free.

You know the rest, so far, as my dad doesn’t have cancer and that my birthday and Christmas were very quiet and somewhat on my own. Just like when I was up there. The car and apartment remain my uncertainties heading into the new year, but it could be resolved within the first few months. It is nice, though, reconnecting with friends back here. Like a boxer going to his corner after getting banged up last round, it’s nice to see his manager and crew. But that bell will ring, and a new round will begin. A new chapter has officially begun. And it just so happens to be in a new decade that will be very monumental for me.

Ah the 20’s have finally returned. For those who’ve been around this block know that I kind of like the past. From music to shows, to clothing to other things, I appreciate where we came from. Of course, there were many thing in the past that are frowned upon and we as a society try to correct. However, there were good things too that were forgotten. As for the 1920’s, the pinstripes, the flappers, the parties, the art deco, the music are some of the things that I love about the zeitgeist of this decade. I know the 2020’s will never be like it, but we trends do make their way around; notice how lately the 80’s music is sort of making a comeback? And in a way, we always connect with something from the past; similarities now to a hundred years ago. Plus I’m sure someone will try and “reboot” the 1920’s into the modern times.

But besides the zeitgeist, this decade will be monumental for me from a social stage view. I’m now 28, and by 2030 I will be 38. Obviously, we all run in life at different speeds and experiences. But we also know what typically happens during this interesting ten years. Establishing (long or first) careers, getting into long-term relationships, having children and starting a family, and settling into a house are some of the major ones. People say that in their 30’s they had a more happy life than their 20’s. I feel they are the ones in the same boat as me. The ones who did not have the honor of having the opportunity to go on many trips, or hosting parties while parents are away, or going on their friend’s family boat when we were young. Since I was a kid, I was always sad to see them go out and have fun while I was home mostly playing on my N64.

Of course, fun is subjective and while some might like the party life, I was more interested in being with friends outdoors on an adventure like boating or by the sea. But I do feel like these final 2 years of my 20’s, and all of my 30’s, will be much better than now. Since I hardly acknowledge my birthday, crossing into the 30’s won’t even bother me; the same can be said going into my later years. Now if I’m 50, and have never been abroad, then it will bother me. But that is one of the goals heading into 2020. Once 2030 comes, I will have hoped to have been to at least 10 countries. Yup, never been abroad yet and giving myself the challenge of 10 in 10 years. And I don’t mean be in one for a day, or on layover at the airport. Career-wise, it took a bump at the moment but that is a goal as well.

While I begin applying to jobs, I still will research what I can see myself doing. Unlike many, I don’t want a “content” job because I want to thoroughly enjoy it. I want to know I’m making a true positive impact. But also, one that will afford me the lifestyle I seek. Y’all know I have so many ideas and projects laying around, and I want to organize and bring them into fruition this decade. It won’t be easy at first, but the hardest part of the journey is taking that first step. And something tells me not everyone will be fully supportive, but sometimes you got to trust your gut and do it. As long as there’s some who stand by your side, even strangers afar you might not be sure why you open up to them, it’ll make that leap of faith more trusting.

As for relationships and a family, well. . . everyone’s guess is as good as mine. Who knows what the future has in store for that, but I’m just going to carry on and see the world; waiting for the lighthouse to point the way. 2020 is about to reach Europe as I type this, and so Happy New Year’s to you all. It will go great, and it will be interesting to see how we define the new 20’s. Some of you have resolutions, while others have life goals like me. No matter what, lets try to make those changes that we strive for. There will be good and bad moments next year, and next decade, but focus on the good and learn from the bad. My 2019 didn’t end great, but that wasn’t the worst I’ve ever been through. And having friends and family still here is all I could ask for right now, so I know 2020 will start off great. The 20’s will definitely be huge for me, and others out there, and as always you all will be right there with me. Happy New Year’s to all of you, best wishes, and cheers. . .

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