Wednesday, January 9, 2008

in a little while.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

I drove around Honolulu on New Years Eve. After stopping off at my uncle's home, I went to a friend's gathering, and it was a lot of fun.

But it's strange. My family doesn't really do anything at midnight, while all of my friends have to be home to spend it together. This doesn't make me sad nor does it make me happy--it's the way it has always been and it's quite comforting, actually. I've grown up spending New Years with music, and I've become very familiar with it.

And this fact itself is curious, especially when my only real resolution is to leave 2007 in 2007. 2007 was a really big year for me. I loved and lost. I grew up. It's just the weirdest time. I made a lot of big decisions and made a lot of huge changes.

So I drove around town, listening to "Music Sounds Better With You" and Jens Lekman and the Junior Boys and, as my own personal New Years tradition requires, Ayumi Hamasaki.

It was oddly and cheesily symbolic, I think. In case you haven't visited Hawaii on New Years, it's really a different world. The streets are chaotic and field with drunken revelers armed with arsenals of aerial fireworks. I drove through the suburban war zone in my mom's tank of a van, through columns of heavy smoke that found its way into the car's ventilation system.

Of course I'm going to say that the music synced perfectly with the splatters of streaks of light emitted by the fireworks and that it was disconcertingly disarming. I feel like I've been everywhere. I feel more connected with everyone in my life than ever before, and I'm really happy about this.

And right then, the two things that I wanted for 2008 hit me: to have no regrets and to leave 2007 behind.

I don't mean "have no regrets" as in living for myself and being unapologetic--no, it's quite the opposite, actually. I realize I've made a lot of mistakes in my life that have not only reflected poorly upon my own judgment, but these mistakes have also caused me to hurt a lot of really good people that care about me. I want to make the right decisions from the start so that I don't have that feeling when I look in the mirror of dread. I don't want to shudder when I think about certain things that I've done.

And though 2007 was a great year, I want it left where it was. I closed it out the way it needed to be finished. I tied up the loose ends that I needed to sew up and I did close the book on a lot of things that needed to come to a conclusion. I don't want to dwell or live in the past--I've done a lot of really cool things and met a lot of great people, and I want to continue that in 2008.

I want to be less guarded and I want to put myself out there more.

And I want everyone that I care about to know I love them. I haven't really been someone to talk about how I feel, and a lot of people I really care about don't know how strongly I feel about them.

And I don't know what's harder--having these sort of goals or goals that are easily achievable but won't be met (like losing ten pounds). My resolutions are sort of like the war in Iraq--there's no real benchmark for success, but there's sort of an esoteric one.

I think it all boils down to being a better person.

So, cheers, then: to being a better person in 2008--and beyond.

I let this sit for awhile, and in less than two hours, I turn 21. I become an adult, and these are less New Years Resolutions than they are things I'd like to work on for the rest of my life.

I'm happy with the direction in which I am progressing. I know I have a long way to go, but I know I'm moving forward.

And that's the most important thing: progress.