Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Here's to a good next year

I'm writing this while I should be sleeping. It is 1:30 in the morning (central time, where I am in the Music City), and I have a 7:40am flight. But I'm just not that tired. I figured I could do a recap of 2007, with all of its ups and downs (lots of downs are sticking out).

In no particular order, here are my most distinct memories of the past year. Might want to grab a tissue.

I gained and lost a puppy. I was lucky enough to have her in my life for 3 good months before she was hit by a car. Right around the same time, I lost a grandmother, and then shortly after, my alma mater was traumatized by a massacre that will forever be remembered as one of the worst mass shootings in US history. I lost peers, and my friends lost friends and loved ones, but I didn't know anyone personally. I almost regret that I didn't, because I wish I could have shared some of the burden that some of my closest friends and brothers had to endure. My Redskins family lost Sean Taylor, whom I compare to Lawrence Taylor as a player who would have changed the game forever.

On the other end of the spectrum, I was witness to some happy things as well. I made some great friends, people that I will (hopefully) forever keep close to me. I grew closer to others whom I already knew. One of my resolutions from last year was to open up a little and let people get closer to me, which I think I started to do a little bit.

I got to see Virginia Tech's basketball team win a game in the NCAA tournament. I got to see the Hokies football team earn their 3rd ever BCS bid. I got myself out of the miserable rut that was a part time restaurant job and decided to make something of myself. I'll be in law school in less than a year, and hopefully from there will go on to be a successful member of a sports firm.

I grew closer to my siblings (including my sister-in-law), and it became official that I will soon have a brother-in-law as well. We were never distant, but now I feel closer than ever to all of them. I think it comes at the perfect time, since I may be living 3000 miles away soon, and will need to keep friends and family closer than ever.

As usual, I have learned a lot about myself and about other people. This is a practice I began in college. I consider myself a people watcher and a pretty good judge of character. Each experience I have, I store in the back of my mind as a lesson about the quality of people. I am less judgmental and more observational than I used to be (which was one of my resolutions from last year).

Thanks to this blog, I have finally started to write again. My brother and I have discussed collaborating on a short novel in the near future, and I am very excited to get started on it.

As I sit here in my hotel room alone in Nashville reflecting on the past year, I realize there are countless things I would like to have done differently. But there is no sense in looking back and regretting my mistakes. I can only hope to do it better in 2008.

I rang in the new year with complete strangers who welcomed me in to their circle for the evening. I'm not sure I would have shown the same kindness to a random person in a bar a year ago.

So I can safely say my new year started on a very high note. I have begun 2008 seeing the best in people. My new resolution is to return the favor to as many people as I can throughout the coming year.

So, happy new year, and here's to a great 2008.

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