In my final moments on the Isle of Skye, I took this photo from inside a bus -- fortunately waking up from a nap in time to look out the window. Photography is much more than luck, and my abundance of cool photographer friends are a true testament to that. But this photo challenges that truth to me -- it was a photo taken by chance, a result of luck (or blessings, depending on what your beliefs are). I don't feel like I worked to take this photo; it was a photo given to me.
I feel the same way about this year. About Scotland, about the love I keep receiving in my tiny lifetime, about the road-trips and the right conversations at the right times. About the sunrises and lighthouses and safe flights -- all feels like a waking dream.
Early this year, I think I began to laugh at rejection and shortcomings enough to make them footnotes of my life (not the body of the text.) It is a joy that started off as a joke but eventually helped me make peace with myself, with the little and big things that often go wrong. I have found such love in my life -- in old and new friends, in family relationships which change and grow as I do, in boy who makes me laugh (who I had a small crush on). I rediscovered the uncomfortable process of falling in love -- the courage and vulnerability it requires. I felt the miracle of seeing that love grow. I have pushed myself into painful and lonely of living situations and came out clean on the other side. I learned how to make another foreign city home, I have allowed this city to enchant me into coming back (someday).
Most importantly, I learned that lifelong dream -- this strange and inexplicable and stubborn desire for me to write -- is something I need to chase. The fun thing with being clueless at twenty years old is trying to understand something greater than ourselves. We piece all of the small experiences and bits of wisdom we have collected to form the rest of our lives. I have collected all I can --small but important pieces of writing that I have found, lessons from teachers and writers who are far superior to me, my city in Scotland, all of the moments from my family to traveling alone -- and this feels right. I have no idea what will come of it, but I want to dedicate myself to this.
The beloved bard of Scotland, Robert Burns, wrote that New Year's Eve tune that we hear at midnight. It is a song I have loved before I even knew what it was -- I have always loved songs about new years. Time is a construct, but I will take any worldwide moment of new beginnings -- I am an advice for any chance of positive change, signals for a time of improvement.
But this year feels strange. 2017 was so beautiful, and I feel sad and scared to leave it behind. My heart is torn between promises of new days and gold-tinted memories of auld lang syne.. But in these in-between moments, I will take all of the cups of kindness I get. I will keep creating and learning and loving. Hope you do too.