2017 must’ve been one helluva a year for me to write on New Year’s Eve/New Year.
Well, it was. In the worst and best way possible. I had spent New Year’s Eve last year at Death Valley, expecting the worst, but hoping for the best and boy, did it deliver.
Sure, we’re in a political turmoil, but I’m not gonna get into that.
This was the year I traveled to four countries, three of them not quite part of my year’s plan. I had climbed to the top of Angel’s Landing which may not be big deal to most people, but was a big deal to this extremely unfit slacker.
This was also the year I lost my little companion of 16 and a half years. He was given two months, but lasted for six. Little did I know, the worst was yet to come. It came unexpectedly and to this day I’m still dealing with it.
2017 also marked 25 years since my family first emigrated to the U.S.. It was 25 years ago when I landed with my family, my very first plane ride ever, with my big, ugly hair, wearing an ugly, red dress shirt on a very cold March morning. I wasn’t used to the cold then. I was whisked away from my parents by an aunt and taken on a tour with my sisters and yes, my brother. My first tour? Of all places, Long Beach. I got to see a view of Queen Mary. I also got a view of delinquent teenagers vandalizing and dumping trash inside someone else’s car trunk. Afterwards, I had my first American meal: Costco hotdogs. It was Price Club back then. I remember I was too nervous, too weary and too resigned to enjoy it then.
25 years later, things are different now. Better? Sure. I can’t deny that. But I never wanted to mark the 25th year like this. Incomplete, missing one person.
If there was one thing that stuck to me since I was skinny, forgotten, friendless, little girl with big hair from an underdeveloped country, it was this: always expect the worse. And that I did and it has never disappointed me. No matter how hard I work, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how good I try to be, the worse always happened. Now as an adult, I understand why. As the legendary actress Lauren Bacall puts it, “the world doesn’t owe you a damn thing.” I’ve always known that, but now I understand it better than ever. Life is unfair. It always will be. But I gotta keep going. I have to stay hopeful. Someone has to, right?
In the meantime, ima welcome the new year with a bottle of wine, appropriately named Pessimist. No seriously, that’s the name. See below.