Well, a new year has come and with it the hope that it will be a better one. I gave up a long standing tradition from my childhood this year in hopes of starting a completely new one. On January 1, 1996 I stood on the front porch of my grandparents’ home in Antioch looking at my breath fogging in the cold night as I looked up into the star filled sky. Tears running down my eyes I prayed, to god, to karma, to the infinite expanse of the cosmos that the year to come would be better than the one I had just had. See, 1995 was a hell year. I almost lost my dad, a couple of times among numerous other tragedies that rocked the family that year. For a an eleven year old boy, just the stuff with my dad was damn near impossible to sort through and left me with fears and doubts that, almost twenty years later, still haunt me at night and plague my thoughts every day. My dad came out and joined me and held me and told me that things were going to be better. And he was right. 1996 was a pretty awesome year for me and the rest of the family. Every year since, I’ve gone outside as soon as the ball drops, looked up at the heavens, and offered my prayer for a new and better year to come.
Unfortunately, my prayers have fallen on deaf ears over the last few years. Two thousand twelve, thirteen, and fourteen all sort of bent me over and raped me and everyone around me. I lost my home, almost lost my child and my job, saw the end of my marriage, and lost several people that were important to me in my life and almost lost my own life in the process. I’ve had my victories, don’t get me wrong, and there have been happy moments mixed in, but on the whole the last three years have just been a nightmare of wrecked cars, ruined lives, and broken dreams that keep oozing out onto the pavement like so much roadkill scattered down the interstate.
But, in every dark cloud there is hope and, I’m hoping like hell that 2015 will be that hope. I turned thirty a few weeks, I’m still writing and improving at my craft with every draft. I have a great kid who brings a smile to my face every day and the people in my life make that life worth living every morning. So, playing the old long song and putting the past behind me, I’m going into the new year with new hope that I’m finally going to see my life get on the track I want it to take and, hopefully, make my dream a reality.
Here’s to you, 2015. Don’t cock it up!