Today is the Beginning of the Rest of Your Life

January 1st, 2012 has me feeling a bit somber. And you know what? I’ve decided that that’s okay. Not only is it okay for me to feel it, it’s okay for me to admit it publicly.

(After all, sitting in a Portland coffee shop, missing the ones I care about, listening to Bon Iver, and operating on far too little sleep are the recipe for melancholy.)

See, I started this blog with the intent to be a positive, inspiring force in a world that sometimes feels dark and scary. (My blog title is, after all, “Daley Muse.”) But in trying to inspire others, I’ve gotten so caught up in the words on the page that I’ve at times ceased being authentic. I’ve slipped into an old, self-destructive pattern: I’ve censored my voice, caring too much about what people think.

The past year has brought a lot of changes to my life: some terrifying, some devastating and some liberating. Through it all, I’ve met some of the most amazing people and shared in some pretty incredible life experiences. And I’ve learned a very important lesson: Despite its moments of anguish and heartbreak, life is nothing without finding something beautiful in the everyday.

It’s about feeling.

So, as I sit here in this coffeehouse far from home and the ones I love the most, I’m doing just that—feeling—and I’m tearing up.

Call it a moment of clarity.

I see a father and son, bicycle helmets at their sides, sharing a pastry while they read aloud from a Suzanne Collins book. Two girlfriends share a private joke over their steaming cups of Joe. And a girl (wearing the most ridiculous hat I’ve ever seen) just walked up to the counter and high-fived the barista. As silly as it sounds, these are all moments to be savored, just as I did that oh-so-fattening chocolate almond croissant.

So today, I’m breaking all the rules about resolutions and I’m making one for the rest of my life. I’m going to appreciate those moments, as uneventful as they may seem. Because those seemingly insignificant moments are what create memories.

And when I am old, I want to have the kind of memories that bring both a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.

I’m going to take my son on a bike ride and enjoy the way the pages of a book feel between my fingers as I read to him in a quiet coffeeshop. I’m going to drink in the enriching conversation just as easily as my coffee goes down.

And I’m going to find the silliest hat I can find and go high-five my barista.

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