I spent New Years Eve with my friends Kim and Eglys for three years in a row in college. Kim and I would head down from Boston to Orlando and spend the night at Eglys’ house at her family’s drunken annual NYE party. One year, we filled a 2-liter Sprite bottle with red wine and walked around her neighborhood drinking it. Another year, I took a whiskey shot and immediately threw up. Eglys’ father, who only speaks Spanish, literally referred to me as “Vino? Si!” for a good long while because that’s the only interaction we had.
Each year, we would decide what it was “The Year Of.” The only one I really remember was 2008: “The Year of the Comeback” because we were all planning on making “comebacks” and we had started re-dating people we’d broken up with in the past, hence “The Year of the Comeback.”
I haven’t spent New Years with Kim and Eglys in about three years, but last night in a similar drunken haze, I decided that 2013 is “The Year of the Crossroads.” Here’s what I mean by that:
Right now, it seems like everyone I know is at some kind of impasse. They have a lot of options on their plates and they’re at a crossroads life-wise, love-wise and career-wise. Do I marry my girlfriend? Do I try being single again? Do I move to LA? Do I move home? Do I take this job? Should I go back to school? What will I do after I graduate? No one’s pulling the trigger on anything. Everyone’s just sort of waiting to make big decisions — and it seems like there’s a never-ending flow of big decisions to make lately.
Personally, I’m grappling with decisions to move, wanting my own apartment, breaking into a new facet of writing (going from journalism to books and television), wondering about the outcome of my new relationship, facing up to who I really am as a person, dealing with my mental health and meds and eating differently and exercising. My life feels like it’s tipping from one side to another — a new phase or something. A new era. But all at once, I need to make some choices.
And from everyone I’ve talked to, a lot of people feel similarly about this year. They feel like this is the one where they make some important choices, where they need to decide once and for all what they really want. Where they feel time’s running out and it’s now or never to just DO something and see what happens. No more idling like we did in 2012. (Okay maybe we didn’t “idle” exactly but 2013 is the year we POUNCE!)
I chose the word “crossroads” because in mythology, it’s where you meet the devil and make a deal. It’s a place between worlds where you shake hands with Satan and decide what skills and what kind of life you’ll have. Maybe like Robert Johnson sang, you’re willing to sacrifice, to trade your soul or some freedoms or some other paths you could go down just to pick a side of the crossroads to trek down. 2013 is the time. It’s the year we all stop at the fork in the road and say, “No more!” and persist left or right but always, always persist.
“The Year of the Crossroads” is when we gather up all our loose ends, all the difficult roads we’ve been scared to walk down, all the passive aggressiveness and the procrastination and we end it. We spend this last year dealing with the devil at the crossroads and then: we move forward with whatever it is we have chosen, fully committed to that choice. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
It’s “The Year of the Crossroads,” baby. Are you in?
PS: Watch out for 2014: “The Year of the Reaping.” The time when we receive all the benefits of our decisive 2013. I can’t wait.