I ushered in the new year, 12:00 A.M. on January 1st 2019, on the craps table at Agua Caliente Casino. I was at work, of course. Had I not been I probably would have done what most other social and popular young adults do on New Year’s: Sit in my backyard and binge drink while watching YouTube videos all by myself.
2019 was an actual, real year. It happened. It was forgettable in the sense that the 2010’s had to end at some point, but I’m happy to say that it did have its highlights. I struck gold and found a girlfriend, for starters, and my older brother got himself a dealing job. The rest of the year was mainly filled with shallow arguments about sports and politics. You know, the stupid fucking bullshit that truly matters.
I usually get in-depth with these end of year reviews. I imagine because I take myself way too seriously and the physical act of writing a couple thousand words keeps me occupied. I could go back to what I’ve written the last few years and cite what I accomplished and what I failed to accomplish, but that would contribute to both (a) taking myself too seriously and (b) hyper-inflating the word count. So why bother?
This space would definitely be better served recounting the last decade of my favorite sports teams — the Texas Rangers (MLB), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Duke Blue Devils (NCAAB) and Virginia Tech Hokies (NCAAF) — but I don’t want to lose the already fractional amount of people who are reading this in the first place. Duke won two National Championships (2010, 2015), the Rangers were involved in two World Series’ (2010, 2011), the Chiefs won a playoff game (2018), and Virginia Tech exists. I mean they still have a football program. I think what I’m really trying to say was that 2010 was a really, really good year.
But, onto 2020. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a fresh campaign where the Chiefs lose a dumb football game to the Patriots or Ravens in the playoffs, where the Rangers win 84 games and narrowly avoid earning a Wild Card berth into the postseason, and where Donald Trump wins another fucking election because the Democratic Party was too stupid to push the only candidate who could defeat him. Ah, sports. They’re the greatest.
I remember being a 10 year-old when the year 2000 was a thing. Remember the good ole days when Y2K was going to ruin everything, and when George W. Bush stole an election from Al Gore? I wish we could go back. I thought the decade between then and 2010 was the most important in my life, dealing with the hardships of becoming a teenager, going to high school, graduating and going to college, falling in love for the first time, getting broken up with, then dropping out and joining the labor force. I turned 20 in 2010 (only because I turned 10 in 2000), and I felt like I had already experienced all that life had to offer.
Childhood has to die at some point. Then and only then do you realize how good you had it, and that all of your young person troubles really don’t mean a goddamn thing — not to you or anyone else. You get up, you go to work, you earn money and buy a bunch of cool shit, and at the end of every month you wonder why it’s such a fucking struggle to get ahead. One day you wake up and a decade has passed, and it’s almost 2020, and you would kill for the life you had when you thought you were so miserable.
I’m going to be 40 years old the next time a new decade rolls around. That is of course assuming the United States hasn’t gotten the world into a nuclear war, or that I don’t get hit by a bus or something. I am stuck here. One way or another I am going to be here in 2030 writing about how great I had it in 2020, even though the way I have it now leaves a lot to be desired.
I don’t mean that in the sense that I’m not happy to be here, or that I’m not happy in general. After all, I have a good job. I have a girlfriend that loves me. My immediate family is healthy. These are all positive numbers on the board.
Yet it seems like such a heavy thought. Seeing a 30 year-old used to be like, damn, that dude is really getting up there. It’s besides the point that I look young as hell for my age, but 40 is 40. And if the time it took to get from 2010 to 2020 is any indication, then 2030 is coming. I have a strange feeling like the older you get, the faster the years come and go. I’m certain no one has ever said or thought of that.
The moral to the story is appreciation. It’s kind of crazy to think of how long the world existed before I became a part of it, and it’s equally crazy to try to imagine the world going on without me in it. How is that even possible? That just puts more import on enjoying as many days as you can, and treating the people you love as well as you can. The world looks different now than it did in 2010, and it’s going to look different in 2030 as well.
So I don’t have any bigtime goals to shoot for this year. I’m not going to pledge to buy a house, or to read two books every month. All I really want is to stay healthy, and to find a way to ensure the people who love me now still love me the next time I am writing a year-end review. Those are my only expectations.