On the Passage of Time

New Year’s Eve. A time of change and evolution; of rebirth and novel opportunity. A singular moment in which we look upon ourselves and aspire to become better people than we were before. More successful, more confident, more honorable, more courageous, more generous, more motivated, more achieving – it is as it is. On the cusp between old and new, we temporarily shed all such bonded things which would otherwise keep us tethered to our own limitations.

Not everyone is meant for greatness. For most, it is incompetence; for others, it is will – and even yet for others, it is the most unfortunate of hands dealt. I hypothesize that societal norms find New Year’s Day such a jubilant affair because it rekindles, in most individuals, an insipid measure of hope that greatness is still achievable. A dying traveler’s glimpse of false water. Adulthood and aging is not so much an ascension as it is a descent. There comes a moment in every man’s life in which he learns to let go of those things he once thought possible. He relinquishes any ambitions for his future, trading in childhood dreams for contemporary coin – surrenders a superhero’s cape for an accountant’s pen; an imaginary spaceship for suit and tie. He learns to satisfy himself with what his talents may realistically afford him. Indeed, such is the only way life permits any of us to live and die with closure.

New Year’s Eve has always been of little significance to me. Resolving to change some feature of myself on a specific day strikes me as folly. It should be apparent that if something was truly that important, we would have done it already. Regardless of what we may believe, a task’s importance is, paradoxically, personified by its nonexistence.

It is as it is.


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