As we sing Auld Lang Syne and sway back and forth with champagne in hand and loved ones in arm, I'd like to propose a toast to the year that was and the year that will be.
Though my book and often this blog are dedicated to listing and lampooning all the reasons you'd ever want to leave New York, by now it should be abundantly clear each reason to leave is a reason to stay and love the city even more.
So with that in mind, a toast to and for the city so nice they named it twice, and a toast for all of the places and faces that continue to make it exactly what it is: "the Mecca of dreamers, visionaries, freaks, geeks, cool kids and sexy valedictorians; the place to find fame, fortune, love, acceptance and most importantly, yourself." -- 101 Reasons To Leave New York.
Here's to New York, and our lives in it. May our laborious days and restless nights lend themselves to success as only we can individually define it.
Whether it's an apartment without vermin or with parking. Whether it's a first date that leads to a second, or a first date that doesn't last a second more than it needs to. Whether it's a job that pays so well your day-to-day hassles become irrelevant, or a job that allows you to live so well, money doesn't mean a thing. Whether it means discovering something or someone capable of changing your life in all the ways you've ever dreamed, or being discovered by something or someone whom you are capable of assisting the very same way. Here's to 2013.
Here's to experiencing the type of romance, comedy, thrills, triumphs and suspense Hollywood scripts would be envious of.
Here's to remembering who you were the first day you arrived in New York City and what brought you in the first place.
Here's to being mindful of how you feel when you leave and how you feel when you will inevitably return, again. In other words, here's to being full of hope, curiosity, energy and adventure; here's to resisting and overcoming exhaustion and confusion, if not disgust; and finally, here's to embracing excitement, anticipation and rejuvenation.
But, let's not forget 2012. It tested us in every imaginable way. With personal obstacles we could have never predicted and natural disasters the likes of which we've never seen before. Then, it provided us with a sense of resiliency we knew we are capable of, yet somehow are always pleasantly surprised to confirm we possess.
2012 kept us on our toes, knocked us on our asses and forced us to come together to stand back up. It taught some of us and reminded others of us that there can be no testimony without a test.
So here's to 2013 and to taking all we have accumulated over this past year, forward.
Here's to the unknown, the unseen, the unproven and the undone.
Here's to progress, personal and otherwise. Here's to thinking and behaving as though all we have experienced has truly been learned and will be adopted into practice.
But really, here's to us. Here's to this moment, this rare occasion when we are aware that we're not just a part of this city. We're that thing that actually makes it go.
Follow Howard Jordan Jr. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@howardwrites