I am not a time traveler. Nor am I a psychic. But I do know a few things about you.
I know, for instance, that a few things are going to happen to you in this coming year. Guaranteed. Some are awesome. Some... not so much.
I know this to be true because it's true for all of us every year. Yet, for some reason, we forget about them. Or we think that things will be different this time.
And yet so many things...
New Year's photo from 2012
... happen all over again.
New Year's photo from 2013
Every. Single. Year.
Sure, some things will be different. But I can pretty much guarantee that every single one of the things below will happen to all of us. Which means it's up to all of us to make the most of all of it.
So, without further adieu, I present this guaranteed list of happenings to you now...
Guaranteed Happening #1:
You WILL have some awesome successes
You will achieve something, be recognized for something, perhaps create great change. And that will feel awesome.
So please, take some time to celebrate when it happens. And also know that you're awesome even when you haven't created awesome successes. Because that's how things will be most of the time.
Guaranteed Happening #2:
You WILL screw some things up
There's no getting around it. You'll miss a deadline, botch a project, perhaps hurt somebody's feelings. And that will feel not-so-awesome. And you'll need to make amends and move on.
So do that. And please, don't beat yourself too much over it. Because soon enough it will pass and then you won't be screwing things up anymore. And that's how things will be most of the time.
Guaranteed Happening #3:
You WILL change physically
Besides that fact that all of our cells replace themselves every seven years or so, our bodies just... change over time. Our skin stretches or sags. Our hair grows or grays. Our bodies become bigger or smaller. It will feel awesome or not-so-awesome, depending on the changes.
It's not always easy to deal with physical changes, especially in a society where physical appearance is so ridiculously important. No matter what, don't focus on how you look, but on how you feel... about how you are or are not able to take on the world with all that you've got.
Make any changes needed to be and feel healthy. Let the rest of it fall away. And blow off that nonsense advice from others who try to persuade you to think otherwise.
Guaranteed Happening #4:
You WILL Learn Things...
... like it or not. You will learn things because there are things to be learned every day. There are new people to meet and new stories to share. There are new places to explore and new technology to conquer.
If this doesn't excite you... if it bores or overwhelms you... then think differently because you are missing out. None of us know all there is to know, which means all of us can expand our wisdom... then help others with it.
It's such an interesting world if we just allow ourselves to step outside of what we know for one second and figure this out.
Guaranteed Happening #5:
You WILL Meet New People...
... like them or not. Some of them will be awesome. And some of them won't be. No matter. New people bring new energy, new discovery and new relationships.
Make sure you take the time to see the new (and current) awesome people a lot. And make sure you gently release the new (and current) not-so-awesome ones from your life... after you've learned what you need to learn from them.
Guaranteed Happening #6:
You WILL be presented with new opportunities
This could be anything from trying new foods to hanging with new people to taking a swing at golf for the first time. And it will all be awesome if you let it be. New things can be scary because, by definition, they are unknown. And they will test you in new ways, which means you might not be so great at them at the start.
No matter. Seize what interests you and allow yourself to be less-than-awesome at things in the beginning. See what jazzes you and do more of it. Then gently let the new (and current) not-so-awesome stuff go.
Guaranteed Happening #7:
You WILL cry
It might be when nobody is watching, but it will happen. If nothing else, you'll get really, really sad at some point. You'll also get really, really angry at times. And that's okay.
Negative emotions -- like positive ones -- are part of being human. So quit trying to pretend they're not there... and quit making them bigger than they are. Let them come, then let them go.
And find someone who really cares about you to be with you through it all. That can make all the difference.
Guaranteed Happening #8:
You WILL be insanely happy
We all have those moments where everything feels like it's fallen into place, when you realize that the sky is super blue and that the air is super crisp. You feel connected to other people without even trying.
Make more of these moments. You don't have to be a passive player. Wake up each morning with a sense of gratitude about all of the awesome things there are in and around you. Refuse to allow the stupid small stuff to get in the way of your happiness.
And when those insanely happy moments happen, find someone who really cares about you to share in it. That can make the whole thing even more awesome.
Now, not only will all of these things happen to you... but they will also come to an end. That's life.
So enjoy the awesome stuff and make the most of it. And when the not-so-awesome stuff comes your way... allow it to happen, do your best to stay calm, deal with it, and know that it's on its way out, too.
Life is for the living. No, life is for the embracing. So embrace the new year. Enjoy the ride.
And no matter how things go, take solace in the fact that there's always another year coming around again soon.
Happy New Year, my friend.
New Year's photo from 2014
Know what's awaits you in the new year. Spread your arms and welcome it all in.
Do your best at every turn. Gently release the not-so-awesome stuff.
Live the new year with everything you've got.
That's what it's there for.