When I was in second grade, in an effort to bridge different schools within the same district, my classmates and I were assigned penpals from neighboring elementary schools. The letters were written in careful, round writing. I assumed my penpals copied their letters from the teacher's chalkboard, since they all followed the same topic, sentence structure, and phrases. My penpal asked me if I had any New Year's resolutions.
I didn't know what a New Year's resolution was and what it entailed. I remember thinking that it sounded really official and that I should find one, quick, because maybe we were all supposed to have one. Essentially, I didn't understand the point of having one. Even as a seven year old, I sensed that resolutions were like hot air balloons, pumped full of false hope and good intentions. It didn't seem substantial.
We ended up writing a response that was more or less copied from the chalkboard. I think I told my penpal that I wanted to be a better student/speller/whatever was written on the board, same as the other 30 students in my class.
Fast forward. Last year was the first year that I sat down and wrote a resolution. I was frustrated and stupidly optimistic and tired of trying. I was working in a nursing home and studying for the bar again and living in limbo. I resolved, somewhat naively, to Be Brave.
So I was brave. I was brave and bold and sometimes stupid and kinda reckless and mostly smart. Now December is on its way out and the world has dipped back into view. I'm amazed by my good friends, by the people I've met, by everything out there.