Be Better than Your Predecessor (Ode to 2017)

I arrived back at my apartment in Seattle from my most recent trip back to visit the family in Indianapolis at 1am, which is really 4am Indiana time, so needless to say, I was exhausted when I walked through the door.

I opened my completely empty fridge while my stomach grumbled, and remembered that my aunt gave me some wine and bleu cheese stuffed olives for Christmas and made a late night snack out of it once I found it in my luggage.

I had also just sat next to a couple that was my personal idea of hell on the plane from Denver to Seattle.  This flight was delayed by an hour because of a traffic backup on the runway, forcing me to be stuck next to them in what seemed like some sort of a cruel joke.

“Babe, tell me how you really feel?  Am I overreacting?  Are you mad at me?  I can’t read you.  I can’t tell how you’re feeling and it’s stressing me out.  Are you mad?  Would you tell me if you were mad?”

Then she started crying, and I thought to myself, “This is how I lose my mind.”

I wanted to explain that I was mad at her if that mattered and wished she’d shut the hell up so I could get some sleep.  I watched as the guy squirmed in his middle seat and tried to appease her, but my sympathy for him was nonexistent as clearly it was his choice to be in the other half of this couple.

Then he stretched his arm way over the arm rest and into my space, so I ever so slyly jabbed my elbow into his arm and “apologized” while opening my pill stash and taking another Valium as I could see no other solution to put up with them for the duration of this flight.

I thought to myself, this would be my last flight of 2016.

In the words of my dear cousin, “2016 can go suck a dick.”  I can’t say that I disagree.

It isn’t that good things didn’t happen, but it also seemed too clouded by a clusterfuck of bad things happening, and I was more than ready to get off of the roller coaster.

I had a suitcase that ran just shy of 70 pounds that I hauled behind me as I got off of the train from the airport to the bus stop.  I watched as my bus pulled up, and swore as I knew I’d have to run, suitcase and carry on in tow if I was going to make this bus.

So I ran as fast and awkwardly as I could, only to get close and have the doors close on me.  “What a perfect way to end this shitty plane ride,” I thought to myself.  I was ready to be home, and was defeated, hungry, and exhausted. That’s when I witnessed a miracle.

The only two remaining people at the bus stop waved down the bus and started yelling for her to stop for me.  Then a guy in a reflective further down the street yelled “OOOOOOYYYY!  STOP!” and started flagging the bus down and pointing at me.

The driver stopped, and I sprinted toward the open door, thanking all of my random helpers and wishing them a good night.  I threw my suitcase on board, the doors shut, and I was greeted by a sea of applause as a busload of people had been watching me run like hell to make it on board.

I did the only thing I knew how, and took a bow, much to their amusement and the bus driver rolling her eyes.  I walked on board and the people next to me started a conversation.

I immediately asked where they were from because no one from Seattle would have started the round of clapping, or a conversation for that matter.  I was correct, as then I proceeded to have a chat with visitors (one hurdler, one triple jumper and their sponsor), from Texas and California.  I told them they probably would have actually caught the bus then if they were the ones chasing after it versus me, who only runs when being chased.

I said goodbye to them, and thought, maybe things are turning around.  Maybe this is an omen for 2017.  I need to do my best to make it as good as I can, at least with what is in my power to do.

I had three people approach me on New Year’s Eve to do something, and I turned them all down.  Firstly because it’s “amateur night” and I’m generally not a fan.  Secondly, because I was exhausted.  And thirdly, because 2016 didn’t deserve for me to even see it out the door.  I owed this year nothing as far as I was concerned, and like cutting a bad person out of my life, I would sleep like a baby knowing it isn’t my problem anymore.

I went to sleep at 10.30 on New Years Eve, woke up to 2017 and keeping my fingers crossed that this year would be a productive one for me.  There are a lot of things I want to do, so I made a conscious decision to make 2017 better than it’s predecessor.  I’ve already started by booking a trip to Cuba that I’ve been talking about taking for years now and stopping in to see my cousin in San Diego.

Fingers crossed there will be some big changes for me in 2017, and while I don’t do the whole resolution thing, I plan on making some big moves.  Because why not?  I’m getting too comfortable in my current life, and there is never any harm in shaking things up and making them more interesting.

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