Looking Forward: Starting Over.

“Bad news,” wrote my friend Natalie, in a g-chat a couple of weeks ago. “Mercury isn’t even in retrograde yet.”

We’d had a conversation the day before about the challenges, the kinks and quirks, the general weirdness of the year thus far. We’d speculated that there must be some sort of cosmic explanation for all of it.

Apparently, we were wrong. “What does this mean for us?” I asked.

“Shit hits the fan February 23rd,” she replied.

“Maybe I’ll hibernate,” I wrote back.

Two nights later, I met a new friend for drinks at a bar in my neighborhood.

We talked about traveling. Boys. The year ahead. I told her that 2012 had been the hardest year of my life, and that I suspected 2013 wasn’t going to be much easier.

Slowly, over the course of the next couple hours, other friends trickled in, pulled up chairs, joined the conversation.

Lily told us about her new job, selling shoes to Brooklyn toddlers. “Today, a child peed in the teepee at the shop,” she said. “And I haven’t sold a single shoe.”

Jamie recounted a conversation she’d had earlier that night with an ex-boyfriend. “I just don’t love him anymore,” she told us.

“I can’t stop crying,” said Megan.

In the back of the bar, a man played guitar and sang raucous renditions of what sounded like sea shanties. “What is this, a pirate ship?” someone said, nose wrinkled. The crowd at the table next to us stomped their feet, jumped up and down, clapped their hands to the beat. A chair fell backward, hitting the ground with a thud.

“Let’s start over,” someone suggested. “Let’s make tonight New Years Eve.”

So at midnight (actually, for honesty’s sake, it was 12:06), we toasted the New Year. It was February 24th.

“Here’s to a wonderful year,” I shouted.

I thought of something my dad had written once: Life is worth celebrating, Every day probably, but every other day definitely.

Yes, definitely.

We clinked glasses. The pirate sang. Around us, everybody danced.

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