Jan 2, 2010


I just came home from an exhausting weekend with the family and I mean exhausting because having too much fun takes its toll. We (Dear Husband, sister, mom, uncle, and pets) drove up to Tampa to hang out with the family we have there. The same family who lovingly open their home to me when I was spoiled brat 8 years ago used to asking for everything and doing nothing on my own.

We spent two amazing days laughing our asses off playing board games, dancing, drinking, eating (of course) and remembering the old days, from when we were little to the horror stories of our first jobs in the U.S. The cultural shock and horrid jobs behind us gives us the opportunity to laugh at what before made us want to cry. There is something simply delicious about looking back and laughing hysterically at things, experiences, jobs, pains, falls, etc that drove us crazy and depressed us. The personal triumph of moving past it couldn’t taste any sweeter.

After playing games and utterly crushing our only male cousin playing we started getting ready for the party. I had forgotten how the simple fun of sharing a bathroom with so many other women feels. What a simple pleasure to sit down with little eye shadow pots, brushes, steaming curling irons, tweezers, pencils and chattering voices, felt like. I had forgotten the fun of simply being a girl with other girls who you love while men stand outside complaining about how long we take and make fun of us.

We made it to the party late of course and danced and laughed, ate and danced, laughed some more. We laugh a lot, I noticed. I don’t know why it struck me so strongly that exact moment but we do a lot of laughing and the thought of it made me happy. Happy that in spite of all the hard things we have gone though, heart ache, losing family, losing oneself in this vast and foreign land we still find pleasure and laugh, out loud, until our bellies ache and we are gasping for air.

Twelve o’clock finally came and the deafening sounds of music and other voices drowned our own, we hugged each other, taking turns, wishing each other a happy new year to come, happiness, health, love, laughter, security…There is something about that precise moment, that instant, that last a second, that short moment when the new year begins and the old year ends that is almost indescribable. There is something about the energy around, flowing like bubbly champagne; something about the screams, laughter, the happy almost euphoric feeling, there’s something about that exhilarating emotion that makes the most cynic one of us feel overwhelmed with happiness and the beauty of hope.

None of us know what the New Year will bring, but in that very moment we are all, as one, expecting, hoping, wanting and wishing each other the best for the year in front of us. All that positive energy, all the good juju cannot be all in vain.

As I sat there surrounded by the people I love and the people I share blood with, people that had seen me grow and people that love in spite of my many, many, many flaws I felt so incredibly lucky, lucky that the people I care about are mostly in good health, well, working, living, breathing, enjoying life. Lucky that I have a husband that loves me and mine, lucky that my family is just the shit and I wouldn’t change even one of the crazy characters in it.

I ate my twelve grapes, wishing wishes, for Dear Husband, for my brother, my mom, my sister, the rest of my family and myself. More than anything I wished for more years where we are just like this, spending it with family, eating until we burst, dancing, wishing each other another happy new year, another year where in that moment we are so incredibly happy and we are so overwhelmed we want to cry.
I wish you all my same brand of happiness, the same brand of luck. This is a new year, a blank slate that we all get one time each year, so start this new one with renewed hope, with new plans, with a positive mind, with a happy feeling. You never know what good is around the corner, when love may come your way, what blessing life might throw you. This is the year to be happy, so be it.

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