An Ode to 2016: Drunk, and In Charge of a Bicycle

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Late this year I discovered a love of Ray Bradbury. Somehow in all my years of school, Fahrenheit 451 never was assigned to me and it just never crossed my path. But Marshall University's children's theater group is coming to our school to perform a play based on the book at the end of January, so I decided now was the time to read the book. In the course of checking that book out of our school library, our librarian also gave me a (rather large) book of Ray Bradbury's short stories, introduced by the man himself. I read the overview he wrote, and when I read this paragraph, I knew I had my life theme for 2016:

Drunk, and in charge of a bicycle. I love it. It sounds so very, very Auntie Mame who is, and always has been, my life role model.

For the past few years, I've also been thinking about words -- one per year -- on which to focus my year. Some past ones have included "open" and "hope." I got the idea from one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer Fulwiler. Yesterday, I brainstormed a list of possible words, and that list included such words as "trust," "patience," "enough," and "fortitude," which are all good words.

Needless to say, I ended up choosing one not on the list at all. Haha. Or rather, it chose me.

You see, yesterday I discovered a journal that I kept for a few months at the beginning of 2012. I usually hate re-reading this kind of thing (I can't explain why), but I decided to flip through it yesterday. In doing so, I stumbled across some entries about an old relationship that ended in a way that really hurt me, and I remember that pain. But I almost laugh now because what I basically wrote was how I just wanted what everyone else had. Something normal. Just a normal life.


I know myself so much better now, and I know that ordinary and normal would never work. I wasn't made for that life. (See: drunk, and in charge of a bicycle.) As hard as it is to keep hoping sometimes, I think that deep in my heart I really do believe that something wonderful will happen. Maybe this year! :) So, my word for 2016 is ...

Because I am. And I need to remember that all the time.

It's a word I love because it seems to be a contradiction in a way. For example, if I said I was "extra tired" or "extra hungry" or "extra sad" I would mean I was really tired, really hungry, and really sad. But when I say "extraordinary," I don't mean I'm really ordinary, I mean just the opposite. Words, man. :) I love them. And they are my business (much like Rumplestiltskin), as I tell my students as I teach them Language Arts.

So tonight, tonight I celebrate being drunk, and in charge of a bicycle, not knowing where I'm off to next. But knowing that the trip will be exactly one half terror, exactly one half exhilaration -- extraordinary.

I just poured myself a glass of champagne, but not just any glass of champagne. (Extraordinary, remember?) A glass that is wearing a tutu given to me by my good friend Sarah, with a wine tag attached, given to me by my friend Colleen. And since "extraordinary" wasn't an available wine tag choice, I chose the next best thing: formidable.

Because I am.

I hope you have a year that is full of whatever you want. I hope all your dreams come true, and it's your best year yet. But if it's not, I also hope that you remember that it's best to believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

And so I'm off to drink my champagne and continue my textversation with my bestie Colleen. I also have my Czech 1 Koruna coin ready to throw out at midnight. My mom always made us throw pennies, but I thought throwing out a Koruna this year couldn't hurt and maybe that means I'll get back to Europe in 2016. :) Oh, and I'm also enjoying the classic movie It's a Wonderful Life, which just so happens to be on TV right now on one of the very few channels I get. Coincidence? Of course not.

It's extraordinary.

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