I moved a large marble table to get the perfect framing. I moved the lever back and forth endlessly until I was certain the focus was perfect. But when I pulled the tab on the polaroid, the film came out sliding on the emulsion and a gooey, unfortunate, light-leaking mess.
Not so perfect.
On New Year’s Day, an informal survey of Facebook status updates revealed that 2009 was not all that popular. A year that could “eat me,” in some circles. A year worthy of warnings to not the let door slam its ass on the way out. That sort of year. But in between the you-suck’s and middle fingers, came a quieter and more gentle voice. An “I liked you, 2009″ and “You were one of my favorites.”
Me, I stand firmly on the sidelines, not knowing what to think. In many ways, I feel the dizzying blur of having been spun from the hand of my dance partner to the edge of the dance floor after a very, very long night of dancing. For me, 2009 was busy and in constant flux, unpredictable and tiring. But in that constant flow of change, I was consistently thrust into the arms of another, better opportunity. Almost effortlessly, just like a dance.
It would have been perfect if only I wasn’t working so much. If only I’d had a few more weeks of vacation, a few more stops along the way and seen a few more familiar faces. If only there had been fewer hiccups and shifting sands. A few more deep breaths. If only there had been a little more time to do the things I set out to do when the year began. But then there was Tokyo. And great new opportunity. And many familiar faces. And my heart wide, wide open.
It was a year that didn’t feel very perfect at the time. But here I am standing precisely one million miles from where I stood in January 2009, and for that alone, the past year looks pretty perfect to me.