Saturday, December 31, 2011


Last New Years I counted down on a beach in Key West. I kissed a boy who took my breath away and jumped into a freezing pool with all of my clothes on. I was 22 and a few years younger.

This year I stood on a 5 story rooftop in Bangladesh. I had a cup of scotch in my hand and looked over a candle-lit city. The family in a roof below me stretched out a blanket and sat in a circle sharing food, eating with their hands.

Bulbul and Neelu ran up just in time for the 30 second count down. We clinked drinks and drank to the new year and to being alive and to the countless times over the past 6 months we thought “Where am I?”

So that’s it for 2011. Nevermore.

I had my head down for most of the year studying in graduate school to finish successfully and to get a good internship. But I surfaced for a few times. In a deep red canyon in the Negev Desert in Jerusalem. On top of a mountaintop in Nepal. Seconds before salsa dancing for the entire school. Getting lost in a 3am romantic blizzard in NY. Singing on a rooftop in Baltimore with some of the greatest new friends. Pulsing and losing myself in a Girl Talk concert. These are the moments I felt awake.

I meditated, I ate sweets, I wrote down my new year resolutions and I sang Auld Lang Syne.

The greatest compliment anyone ever gave me was

“Chelsea, you know how to bring the sanctity to the commonplace and to create your own celebration.”

And that’s all I can hope to do for the rest of my life. I’m here in a country that doesn’t understand my traditions or celebrate my holidays but I’ve learned to observe them to myself.

Isn’t that the answer?

2012: Bring the happiness and holiness to ourselves because we’re the only ones who will be there until the end.

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