Ten years ago, I was in Times Square on New Year's Eve to watch The Phantom of the Opera with my sister. At the end of the show, the cast sang Auld Lang Syne.
Then a few days after that, I arrived at Heathrow airport in London to begin my home-stay in Swansea, Wales. Then, I few days after that, I settled into my dorm room (at what was then Trinity College) in Carmarthen to spend the entire semester there.
Ten years ago, I started exhibiting the first signs of what would later be diagnosed as bipolar disorder. Ten years ago, my father and grandfather were still alive and their deaths seemed far enough away that I didn't even think about it.
A lot has happened over the past ten years, and if I were to speak to my past self, the old me would be surprised where I ended up at. Not disappointed; not unhappy; just surprised. Even though I didn't take the expected path, I still managed to accomplish some things that were very important to me (especially with writing) and I'm proud of where I am today.
I look forward to this new year, and I look forward to the time when, in 2024, I'll remember all of the wonderful and challenging things I'll have been through. Will I still accomplish what I've set out to do, even if I take a different route to get there?
Anyway, I wish all of you a bright and happy new year!