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It’s Not a Long December Anymore

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For years, I seemed to hear Counting Crows’ song “Long December” at the end of each year—either by choice or by chance. Each time, it led me to reflect on the past year and whether it was truly a long December or not.

Over the years, it’s been interesting to think back and recall the events of the past year and determine if, as the song says, “a long December and there is reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.”

Years ago, when it was a long December, I remember listening to the song and focusing on lyrics like, “It’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls.” I think that my life felt less directed, and less like I was in charge. I felt like I spent a lot of time reacting to things, but rarely affecting them. I didn’t really have any control over where I was going, but spent my time trying to get my bearings once I figured out my surroundings.

The one lyric that has always been the hardest to hear is, “I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.” I’ve always been the kind of person who has a hard time missing things. I am terrified that if I make one choice, I’ll miss out on another. It’s taken me years to realize that I need to embrace the choices I make, if for no other reason than I will miss out on what is truly happening to me because I am so concerned about what I’m not experiencing.

For the past few years, I can honestly say that this hasn’t been the case. Especially this year—it’s been a year of firsts, really. I spent an entire year in grad school. I got engaged to a wonderful man, someone I’m very excited to spend the rest of my life with. I helped raise a puppy. I stopped worrying as much about saying no, and started doing the things that make me happy, and that get me where I want to be.

At this point, the lyric that’s the most appropriate has become “It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean, guess I should.” And I will, in a few days. I can’t wait.

What song defines your year? What song would you rather have define your year?

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