January 4, 2012

This is going to be your year

You will finally understand the hash tag. You will get the tennis shoes, Xbox, phone, automobile or dentures that will catch you up among your peers. You will fall in love.

Your hairstyle is going to come back into fashion. You will win a late-night argument about the hottest three men in Hollywood, and your list will not include Justin Timberlake. Your Check Engine light will come on, but it’ll cost less than $39 to fix the problem.

A zombie apocalypse will result in the death of everyone you’ve ever loved, but it will turn out to have been just a dream. Science is going to find a cure for your mustache. The IT department will invite you to go to lunch with them, but you will develop a painful toothache and have to rush to the dentist. It will turn out to have been only a stray piece of popcorn, and the hygienist will turn out to have been gorgeous.

This is going to be your year. You’re going to have the fortitude to stop overeating, watching Rachel Maddow, surfing while driving and trying to be everything to everyone. Slow walkers and close talkers are going to stop bothering you. Your ex is going to star in a YouTube video, falling up an escalator. Four words: Goodbye Windows, hello Apple.

You’re going to stop taking the path of least resistance, which is going to improve your standard of living, possibly because you’re going to get a better job or because you’re going to stop investing so much in your masturbation addiction.

This is going to be your year. You will heed the words of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, a devout Stoic, who said, “Say to yourself in the early morning, ‘I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and evil … I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry.’”

You will get the monkey off your back. You will get the monkey off your back. You will get the monkey off your back.

You will learn something profound from a 13-year-old. It won’t seem profound at first, but later, and for the rest of your life, you will think, wow. You will stop worrying so much. You will go for a long hike in the woods alone and talk out loud to yourself about yourself, and you will be honest this time. You will discover a set of lips that will cause you to rethink the whole concept of lipness.

You are going to dominate words with friends. Not the Scrabble game, but the real-life one, the one that involves talking to people honestly and with compassion. You will give and so you will get.

This is going to be your year. You will heed the words of American poet and philosopher Frank Zappa, who said, “Progress is not possible without deviation from the norm.” You will also heed this nugget of advice from professor Zappa about assholes: “You might pretend you ain’t got one on the bottom of you. But don’t fool yourself.”

You will eschew small talk and rediscover large talk. Soybeans, Omega-3 and celery root will spark your creativity and make hip-hop, algebra and silence more accessible to you, while exposing the limitations of football, politics and religion. You will show the world the beauty of the real you. Not the Facebook you or the war-paint you or the PowerPoint you, but the you that purrs like a lion at the core of your soul.

You will discover a new muscle. You will find your wings. You will address your fears. You will travel to a forbidding destination, full of scary people with strange customs and come away thinking, “Hey, Fairdale’s not so bad after all.”

A favorite appliance will stop working, which will bring you sorrow at first but its mute mocking will become a beacon to you: It’s game time. This is the year you’ve been practicing for. This is why you shot all those free throws. This is why you conjugated all those verbs. This is why you sang into the hairbrush in front of the mirror. All that hard work is about to pay off. This is going to be your year.