2022 was full of good memories: Each second that passes connects the past to the future
At the end of every year, I think about the past twelve months broadly, widely, with a zoomed-out perspective, and I marvel at how those twelve months could possibly have gone by so fast. I think back to the minute, the second, always fixed in my memory, when New Year’s Eve changed to New Year’s Day, really no different from any other minute or second but for the monumental significance it carries in that it is the last minute or second of the old year, or the first of the new one.
Then I look forward, and I wonder at how, in twelve months, the year which right now seems to stretch out in a vast expanse that far exceeds my sight will feel like the previous year does now. I wonder at this, and yet I know.
For me, the moments each year when I have these thoughts are the same across time: each year, I return to that same moment, and it’s a connection with my past and future selves. And so, each year, I come to the same conclusion. When I think about the year in a disconnected, far-off way, it feels like a blur, like those twelve months could have happened in two weeks save for the different seasons in which the scattered memories are set.
To really feel the memories, to remember them as they truly happened, I have to get closer. I have to remember the feelings tied to the images, whether those feelings lasted an hour, a day, or a week. The feelings are the connections that allow my memories to flow throughout the past year as winter faded into spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, and fall to winter again.
When I get close enough to the memory to remember the feeling, that is when I am zoomed in too far to see all the memories at once. That is when the memories feel big enough to have spanned twelve months. And because they, of course, did span twelve months, I believe this immersion in feeling, this closeness to the memories, is the right way to think about them, for it gives the most realistic impression of what they were and how they happened.
So, every year, when I return to this moment, sharing it with my past and future selves, I know that when I come back to it at the end of the year, I want to have plenty to remember.
I want to make the next year as full of good things as possible, full of memories, and full of feeling. I start the new year with this in mind.
Happy New Year to all!
Anna Janowski is a teen volunteer at the Beaverton City Library (grade 12). Outside of school, she likes to read, write, play softball and the trumpet.