What did I do today? I woke up, to an alarm that I thought was an annoying song on repeat in my dream. I stopped the alarm, looked at the window and continued sleeping, trying to pick up from where I left off now that the annoyance was gone. After 3 more hours, the third alarm woke me. While searching for the phone, my eyes met another pair across the room. I thought I was alone but apparently not. A full second staring at the intruder was enough to get me out of bed. I am not used to waking to the look of myself. I still wonder why this Airbnb place has 3 mirrors in one room.
“What I’ve learned from a mirror;– Jacob Banks, Slow Up | Village
look too hard and you find you a stranger”
It is almost inevitable to reflect on the events of the past year during New Year’s Eve. You can avoid it if you choose to but for the most part, it would be quite the challenge. This is especially true when almost everyone you see is hurling the same words in all directions wherever you go. Chief among them; “Happy New Year!” in public areas and “Resolutions” in private conversations. The former, as a wish or greeting. The latter, jokingly. We all know resolutions are so 2000.
Waking up was not all I did today. I went on a little adventure to find the Hidden Garden Steps of San Francisco. It was a breath-taking experience. Yes, I was out of breath after climbing hundreds of steps and yes, I was blown away by the unexpectedly amazing view of the Bay Area from the Grand View Park. The park is an oval of greenery, moss-covered rocks and tall, old trees that rose high and oversaw the west side of the Bay. Looking at the stunning scenery from the peak, I thought to myself that this would be the perfect location to truly reflect on the past 365 days. I thought of nothing.
I became more aware of the present. I could smell the dampness and the earth. The air was fresh and chilly. The setting sun felt good on my eyelids. The birds? I listened hard and heard two different chirps. The hooomans, were obviously intruding their space. It was magical and I relished it. Leaving was difficult. I took pictures, short videos, smiled at tourists and sat on a fallen tree trunk to fully take in the view but I did not reflect on anything in the past.
The past is but what it is—past. Trying hard to remember specific events yielded nothing, except for the realization that the me, at the moment, sitting on the old trunk was the culmination of my past. I don’t really need to reflect on myself, I thought. I just need to look forward, focus on the now and just be.