Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Life of a Year

-Eliot Sill

Now today I was going to write another good piece about something or another, but I'm really f&%king tired, so we'll save that for another day.

Thats the other blog I wrote today. I was busy as shit for 15 straight hours. For my sigh of exhalation I get to do this.

As December rolled around, I noticed an immediate change. Something was different about the month. It was cold, like last week. There wasn't any snow yet, like last week. Yet something was inherently different. It was more... peaceful.

December is a month of reflection on the year's best and appreciation and commemoration to how far we've come in the last 12 months. That got me thinking...

Thinking back to January.

January is a rebirth on so many levels. New Years Resolutions, new trends to look for, everything that's new is identified with a new year. But you don't really have a grasp yet on what's in store for that year. You just kind of lolligag along, waiting for the next event to come so you can pass time. The weather is incoherent, being cold, being snowy, but often not at the same time. It just kind of comes and goes. Januaries are hard to remember. They're not usually notable, but they're cold and generally unpleasant.

A new year is born.

That's right. The year is a lot like the human life. Some seem shorter than others, some seem longer. Some are better, some are worse. Each one is memorable for certain things, but never is one a repeat of another. January is the outset of life. The infantile stage. The year is just a baby. It's not what you want to be, but it happens every year. And some years it's beautiful, other times it's forgettable.

Turn the calendar a page and you'll find February, the shortest stage of life. The toddler stage. The year starts to utilize its legs and you sort of can start thinking in a true perspective, but at the same time, you know there are a whole ten months before your year will wane. So much time, hell you don't even start that New Year's Resolution yet. You can drop that twenty by the end of December. Sure. You can do anything you want.

Then, all of a sudden, March appears. We think we know the year by now. What kind of year is it going to be? Hm, well since we're a quarter of the way through let's predict things that are ridiculous and random. This would be the equivalent of the young stage, when you first enter school through about fourth grade. You think you have friends. You think you love some girl. You think you can tell that this year's going to suck. Or that we'll still care what Xavier did in the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year. Little do we know then, it'll all be forgotten. You forget those things, what you did when you were little, as you grow old. The same's true with the following: the Saints and Colts in the Super Bowl, Butler nearly beating Duke in the NCAA championship, Alabama winning it all in football? And you may be thinking that I can only think of sports for this analogy. Well eff you. Maybe I'm only using sports because they're cyclical and go by years. Like years do. Like life does.

By the time April comes, you're out of the mindset of it being a new year. Just like when you hit middle school you're through believing that you're a little kid. You're a big kid now. you go back and visit your elementary school (for those of you who were raised in Catholic schools, suck it, this part clearly isn't for you) and act like a big kid who's making a name for himself, when in reality, you still look to dominate on the playground, just as you did then. You're not older, and the year's not old. The best of's haven't come out yet. Quit trying to claim you've heard the best album you'll hear all year. But at the same time, on another front of this analogy, the weather is warming up. You have a clearer idea of what is going on in the world. The skies are clearer, there's a bit of rain here and there, but hell, at least it's bearable to even BE outside. The weather allows you to expand your activities outdoors, just as middle school allows you to go hang out with friends and even (gasp) talk to girls.

When May hits you can taste it. Independence. Freedom. Summer. This I equate to high school. It's maybe the prettiest month of the year, on it's better days. Just like some high school days can be the funnest you have. On it's bad days though it's still rainy and at the end of the day you still have a curfew. Whether you obey it or not just depends on how much of a bitch you are. F&#K PARENTS. YEAH. (Except the ones who read their kids' blog posts. Must I include this disclaimer every time I make a shot at adult living? Cleeearly I'm joking people, cool your jets.) May is a beautiful thing. High school can be. You're still innocent. Everything that happens that is bad is a learning experience. You're not at the point yet where you can start fucking things up. (That time I said it. I only do so when I mean it, guys.) It's a sort of carefree world. It's nice. It was nice.

Then June comes. SUMMER. FREEDOM. INDEPENDENCE. All in the palm of your hands. In my life, it's June. You can act without having to answer to your parents, but at the same time, you have to watch out. Because this is where you can start to dig yourself a hole. The weather is lovely. Not too damn hot. Just good enough to go sleeveless with shorts. The world is yours for the taking. This month is the most open month of the year. Kinda like how these college days are the most open years of my life. You see how this is matching up quite decently?

Now with the rest of the year from here on out, I lack actual experience. So it's time to guess a little bit I suppose.

July. July is the twilight, sort of June's reflection. The best days are behind you, but it's still damn good. I mean out of college until you're like 34. Or 35. You are making your way in the world and don't yet have a clear path in life. You realize that your life has taken shape, much like the year, but that there's still plenty of time left to change the way things are. The weather is like last month, but slightly worse. Just as the feeling of having your own apartment and a job is similar to having your own apartment and a ton of classes. And a job. Only difference? You're no longer going up, but rather lofting at the peak of your arch. And by peak of your arch I mean your life. Get it?

This is followed by August, a worsening of those previous years. You start to feel your feet weld themselves to the ground. Your life is set. If you aren't finding a niche now, you need to get in gear. I consider this ages 35-49 (we'll see what I consider it when I get there). The age where you're still kind of young, but you feel old. You can still do most of the same things you could when you were younger, but just not as well. Kind of like how the weather in August sometimes burns as if the atmosphere had turned to magnifying glass, but other days it feels nice and reminds you of June. Somedays, during this period, ya feel old, other days, you feel young.

September is a beautiful thing. It's typically warm. But at the same time, it's comfortable and you can the feel the decline beginning. I consider this 50-65 anymore (as the average age keeps increasing), you can still run, maybe, when you need to. But let's face it, you need a new mindset. You're an old guy. Hyperbolize. Call yourself a geezer and folks will give you credit. Just how people say the year's almost ending in September before some poor sap reminds them that there are three valuable months left to be had. This time is one of comfort and yet freedom. PEAK midlife crisis age. You aim for that last gasp of freedom before you become stuck in the decline towards your death.

That decline, friends, is what October is all about. Almost. It's the golden years. The trees turn the color of a sunset, fittingly, and you start thinking on what a year it's been while simultaneously living out the remainder of bearable days left. (PS to the people out of the midwest reading this, your weather's different. I get it. Forgive me.) You're not fully in look back mode yet, but you know that these days are the last nice days of the year.

Then November comes. November is cancer. It's whatever it is that makes you never the same. It's that horrible rotten disease that leads to your downfall and makes your last days painful and full of stress. You wish everything could go back to how it was and don't understand why these types of months exist. The weather becomes frigid and you haven't adjusted body temperatures yet so it's doubly worse. Doubly doubly worse. And you can't get past the fact that just two months ago the world was so bright and now a constant smearing of gray covers the sky like a blanket pinned up to your ceiling that blocks the light that you know you have installed up there. You know it's supposed to be bright. It usually is. But it's not. By the way, I have no doubt in my mind I will die in November. One year I'll just quit. I will run out of things to live for and cough myself to death. It will be painful, but I will look back to this post and emit a warm smile as I spitefully take in my last breath.

So where does that leave us with December? At peace. The birds are done complaining about the shitty weather, they've all moved onward. The earth is still, and the snow falls daintily enough to make you forget that your ears hurt from being frozen. It's funny, how still the world becomes on a frozen December nice. Almost like a picture, or a commemorative portrait. (Every sentence in this blog post, if read in reality to somebody, would end in an elbow bumping and then me saying, "eh? Ehh? C'monn, you see what I'm sayin'?" and whoever was listening want to punch my face until it changed colors. I don't blame you for disliking this post.) There's this funeral we give for the year. The best of's, the worst of's. We label everything so we know each aspect of this year's life. We don't want to forget it, so we chronicle it. But during the last couple days of December, you hear whispers through the wind... "I hear father time is pregnant with another year.."

Well, folks, let's just hope this next one's a girl.

No context. Just hope it's a girl.


--Eliot Sill


  1. Eliot, did something happen to you in Novembers past? I'm starting to get a little concerned.

  2. Yeah I was starting to feel weird that I enjoyed November this year.