Turning the Calendar Page

Looking back on a decade full of highs and lows, hurts and hopes, loves—both lost and unrequited.

by Samantha “Sam”  Foster

2011—really? I actually cannot believe it! It seems like yesterday the world was celebrating the turn of the millennia. I was a junior in college, and the 21st century was a blank canvas of potential. What would I do as the calendar years turned from ones to twos? How would life change?
As Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter would do the famous “In the Year 2000” bit each night, I too had ideas running through my brain of what the year 2000 and beyond would bring, both in my professional and personal life. Fast forward 10 years of a successful career, more than 10 pounds around my ass and thighs and just a little under 10 facial wrinkles, and here I am. As I start the next chapter, I look back on 3650 days full of highs and lows, hurts and hopes, loves—both lost and unrequited—and of course, I look at me, the single Sam. What have I learned that will now take me into the next decade of blank potential? Where, my fellow singles, will it take you?
The beauty of it all is—who the hell knows? Blank slates are amazing, wonderful things. Of course I look at my happily married friends who have loving spouses, amazing children and are settled into a daily life routine, and I think, “Gee, that looks awesome!” And, it does. And, it is! And, trust me, I want that life someday more than anyone. However, that is not my life at present. My life —and the lives of so many guys and girls I know—has a giant question mark in many, many aspects on a daily basis.
I realize that nothing is guaranteed to anyone, not even to the settled down. But for singles, there is that added “what does the future hold and who does it hold” with which we contend. This pervasive thought sits beside us at dinners where we are surrounded by couples. It smiles at us at weddings as we watch two people begin a journey together as a family. It taps us on the shoulder as we hold one of our friend’s newborns. It toasts us at holidays. Helps us blow out our birthday candles. Tucks us in at night.
And I resolve, as the New Year begins (and all my singles should do the same) to smile right back. There may be a question mark, but I know that in that myriad of “what’s out there?”—a great adventure awaits me.
I and all my fellow singles have a black slate, an empty canvas. As we move into 2011, it’s a perfect time to remember that, though daunting, the singles’ “unknown” is also an exciting thing. Just think! We have chances to apply the lessons we’ve learned in life and love as training blocks, taking them with us in the next 365 and beyond! So what if you and I have done some really dumb stuff and made some really not–so–awesome mistakes? All of it has brought us to where we are today. And I don’t know about you, but I know a great deal more now than I ever did in the year 2000.
So, Birmingham singles, despite anything that has transpired in your last decade, and even if you’ve had your share of seemingly meaningless disappointments, screw ups, disses, lost loves, hookups, freak outs, crying spells—just remember, the past decade has brought you here. And from here, you can paint your canvas however you see fit. Use the colors you’ve mixed well, and I assure you, you are going to be one hell of an artist in life, in friendship, and, yes, even in love. Happy New Year!

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