I stand silently, my stomach in knots. I’m sickened with the feeling of being alone on a desolate island. It’s twelve midnight. Don’t get me wrong, I’m standing in the middle of a pretentious and loud New Year’s Eve party. How can someone be so alone in a sea of people? The music thumps vibrating my ears while wealthy partiers and the many want-to-be’s mingle around pretend gaming tables.
I’m sporting a new suit that would make James Bond envious. The vodka has been flowing but unbeknownst to anyone, an hour ago I switched to soda water with an accompanying lime. As tradition dictates, I should be half-heartedly kissing my long-time companion to feign love But I’m not. My friends around me think they see happiness and joy but the hidden reality is my heart yearns for another.
Love has always eluded me. I once loved a woman so deeply if Shakespeare were alive today, he’d rewrite Romeo and Juliet to mirror our story. She is long gone, and her memory seems like ten lifetimes ago. To find Excellence in love is my greatest challenge this year, and it’s wrought with perilous pitfalls. It’s also where I hold the least hope because I love someone that doesn’t love me back.
I struggle to enjoy the party. I want terribly to rush home and rest in final preparation for the next 365 chapters of this new year, but that’s not feasible without being rude to my friends.
I’m embroiled in this strange mixture of excitement and sadness over what’s to come. I’ve move to a balcony and stand alone outside overlooking a serene landscape that reminds me of my childhood. With my eyes open, I silently offer a short prayer requesting wisdom to make the best decisions this year, courage to carry out those decisions and guidance in my search for Excellence.
I’m reminded of one off my favorite quotes,
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
Tomorrow it’s time to run. I grow apprehensiveness at the daunting task that lay before me. Will I quit in a couple of weeks like other projects I’ve started and failed to finish? Will Excellence elude me leaving my only discovery to be another failure? Will I ever find someone who loves me as much as I love them? It’s time to take my seat on life’s roller coaster and buckle up.