Dear 2017

Dear 2017,

I don't know what to think of you. 20 days after you start, a brand new President will take office. The world is going to change--it already has, really, and I'll have to wade through confusing waters ahead.

Our President-elect seems focused on putting America first, which is fine, however this new way of thinking comes at a time when all I want to do is travel the world. Our planet fascinates me--more specifically, its people.

I'm a 23-year-old in the middle of all this.

My Dad tells me I'll be 30 before I know it, but all I can keep focusing on is you, 2017. Will you be as great as 2016 was for me? Will I finally break through and become financially independent? Will I go to Ireland and South America and maybe even Hawaii like I plan to do?

Will I have a falling out with some more of my friends? Will I make new ones? Will I learn anything profoundly new about myself? Will I fall in love?

The promise of a new year.

I can't head into you scared like this. I guess all I can do is try not to compare you to this year. This wonderful year that will forever be known as 2016, the year I got to road trip across the United States.

If we keep living our lives like a giant scorecard, checking off what we did and didn't do in a certain period of time, then we lose all the meaning that comes with it.

So what do I do with you?

I guess I'll have blind hope. Not just in my new President-elect, but in the people around me that forgive me, love me, and want to spend their time with me.

2017 is a year. It's a measure of time. When someone spends time with you what they've really done is cut out a piece of their life to be with you and only you for a moment.

It's kind of the ultimate sacrifice. And like 2016, 2017 will be a year of spending time with friends and strangers.

Despite what's happening around me, I'll still look outward and put my faith in those around me.

It's easy to get hurt once or twice in your life by those close to you and then get cynical about things. I won't let that happen.

2016 was kind of like the first Rocky movie for me. I realized that I can stand up to life and forge my own path and do something spectacular. But 2017 is when I plan to get the knockout. Do you hear that? I'm coming for you.

I could be scared about turning one year older, or my new President, or falling short of my goals, but I won't.

I punched back in 2016, and to my surprise my opponent returned with a few bruises because of it.

So, 2017, here's what I have to say to you.

You're going to bring me a lot of grief. There's going to be stress, I'm going to feel lost, and I'm going to think back to the year before you.

I may run into hard times with friends and family. I may treat people harshly, or overreact to things. I will have regrets. I will wonder what the silver lining is.

I'll turn 24, and while I don't expect to have some eureka moment on March 30, I expect the days and months after will slowly change my perspective.

After all, I'm only talking about numbers here--manmade measurements of time to be more exact. If I think of it that way then 2017 doesn't really exist at all.

My story will simply continue forward into the blank pages of the universe.

I never had much use for man-made limitations anyway. Lately I've wanted to defy expectations and rules, and I guess I'll just continue doing that when the new year comes.

There is no you, 2017, just a continuation of my story. Nothing will change when I wake up on January 1st, but by the time I go to bed on December 31st of next year, I bet that'll be a different story.

Dear 2017, I'm coming for you. I'll bury the memories in 2016, and look towards the future with a heartful of hope. That's all I can do. That's all any of us can do.

Like what you read? Find more of Tom's writing at The Post-Grad Survival Guide. You can also follow him on Instagram, or give his Facebook page a like to keep up with what he's doing. You can also follow him on Twitter, Youtube, or Vimeo, as well as cut out the middle-man to read his blog.