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The Decade From Hell

Since I think time is circular and just an attempt for humanity to cut it up into chunks the better to administer everyday life, I’ve never taken the New Year’s holiday seriously. But I’m all for parties and am quick to agree that humanity needs diversions in order to cope with the harshness of reality and the loss of small battles every day. As the last day of the Gregorian calendar winds down under heavy cloud cover and new snow on the American Eastern seaboard, I have to find something over the past ten years to be happy about. It’s been roundly called the Decade From Hell and no one here is pretending it was all daisies and buttercups.

Over the last ten years, I left my miserable home town for the big city. I paid off my student loans. I started making decent money. I traveled a lot. The concert at Slane was one of the greatest things I’ve ever witnessed ever. I will never forget it. On the same trip, I actually made it to Wales, becoming one of the only people I have ever met outside of Britain who has ever been there.

I rediscovered Italy and now consider Rome one of my homes away from home. I learned the spoken form of the language. At the midpoint of the decade, I did what I’d been saying since college. I got a job in the OR and now work in the hyperkinetic atmosphere of a level 1 trauma center as calmly as others punch timecards. I continued going to concerts, up close, and traveling. I’ve pushed my cooking skills into another echelon entirely. The Food Network and other movements have transformed American cuisine once again and Philadelphia’s food scene has got stratospheric.

As the decade draws to a close, I’m revising the most promising novel I have ever written and I have finally seen South America. I own real estate and my money accounts have blossomed. And don’t forget the Adonis. Talk about a catalyst.

In the midst of everyone losing money and alarming job reports, continue onward. Everyone always thinks what they’re living through is the worst time and it only seems to be because it’s real to you. The past was just as bad, don’t forget history, yet people still got through it. People get through it. Don’t wallow. Don’t be careless.

Keep calm and carry on.

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