As I sit at the island of the kitchen inside my spouse's parents' home in Pheonix, AZ, there is celebration in the air. Not the typical cheer I had formerly associated in my younger days, definitely not the "party hard" or "whoo-hoo" type of sentiment. Instead there's multiple quiet, civil, and jovial conversations going on throughout the room. Each discussion is interesting and worthwhile in their own right, yet I am not apart of any of them.
I am the man lingering in the shadows. While others talk and drink and laugh, I sit and write so I might remember how happy I was in the years to come. I hear "how long 'til supper?" somewhere among the background noise and "did you see my new motorcycle?" somewhere else. The only pause between conversations is the high pitched laughs of my friends and family. I can know that this is a night to remember, yet I can only imagine that this will be the least eventful New Year's Eve celebration I've ever been apart of. There will be no drama, no fights, no excessive drunkenness but these are the only memories worth having.
On the television John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever begins to "groove" and some of us attempt to imitate. I give it a try. Immediately I switch to 80's era moonwalking and my ol' standby, the robot. My girlfriend pushes racks of food and snacks into the oven preparing for the feast ahead. More friends and family begin to come out of the woodwork. Arguments ensue about the motorcycle ride they took earlier in the day while the dog begins to beg incessantly.
It's eleven o'clock and no one is wondering how long until the big moment. This might be what, in my childhood, I thought growing up would entail. To be entirely honest, I cannot be sure if this moment qualifies since I still don't know if I'm an adult myself but regardless, I am incredibly happy.
I feel no need to conduct a year in review because this experience sums it all up nicely. I am not sure how I've grown, or where I've succeeded, nor is any of that information necessary. The people I'm with and the experiences we share together are the only measures of success that have ever and will ever matter.
On this night, I might be the most successful man that ever lived.