#2017BestNine – #NoFilter

We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence, another ‘Auld Lang Syne’

Dan Fogelberg

Like any good millennial after a Saturday night out, I was scrolling through Instagram this morning, viewing new posts and rewatching stories from the night before. But today’s a little different because it’s New Years Eve, and those #2017BestNine posts are flooding my feed.

I was curious about my own most popular Instagram posts from the past year, so I went through the process of creating my collage (it’s really easy, just click here). But as I started to post it and write something about how it sums up my year — there’s pictures of me at concerts, with friends, with my dog, visiting some of my favorite places, and holding my childhood bestie’s new baby — I paused.

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Those have all been highlights of this year. True, I’ve attended more concerts than I can remember, made new friends and spent time with old ones, (re)lived in Chicago and revisited my old Southern California stomping grounds. But those are simply highlights. They don’t tell the full story of 2017. And without wading in the mire, I can tell you that this year hasn’t been an easy one. Over the past 12 months, I’ve felt scared, sad, betrayed, lonely, frustrated, angry, cynical… sometimes all at once, and sometimes for days (or weeks) at a time.

This is my one and only life. And it’s a great and terrible and short and endless thing, and none of us come out of it alive.

—P.S. I Love You

However, unless I were feeling super emo (and trust me, I’ve listened to enough Dashboard Confessional over the years to earn that description), those feelings and moments don’t really lend themselves to Instagram-worthy pics. They’re not in my best nine; they’re not recorded anywhere at all. Maybe that’s a good thing because it means when I look back at these photos, I’m only seeing the happy times. But it’s the times I’ve been scared, sad, betrayed, lonely, frustrated, angry or cynical that have helped me become brave, happy, faithful, confident, determined, amiable and hopeful.

What’s funny is that it’s those (shitty) experiences that actually, once I’ve come out the other side, have created the opportunity for beautiful memories that I do want to capture. Maybe it’s because I’m more appreciative. Maybe it’s because I can recognize those times and those people better than I could have before. Whatever it is, when the clock strikes midnight tonight, I’m going to be cheersing to that — to all the times that didn’t make it into my #2017BestNine… that will ultimately help me find the best moments in the coming year.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

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