Triumph is, as a noun, a victory or achievement. As a verb, it means to achieve a victory or to be successful. Above all, triumph implies an inherent obstacle, an adversary.
In many ways, last year felt as if it were loaded only with obstacles, with very few triumphs scattered throughout. Obstacles seemed to crop up at every opportunity: school demands, depression, relationships, insecurities, family issues, diagnoses, tragedies. But it would be untruthful and ungrateful to refuse to acknowledge the triumphs as well: love, friendship, fulfillment, service, success, reward for hard work and countless hours in the library, family, returning home.
To some degree, the year veered wildly from obstacle to success and back again. My emotional weather vane seemed to pivot accordingly, swinging from mild-tempered to despair to the unadulterated high of pure desire. I wish I could say that I have left those sea changes behind me, but instead I feel that this year will only promise more of the same. Too many of the obstacles from last year still hold their tentacles on this year as well. Grandpa's chemo beat back the cancer with a vengeance, but depression has robbed him of his sense of worth and a desire to live. Boards loom like a specter of doom, hanging over my head until June 9th. I have battled with my own myriad insecurities and I have no doubt that the fight will continue. My relationships have shifted significantly in the last year, and the direction they will take this year is as much a mystery as they would have been had I tried to predict them a year ago. My uncle's heart is in desperate need of exchange, and we have nothing to do but wait.
I believe in the power of thought, though--that what you think about becomes manifested in your life. I want this year to hold true to its promises (promises that I confess I have extracted without mercy): to live meaningfully, to better my health, to earn my successes, to let go of fear, to be open, to be grateful, to humble myself, to reflect, to grow.
Here's a salute to the old year, and a welcome to the new.