Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail.
In 2020, it were the moment(s) when I was creating. In 2019, it was the moment that I realized that he was actually…alive and whole. In 2018, it was the moment that we realized that the car would start. In 2017, it was the moment (or moments) that I deeply connected with a group I had just met at a conference where I thought I would have been antisocial (or just horribly socially anxious). In 2016, it was the moment that I felt in the flow in telling the story of Ice Cream Travel Guide. In 2015, it was the moments after my hat was “stolen” in Rio. In 2014, it was a moment in a writing workshop that I had achieved greatness. In 2013, it was talking to Yasar Usta in Istanbul. In 2012, it was using the ocean as a “big toilet” while floating outside Palawan. In 2011, it was my birthday moment. In 2010, it was the success in Journey to the End to the Night.
Each time that I finished creating something for really myself—the wedding invite video, the Thanksgiving video, and the annual holiday video. And maybe even when I finally saw my How to Grieve essay out in the world. I would run around the apartment, finding Chris and tell him about it.
“Look, I finished!” I said. “Look!”
When it was low stakes, especially for the videos, I felt a sense of pride. This ultimate creation. I am so proud of it. When I finished the wedding invite video, all the tension, all the planning, all of it just washed away. It was that moment of—I can’t wait until all of you see it.
And of course, some pat myself on the back type ones—I can’t believe that I was clever to come up with this. I can’t believe that it looks so good! I can’t believe that it actually achieved the effect that I wanted.
I remember sitting down in front of my computer—fretting over whether I had the right clips, studying the source video to sync as much as possible with the low-level editing quality of iMovie, figuring out how to made the partial opacity during the wave scene, and worried that I was missing some footage. But it worked out so well. And I was able to stuff some old footage.
And of course, there was the hard part of putting it actually into the messaging—plugging it into the website and incorporating the email. But it worked out.