2011 was a hell of a year…

As with many years, it hadn’t really started off fresh, but rather half-charred thanks to what had occurred in the previous year. That’s the funny thing about time as perceived by humans, everything is built on the past. More often than not, the New Year is messed up before it has even begun.

It’s kind of like parenting in that regard, I guess.

I’ve always found the idea of time a strange concept to grasp for some reason. I know what it is, I know how it works, we’ve all grown up with a very specific version of time and a very specific vision of what the passing of time means for us as humans. It’s a difficult thought to manage, but I often wonder what it would be like to live without constructed time. How would it affect us to not see numbers and associate them with the passing of hours? What would our society be like without time? Would we have got to where we are now without it?

One of the most important facets of dealing with human-calculated time is the New Year. All over the world, in various calendar systems, people celebrate the coming of a New Year. The idea of fresh beginnings and new starts is simply too strong for people to resist. It’s typically a time to see friends and family, to try to improve oneself in some way, or a time to make vows to let go of old bad habits.

It is, however, a difficult process.

Everything is built on the past. Whether we are talking about our individual past or the previous generations from which we have sprung, there is never a perfectly clean break. There is always pressure exerted from yesterday. If there is one thing that I have hoped to impart with this comic and blog post it is this: we cannot escape the past, we do not exist in a vacuum, we are not somehow unique and different and exempt from time.

That may sound a little depressing at a time like this but give it a moment. We, being the creatures that we are, so often choose to look to the future rather than the past and this is, quite often, a good thing. We should not dwell on the aches and pains of yesteryear, but rather look forward to the promise of the future on the horizon, but we should also not forget where we come from. We should not ignore the tens of thousands of years of shared human history that bind us together. Some of it may be painful, some of it may be downright silly, but all of it has helped to inform our societies today and our individual lives.

So as we look forward to 2012, let’s say goodbye to 2011. Let’s say goodbye to the silly, hurtful, or painful things we’ve done this year to ourselves and others and really mean it. Don’t ignore the difficult parts but rather, recognize them, let them go, and really start 2012 properly. Face the future with the knowledge that you can be just a little bit better, a little bit stronger this coming year thanks to the year before.

And let’s not forget the great things that happened either. Let’s not trivialize them or forget how wonderful those moments were. Let’s not forget that there is quite a bit of good in all of us. We have all done some awesome things this year, I’m certain.

I really truly hope you have a wonderful New Year. Thank you all for making 2011 so great for me. I hope this comic (however silly this sentiment may be) helped to make your year just a little bit better.

Much love to all of you,