Friday, December 31, 2010

It's Been a Long One

The picture you see was taken by one of my Kappa Sigma brothers. His name is Shengkai Su and he is from China. It has nothing to do with this post but I thought I would share it. It's cool that a college student from China can experience New years in NYC... As an American I haven't even done that.

It's New Years and I needed to write again. Something happened...something clicked in my mind as a spun around the room at 12:01am to see what everyone was doing/saying. Something really hit me. I think as I get older I'm just becoming a train wreck or an old woman. Because I almost cried. I learned what New Years was about.

I spent the evening with my family, my families work friends, and just other family friends. We had a party at my Uncle Curtis' house in his outdoor bar that he built that he likes to call "The Huckleberry Hut". I kinda like it. The Browning family has a meaning. The last name Browning has a lot behind it and I kind of know why tonight too. My dad has 4 brothers, 2 of which were there tonight making a total of 3/5 of the Browning brothers. All of them have their own character and differences but they all have something in common. Love. They love people to death and will bend over backwards to serve anyone and to put a smile on their face. I've always been told, "You're daddy is a good man." And I think that applies to all of the brothers. Their name even has weight at Duke University where the 3 brothers work. Everyone there has heard the name Browning a time or two. Speaking of Duke, to my surprise one of their work friends unexpectedly showed up at the party. I have known this man since I was a kid and it was the first time I had seen him and his family in a long time. His dad died yesterday. He was an emotional wreck to say the least. But he was damn happy to be there and to see the Browning family and the other people there. I had never seen my dad, my uncles, and this man so happy together in a time of emotional distress. I learned what true friendship is like. When I went to shake this guys hand, he hugged me. Then I saw his wife and her mouth dropped open. She couldn't believe how much I had grown up and how "beautiful" I was. How do you react to that?

Now that I gave some kind of background information mixed with current information...Lets get on to 2011.

Right before 12:00am hit everyone had a drink, whether it was soda, beer, liquor, water, or the god-awful champagne I had. Everyone stood with their individual family and namely their loved one. I of course was alone...for the 20th year of my life. The ball dropped in Times Square and the Acorn dropped in Raleigh, NC. Everyone shouted Happy New Year! and drank a sip of their drink and kissed their loved ones. I zoned out for a second and began to examine the room. Everyone was smiling, laughing, hugging each other, kissing each other, wishing each other a Happy New Year. Even those who didn't know each other that well. It sounds typical, but it was a beautiful moment in my eyes. I learned what New Years was all about.

New Years isn't the modern holiday where you get plastered and make an ass of yourself. It's a celebration of life. It's a moment you share with those around you where you know that you made it just another year. You did it, you survived. Despite your ups and downs, you are still standing right there in that moment, the very first second of the beginning of a New Year. It's a celebration. At the same time it's a time of letting go. You are letting go and moving on from everything that happened in the previous year. It's a wrap up. It's the bow on the package, the rubber band around the envelope full of files.

For me it was definitely a time of putting the rubber band around an envelope full of files. The incredibly high highs that I have experienced this year were trumped by the lows that I have had, if I'm being honest. This has been one of the hardest, craziest, most emotional years of my life. I'm going to reflect a little:
  • I was able to perform in my first college production
  • I became a founding father of the Rho-Eta chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity
  • Finished out my freshman year of college
  • Lost a scholarship
  • Was able to serve along side Orange Team with Student Life for the entire summer
  • Traveled to & through 11 states during the summer
  • Missed my annual family vacation
  • Became a Resident Assistant to 48 awesome freshman guys
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting the lead role in Our Town
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting cast in the world premier of Love/Sick
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting cast in True West
  • Auditioned, was called back, read 5 times for the lead, and missed getting the part in the short HPU film Connected
  • Became incredibly overwhelmed by being in classes, theatre, an RA, and in a fraternity
  • Didn't get the GPA I needed to get my scholarship back
  • Lost one of my residents, John Evans Lacey
It's been a tough one as you can see. I'm not throwing myself a pity party by any means. But I have dealt with some stuff, and it has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I would rather not reflect on the year 2010 and in the words of Cee-Lo Green... "Forget You".
All I can say is that I have experienced every emotion possible and have learned a lot about life and especially myself. But what I really ask myself is, "God, what in the world are you preparing me for? What is next for me, really?" I have tried to figure it out, and obviously I can't do that so I guess I will have to wait it out.

So, I think I really just rambled a lot...but I got to write it out. So here's to a New Year...I'm thankful for the one I just got to experience but I really hope God reveals what He has been preparing me for this year. I need it. So, how was your year? Think you know what you're being prepared for?
I saw Natasha Bedingfield perform this song on New Year's Rockin Eve with Dick Clark tonight. I think it's a great song to end with. Here's a video with the song and lyrics:

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