Last night, I got together with some friends to make our annual New Year's predictions. We don't make resolutions. We make predictions. It's more fun and less binding.
A little context first.
A long time ago (1997) in a land far, far away (Saint John, New Brunswick), there lived an ink-stained girl who slaved night and day writing stories for a newspaper.
The girl was me and my first day of work was terrifying. I didn't know anyone, didn't know the city, didn't even realize New Brunswick wasn't an island. My hands shook a little less when I looked around the newsroom and realized half the staff of the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal were in their 20s.
After filing my first story about a kid who claimed he was the victim of a drive-by shooting (he wasn't), Marni, Dan and Laura (the aforementioned 20-somethings) invited me out for a drink.
We quickly became inseparable. On Dec. 31, 1997, we were hanging out at Laura's apartment where I suggested we should make some New Year's resolutions. Someone, I think it was Marni, said we should make New Year's predictions for each other instead.
And so, a tradition was born. Every year since 1997, the four of us have gotten together to make our annual New Year's predictions. I left New Brunswick in 2000 and Dan, Laura and Marni all got jobs in Toronto. So we still end up in the same city for the holidays and make a point of getting together to make our New Year's predictions.
It almost never became a tradition, though. The first prediction they made for me in 1997 was that things wouldn't work out with a certain photographer I thought I was falling in love with. I was so angry that I almost walked out the door. But a strange thing happened. They were right. Things didn't work out with the photographer. And, in time, I was okay with that.
Our predictions are brutally honest and sometimes harsh. Like the time Marni predicted Laura and her boyfriend Craig would break up. Well, they didn't. And there were some hard feelings for a little while.
Or the time I had my heart set on teaching English in Japan for a year or two. Someone predicted that was never going to happen. I was pissed. But, once again, they were right. By 2003, I was getting tired of always having their negative predictions come true. So I demanded only good predictions.
Instead of predicting good things, they said David Suzuki and I would get into a fight and I'd get fired in 2004. Thankfully, that never happened.
Last night, the four of us got together to make our New Year's predictions once again. Here's what they predicted for me for 2005.
- I will get in trouble with the law
- I will date a police officer
- I will date a 22-year-old, possibly a police cadet
- I will hang out with a bad crowd and start doing heroin
- I will not get a new job
I have a prediction of my own. I predict that 2005 is the year that my friends' crappy predictions don't come true.