Greetings. It is I, the ghost of New Year’s Eves Gone By. Do you remember your last New Year’s Eve or the one before? Was it everything you dreamed of? Probably not.
What about the day after? Did you wake up glowing in your resolution, ready to take the world by storm only to find that your resolve was a little weaker than the resolution? Probably. New Year’s Eve takes the cake for most disappointing holiday of the year and it’s time we stopped pretending otherwise.
Let’s face it. New Year’s Eve will probably suck. I don’t consider myself a pessimist, but when it comes to NYE, we need to start being realistic. As college students we go out with our friends every week, and the night of December 31 will not be all that different. We’ll drink copious amounts of alcohol (party like it’s 1999), try our best to remember the evening and wake up the next day and wish that we hadn’t.
My last New Year’s Eve started off like any other: drink in hand, surrounded by friends and ready for everything the night would hold. We were at a house party and while it was great to meet new people and have a place to sit, it was also impossibly hot. Having spent much of the past year at a college bar, I had also become spoiled by always getting the drink I want. Alas, on New Year’s Eve of 2014 we would all survive on Aristocrat liquor. As a countless number of sweaty bodies pressed around the TV to watch the Ball drop, I suddenly realized how small it looked, quite unlike the super-sized image I had in my head. It also lasted an incredibly short amount of time. But whatever, there was champagne.
Unfortunately, not even bubbly alcohol could prepare me for what came next. Ten minutes later my right hand got caught in the door jam of someone’s front door, and with a “click,” it locked behind me. Countless minutes and tears later, my hand was free, four fingers were grotesquely broken and my year had begun. That pretty much set the stage for 2014, and sums up how I feel about just about all New Year’s celebrations. They are oh so fun in theory, but very, very painful in reality.
There has to be some sort of redeeming quality, doesn’t there? It can’t just be the booze or the Ball, but that seems to be all anyone talks about. For some, celebrating on New Year’s means commemorating a great year gone by. For others, New Year’s marks a fresh start, a year in which anything is possible. To me, New Year’s Eve has become less about what I’m actually doing and more about what the night symbolizes.
We hope that we will be better people, with thicker wallets and slimmer waists. We celebrate the idea that anything could happen in the next 365 days and pray that as another New Year rolls around we will have learned and grown and done something meaningful with the past year.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a New Year’s hater, I am merely a New Year’s realist. 2014 has held the greatest adventures and hardest tragedies of my life to date, and I will cast off it a different person than I was that night a year ago. But, maybe that’s the point. Maybe we are all coming together in this huge mix of positive and negative sentiment to rid ourselves of the last 365 days. We are different people, celebrating whoever we will become until the next time we see the ball drop.
Before you head off to your New Year’s Eve celebration, remember that it probably won’t be best night of your life, nor should it. Every night has the potential to be the best of your life, and we need to start realizing it. My resolution this year is to live my days more positively, and kindly, and I hope that you will join me. So raise a glass and take a shot for everything the New Year holds. Here’s looking at you 2015…