new year

New Years is my favorite holiday. It’s the closest thing to a truly global, all-encompassing, everybody-celebrate-this day. How great is that? It’s the one holiday where people can’t even make themselves feel excluded; bitter singles can hate Valentine’s day, lonely orphans can despair over Christmas, but New Years is for everybody. Everybody gets to celebrate.

What do we celebrate, exactly? That’s the thing. Unlike with religious holidays, we’re all celebrating the same thing. We all get inspired by the upcoming year, we are all renewed by the chance to start over. Don’t be silly and pretend it’s just a date. Humans need a way to archive their lives; we search for ways to monitor our growth and see how far we’ve come. That’s the purpose of a year, of dates at all. If you hate New Years, by association, you hate all forms of timekeeping because you think they’re irrelevant. And to that I say, get over yourself, because you’re not the only person in this wide, wonderful world, and humanity is much more than your tiny little displays of forced cynicism. We’re naturally our own worst critics. Give yourself a break. Endow yourself with the chance to start over at least once a year.

There’s something about the sparkling champagne (or white grape juice) and fireworks that makes you feel alive. There’s something about those new years eve kisses – each one has a story of its own, whether it’s your first kiss at fourteen years old or a kiss with a stranger in Times Square who turns out to be the love of your life. There’s something about the ball dropping (or the peach), like a gun firing to signal the start of a race. Go, it says. Do it, it urges. Live.

New Years is about potential. New Years is about learning to let go of the past and be excited for the future. If there is anything I need right now, it’s to be content with not knowing, with being scared and unsure. And New Years, for me, is that hope. It’s a starting point. When the clock strikes midnight, I am not cinderella turning back into a housemaid. I’m a girl stepping into the future with arms wide open.

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