This post was originally shared on January 4, 2015.
Woman: "Happy New Year!"
Me: "Why, thank you! You as well!"
"Do you have anything planned for New Year's Eve?"
"Yes, I'm working here and then I plan on spending the evening making dinner, watching some tv and just relaxing. I have a great book I've wanted to finish."
"Oh, so friends are coming over?"
"Nope. Just me. It's just nice to have a night off. Last year I was in Times Sq and it was enough of a celebration for at least 3 years. I could use a quiet night after this holiday season."
"Wait, you're going to be alone? You don't want to go anywhere? Be with friends?"
"Yeah, I didn't make any big plans because I'm working the next day and want to hang out without all the fuss of NYE. I can see my friends whenever."
"Uh. Yeah. Sure.... That's cool... I guess....."
Now, originally, this post was going to be about how the above conversation I had made me slunk back into the February 14th, Doom's Day pit of doom and chocolate. I'd share with you how I wished I had made up some bullshit story about going out with friends, partying until dawn, watching fireworks and making dreams come true with a kiss at midnight, ending in a wicked hangover and a "why do we even have to work on New Year's Day?" just to avoid her questions and make me blend into the rest of the partying mix. (Sidebar: I am not above partying. I love to party! Well, that's a partial lie and I don't been "party" like I do cocaine. I don't party, party, I party. Get it? Whatever. I've been known to have a good time, and no, not in that way either. Jeez, ok. So, I party. I have photos and battle scars to prove it, but as I age, hangovers have become a real bitch and working with a hangover is almost unbearable. I enjoy a good party, late-night whiskeyfest as we close down the bar, sure thing! But, by God, let me sleep it off the next day in a coma of Advil, coffee and a bacon, egg and cheese on a whole wheat everything bagel. Speaking of which, when do I get an assistant who brings me these things while I hide under the covers? Is it in another 20 posts, or 500 views? What are the rules on hiring an intern?)
After a relatively quiet work day, I left work in a state of melancholia with thoughts of sadness and pathetic regret that I would be spending the evening alone, that nasty woman's voice stuck in my head and setting up my year for only future loneliness and lackluster. Maybe I'd write, maybe I'd drink a bottle of Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio and pass out on the couch, inevitably I brought this upon myself and I had to live with it, the night was mine and mine alone.
Almost to where I pick up the train home, I stopped waiting for the crosswalk to change on 34th Street & Broadway, and looked up, the Empire State Building danced among the night sky directly above me. It's colors magnificent and bright, continuously changing, shining like a stained-glass soaring taller than any other building around. I stood in awe with hundreds of others, tourists, New Yorkers, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends, family, strangers and loved ones, and none of us were alone. We were all together, taking in a moment of beauty, joy and celebration, as a community.
And in that moment, I was not alone. I was free. I was choosing to follow my own path, to do what makes me happy, to do or be whatever/whoever I choose to be, knowing that I'm making the right decision. I am not alone. I am constantly surrounded by people, even complete strangers, who are genuine and true, friendly and kind. Even in moments when I'm alone writing in my cozy city apartment, I hear the sounds of people in my building, in my neighborhood, living their lives. People who, when a fire is erupting and exploding just outside our building, will bond together to make sure everyone is safe. People, who I meet at work for the first time, who then become like long-lost friends visiting from across the world. These stories, these people, now live inside me. Combined with my close friends and perfect little family, they help mold and shape the person I want to be. They help inspire my wit, humor, confidence and drive to continue on in this world. They light up my world, even moments of darkness and night, with brightness and color, like the Empire State Building late Wednesday evening. It is truly spectacular what a little brightness and color can do for the world.
That brightness encouraged me to head home, put my comfy jammies on, and curl up on the couch with the "Gilmore Girls" queue on my Netflix, something I get great pleasure out of even if it is the 3, 4, 5, 6th possible time I've watched the complete series in my life. That brightness helped me see that I shouldn't be ashamed of taking an evening doing what I choose to do. That brightness reminded me that for more years than I can count on my fingers, I've dreamed of being in New York, even if it was for less than 24 hours. I've left family, friends and a different life elsewhere to spend a majority of my breathing time here, living a life I never thought I deserved. That brightness sparked the fire inside of me that inspires me to continue forward, that there is more in this city for me to fall in love with, people to befriend, places to explore, and a place to call "home".
Instead of partying all night with people I don't know, puking on the side of a mailbox, and calling out sick on New Year's Day, foregoing any hope of holiday pay, I enjoyed a quiet night at home. I watched several episodes where Rory and Lorelei are fighting about Rory dropping out of Yale, which are, by far, the worst and yet the best, in the series. I spent time appreciating the recently passed, Edward Herrmann, as Richard Gilmore, and imaging his life as the charming and supportive patriarch surrounded by a loving family. With my iPad in my lap, and a mug of hot cocoa with Bailey's (Thanks Momma Jane) I perused Pinterest searching for new recipes for string beans and brussels sprouts, read some inspiring quotes, pinned ideas for my next housing endeavor, and found a few sweet recipes I want to try (I did not set a resolution to give up sweets. That's suicide!) I was able to chat with a friend who was having a similar evening and reveling in how nice it was just to relax. In bed and snuggled in just in time to watch the fireworks from my window, I began my new year comfortably happy ready for dreams.
If New Year's Eve is any reflection to how I will spend my year, I'm excited. I'll pass on spending the year popping "Molly", drinking watered down, cheap vodka listening to a poorly dressed with pit-stains, Brian slur his words on venture capital and equity marketing and God-knows-what-because-he's-not-even-that-cute-but-he-may-have-hot-friends, while my "friends" make a bee-line for the bathroom to complain that the doucher she likes wont text her back after she said "hey" and sent 3 snaps of her slutty outfit and vent about how, like totally, rude it was for what's her face to wear the same dress and OH MY GOD, are these shoes made by Satan AND Louboutin and why is the line for the bathroom this damn long? Sound familiar?
Yeah, I'm good. Maybe I'm growing older, or maybe I'm just not as cool as those other kids, but none of the above sounds remotely like anything I would want to or choose to do. This year, instead of making big resolutions to "change for the better", I'm going to focus on staying the same me I've been. I'm not going to pledge to go to the gym 5 times a week or eat more kale (Is the kale thing done yet? Will it taste better when it is done? No? Ok, I'm still out!). I can't say I won't laugh when someone falls, but I promise to assist in recovery or at least make sure they are ok before I continue on. I won't promise to be brave and say everything I want to say, I'll try, it's scary, vulnerable and takes a lot of practice conversations, but I'll try to do what I feel is best for me and my future. I'll shape my thoughts and words carefully and speak them with eloquence and truth in my heart. I'll love with the hope, not expectation, that love will love me right back. I'll spend time understanding and appreciating who we are as people in this world, and how, together, we can rise up from the ashes like the phoenix. Most importantly, I'll write. I'll put my thoughts, breath, time, love and humor into Inspired Wit, because I believe that it will change a life. In fact it already has, mine.
with love & joy,
Here's to 2015! New Year, Same Me!