Despite it being my favorite, I hear New Year's Eve as being the most dreaded celebration to many people. I firmly believe there is a widespread myth that New Year's Eve is supposed to happen a certain way. Everyone's ideals will not align for NYE, but everyone still has them. Typically, NYE is stereotyped as a secretly stressful observation where you drink to forget all the resolutions you didn't go through with and pity yourself for the way things turned out differently then you expected. Also, you are pressured to look and dress hotly and attend a party with the love of your life or where you will meet the love of your life and kiss them at midnight. Yikes. What a headache.
This has never been my experience, only when I live secondhand thanks to Hollywood movies. For a while, I didn't think this was enough and couldn't wait until I got celebrate NYE in extravagant ways myself; however, I'm realizing now that it is enough. Maybe someday that will be my experience, but for right now, I'm thrilled to be having the atypical times I've enjoyed.
Each year I do something different to ring in the New Year. I surround myself with different friends each time and assimilate into their traditions. New Year's has no tradition for me and that in itself is my tradition. Having no expectations other then change yields zero stress and allows me to live fully in whatever that year's celebration is. It's exciting to mix it up!
I reject the stereotypical NYE model once again by choosing not to be anxious and ashamed but welcoming and hopeful about the year I've just completed and the one I'm soon to begin. I tell myself that my resolutions do not have a set launch date and give myself the time to think through what I really want to do and what I can realistically achieve. So what if I start a week into the year? I can still complete it for the same amount of time as everyone who started right at the start of the new year.
One of my favorite parts of NYE is the unified celebration. This holiday gets people ALL OVER THE WORLD involved. Everyone anticipates it. It transcends religious and cultural differences and links everyone together. I cannot think of any other holiday that has this pleasure and responsibility. (You could argue birthdays but I reject this because birthdays are singular celebrations and Jehovah's Witnesses don't recognize them.) Even if someone chooses not to personally celebrate the calendar change, they still accept that it happens.
When I was little, I always considered the New Year as a set thing that I had yet to discover. This ideology probably originates from the common quip "see what the New Year has in store." This kind of thinking sees the New Year as a gift full of different types of events that are already predestined which I unwrap and reveal each day. Lately though, my understanding of the New Year has shifted. No longer do I believe the year is waiting for me to discover it, I believe it is the opposite. I have the power to make things happen in the year. It's not up to the year to give things to me.
The New Year is my favourite holiday because it is full of promise that things will always be unpredictable yet full of possibility which is an odd and exciting comfort that lets every person decipher their life on their own. Happy 2015!