It is almost a New Year and people will tell you that this is a big deal.
"You gotta party on New Years," they will say, or "you gotta ring in the new year,” or the dreaded “we gotta go hard”, and all they mean is a couple of things. Party—crowded room decorated in silver streamers. Sparkly dress that itches. Short skirt. Drinks with no coasters. A kiss, or no kiss at all, or a staredown with a stranger you’ll never meet. Cold wind meets exposed leg. Champagne that hits the head like a brick—on the first morning you promise to Special K Challenge your way to a new body, no less. It’s a celebration. 2013. The year you stand on the horizon and watch the sun rise to a project you swore you would start, pants you intend to fit in, a future relationship with somebody who smells like vanilla and buys napkins. Let’s get this life going! It is almost a New Year, and everybody will tell you that this is a big deal.
Nobody will tell you why this is. Nobody will give you the ever elusive dry-eraser for your dry erase board. No slate can be wiped clean. A New Year means shit. You never know when things will change. You never know what will change you. What you DO know is you’ve broken more promises to yourself then you can count, and what you also know is the ground doesn’t shift and the air doesn’t change when any clock strikes midnight.
On January 1st, 2013, it will feel the same as always. You will wake up with cardboard in your mouth. You will still wipe your mouth with your sleeve. You will still drop your smartphone on the ground. Teen Mom Season 30 starts next week. You will complain about the weather. Like most things, everything builds momentum on expectation and drops to the ground quiet, like a balloon that has lost its helium. No pop. No sound. In a corner until somebody boots it out of misery. We cheer the dawn of January to hear the sound of joy in an empty room.
2013 is not the year for your sloppily penned resolutions. It is like every year you’ve ever known. It is the year of birthdays, of death, of Christmas again, of approximately 48 Thursdays. It is the year of broken toenails and paper cuts and a good cry in your bathroom. It is the year of losing a sweater somewhere in your room, of leaving something in a cab, of laughter and popcorn spilled on the floor. It is the year of a movie you didn’t know you’d love, a song you can’t stop listening to, a fight with your mom, a drift away from a friend. It is a day under a warm blanket, a kiss that keeps you up all night, an omelette that is perfect, 20 dollars and you don’t know where it went, a rest on a shoulder, a perfect night out, a letter in the mail, a cheer up hug, a new kind of beer you like, a heartbreak and a haircut. The same old.
But you just don’t know what else. You don’t know why. You don’t know when. It is not a promise during a toast to 2013. It is an unknown road—the only resolution to driving down it is to keep your eyes open and watch out for bumps.
Last year was so good, you think, and so bad. For me, 2012 was the year I started to wear racerback bras. I stopped biting my nails. I lost my beloved childhood pet. I had a penchant for sweaters. I wrote so much and with so much I believe my computer is now a Horcrux. I promised to stop drinking so much whiskey. A good friend died. I went back to whiskey. I paid my credit card bill late. I borrowed money. I went out for a burger with a guy, broke my shoe on the way over, and later fell in love with him. My brother got a dangerous job he loves. I didn’t read 100 books like I promised. During the summer months I actually GAINED five pounds. I didn’t join a gym. I forgot to take my vitamins.
To be honest, none of my 2012 promises, wearing a black sparkly dress, came true. Not one.
It is a New Year and people will tell you that it is a big deal.
But it’s just like every year, you think. You could die. Hell, you could live. So toast to this year, the every year, because it’s the same as always—
Anything could happen.