I think that we put a lot of pressure on New Year’s Eve and what the New Year will bring us…why? I don’t know about you but I could not even begin to tell you my resolutions for 2013 and I won’t remember ones that I make in 2014, if I make them. I don’t remember if I was supposed to lose weight or be nicer or something, and honestly I can’t even think now what I did last New Year’s Eve. But here is what I do remember about 2013…
It was a year filled with good things and bad things. My parents got divorced: that sucked. Although because of both my parents’ new independence I am now closer with my father than I have ever been and I appreciate time with my mom more. My wonderful grandfather passed away: that sucked even more. However, I swear he waited until I could see him one last time and I will never forget the smile on his face and his laugh when I beat him in the last game of cards we ever played, because I told him he was losing his edge and didn’t practice 31 enough. I made friends, I lost friends, I got sad and upset but I also had some really good things happen in 2013.
I had an awesome group of friends that I did stupid and fun things with, I had wine dinners at least once a week with Erika. I spent my Spring Break and 22nd birthday in Chicago, blaring Taylor Swift’s “22” all this a few days after I went to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade there.
I graduated college with two majors that I truly love, and a minor. I wrote ten pages of French within a week…although that wasn’t entirely fun. I had a great summer working for people who made me laugh and bought me bagels. I met new people and went to my first Phillies game. I went to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. This was two days after I accepted an au pair job in Lyon, France. Finally a week before I left this summer one of my closest friends and her husband had their first baby and I got to hold him for the first time.
Since I have come here I have seen Geneva, Switzerland. I have eaten the best Italian food and seen the coliseum, a dream of mine when I spent a week in Rome. I went to Paris and drank really expensive wine (thank you to my host dad’s boss who gave him one of the best wines out there). I spent my first Christmas in another country speaking another language. I sprayed champagne all over my host father’s uncle…who thankfully laughed. And I will spend New Year’s Eve tonight in a party hall with my family, who bought me a ticket when I said I had no idea what I was doing for the night anymore.
My point is not to brag about this year, albeit an awesome year. My point is your year is not defined in resolutions and short term goals. Your year is defined in the things you do for yourself and the strides you make in becoming the person you want to be. So if you make resolutions, stick to them, write a sticky note with your resolution and stick in your calendar, or in your smart phone for April so you have a reminder part way through the year.
And for the love of God can we please stop making tonight a big deal? I was so upset when I found out I couldn’t go to another city for New Year’s Eve, and now I realize that was just dumb, because in reality I am still spending it with people I enjoy being around. It may not be glamorous or exactly what I wanted for tonight but it sure beats the year I ate popcorn in my room and watched Gilmore Girls for five hours. As my friend Jana told me when I was upset about not having an epic party for New Year’s Eve, “everyone makes it be this big thing when in reality it is just another night”. So whether you are sitting drinking wine and watching romantic comedies or spending it with your best friend in Prague. Enjoy ringing in the New Year however you want; because it’s another year and another night, it will be as epic as you want it to be.
Happy New Year from Lyon, France and may it bring great things and great people into your life!