December 28th 2013
Story originally written and experienced: December 31st 2008
II Pause II
Nice dresses. Nice tuxes. Party hat. Champagne. Light snacks. Loud music. And a countdown. Just one.
Suddenly you start to feel this rush. This adrenaline rush. Thinking about that clean slate. That possibility of resetting. And washing it down with a generous sip of champagne.
Or maybe you’re chugging that champagne to self-celebrate how kickass you were at life these past 365 days. And can’t wait to do it again.
Good. You deserve it.
sKip the serious stuff.
You look to your right
And the person you want to kiss the hell out of.
Just isn’t there.
And you don’t really care you just…realize it. That’s all.
Or maybe they are there. And you feel really happy about that.
But forget the kiss.
Maybe you’re just so sedated by booze and good times, that farewelling to the last few minutes of the soon-to-be-past just feels a whole less scary if you just agree blend it in with the new. No goodbyes, just a simple promise of “to be continued”.
And I like that.
Count me in.
Thing is though.
A lot happens in that moment. The stroke of midnight. No matter who you are. Who you’re with. Or where you might be. Everything before that moment. During it. And after it. Whether you’re partying with spilled champagne on your finest clothes or curled up on the couch watching the ball
Everyone. All around the world. Is watching that clock too. And every year the routine is inevitably the same. You might not be in the same place. And you might not be with the same people.
These 10 seconds feel so different than any other 10 seconds in the year, primarily because:
You begin to recycle the last year. And you begin to recycle it fast.
Everything about it.
What didn’t happen.
What you expected.
And what you didn’t expect.
A high-speed rerun of what you really ever hoped this moment would be. And wondering…
If you’re satisfied with the people you’re with. Feeling the way that you do.
So you start to think about:
About the mistakes and about the successes. About the changes and the constants. About the night you stayed a little later at the bar and had one of the most incredible conversations you ever had, or when you stumbled into a hole in the wall restaurant and ate a burger that can only be described as the Messiah Pt. 2., or the spontaneous adventure you signed up for on a whim that somehow landed you in a back alley strip club, or every moment that made you feel so incredibly high balanced by those that made you feel so.damn.
Whether it was a career change. A friendship change. A relationship change. A life change.
Or no changes at all.
And then you think about where you are now. And what you want. Who you want. And where you want to be. And maybe it’s exactly the same. Or maybe it’s completely different. And it kind of makes you feel good that you stayed committed to the things you wanted. Or.
Rediscovered your definition of desire.
The thing about this New Year. And the thing about this countdown, is the universal emphasis we put on everything before it and everything after.
How it’s an invisible checkpoint.
And we all sort of abide by it. Because starting that goal or letting go of the old tragedies feel a lot more sensical at the stroke of midnight than it ever would today.
It’s the perfect excuse to look back and say, “This year I
Got a decent job.
And indulged just enough.”
To really set the bar for the new while really congratulating yourself on the old. How far you’ve come and how much closer it’s taking you to where you’re going. All the while realizing you survived another year on the basics of friends, family, and general goals.
The things that push us forward. While making sure we never wander too far from where we need to be.
And it’s something you think about in that whirlwind of thoughts leading up to the new year. As you’re all standing there in:
Nice dresses. Nice tuxes. Party hats. Champagne. Light snacks. Loud music. And a countdown. Just one of them.
But not just any countdown.
A vehicle to >>> to the New Year. And one that says
10 Seconds until I can start over new
9 Seconds to appreciate the old
8 Seconds to realize how far I’ve come
7 Seconds to realize how far I still need to go
6 Seconds to say “I did it!”
5 Seconds to say “I’m almost there”
4 Seconds to think about the new friends
3 Seconds to think about the old
2 Seconds to wonder if you’d do it all differently
1 Second to realize you wouldn’t change a damn thing
But only because.
And you shouldn’t.
And that’s almost the best part.
And next year?
At this time? This moment? This countdown? This day?
I hope you think the exact same thing.
Happy New Year.
May this year be as unexpected, successful, crazy, surprising, satisfying, enlightening, unfair, fair and worthwhile as the last.
It’ll be different. It’ll be interesting. But knowing you, it’ll be one for the books.