It comes around every year: each year with even more expectations as I creep into my twenties. In the post-Christmas depression, it’s what everybody eagerly awaits. It is portrayed as the night of the year. There are reminders of the imminent date all around us – from finding the perfect outfit to the constant reminders of New Year’s Resolutions (usually centred around a newer, better version of yourself). It’s the age old saying: January is always associated with ‘new’ – new beginnings, new year, new person.
There’s the fairy-tale belief that it is a magical night, when everything that happened the year before can be put behind and you can, genuinely, start afresh. The clock will strike midnight and in that moment everything is supposed to change. This has always puzzled me, as that only happens in fairy-tales. In Cinderella, the Prince places the shoe onto Cinderella’s foot and in that moment both of their lives change, just like when the clocks strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.
The first New Year’s Eve that I remember was when I was about seven. I only remember snippets of things. There was a game played with dice and lots of smiley adults. I didn’t make it to midnight. And, I don’t remember waking up the next morning to find that everything had changed. I woke up to two hungover parents and a shockingly messy house!
In reality, New Year’s Eve gives you time to reflect on the year that has passed; the ups and the downs, the tears and the laughter. It is these experiences that create the person who will enter the new year with more knowledge, understanding and wisdom than the previous year. The events of the year passed teaches us lessons to create a better person, not the stroke of midnight.
Here’s what I want for in 2016: to be happy and healthy. It’s simple. How I reach the equilibrium of happiness is another matter. And, I know that there might be pain and sadness in the months to come; but to experience the pure joy of happiness one needs to experience the flipside. I have learnt many things from 2015, that I will bring with me into 2016 to achieve this aim.
Everybody loves a fairy-tale. They are the stories made of magic and mystery. In some ways, New Year’s Eve is just another opportunity to feel that you are part of a fairy-tale – the outfit, the people and the brimming nervousness of what the New Year has to come. The moment the prince fits the shoe onto Cinderella’s foot is like the moment the clock strikes midnight. A New Year: a fresh beginning.
It’s a fairy-tale for a reason. You can’t just wake up one morning and expect everything to change. Change takes time, perseverance and much more. You can though wake up and look at the person you have become since that day 365 days ago.
This New Year’s Day, wake up and look back at the year before to see the new you that has already been created.