Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Thoughts on New Year’s Night

Life’s a trip, indeed! The kind that never stops and never stops surprising you, either!

2007 turned out to be weird to its very silly end… The year when a long awaited family gathering 5000 miles away from here fell apart to bickering and pettiness; the year of a beautiful couple’s wedding AND separation a few months later; the year of going in business with dear friends only to be cheated on, lied to, not to mention fallen apart with disappointment; the year of another one night stand, when I swore I am too old for that; the year of a freak happening on the top of the one mile bridge mountain, when the wind locks me out of my car; the year of the long awaited first Christmas in Canada, only to witness a death… Also the year of a new home, and new praise at work, the year of new-found love and respect for people I have taken for granted.
So, last night, when my friend called 15 minutes before our dinner to tell me she can’t show, because she broke out in hives from her makeup and can’t go out, I said to myself: well, THIS is a fine ending to this crazy year: going out on New Years alone. I have been out alone before, but the folklore of the masses in any culture will tell you oh no, you can’t be alone on New Years. Oh, no, it’s bad luck!! Well, I said to myself: what else am I going to do?? I have two options: alone at home with the cats, or alone in a crowd… So, I went for the crowd… I had not dressed up and made up my face to show it to the cats. Nope.
Yes, I felt stared at and pitied when I first walked in and sat at the bar, but just like a new piece of furniture eventually blends in the room’s décor, so I became part of the scene just after the first sip of my Riesling…
There is something thrilling on the night between the years, that I would always want to be part of, I think. People grow smiles out of nothing; even the shiest ones are chatty and even the cold, aloof ones are warm and approachable! Everyone is evidently throwing off the worries of the heavy, old, past year and embracing, it seems, a new life, with new hopes, and new dreams. Of course, we know that tomorrow is just another day we wake up to, with the same lives and people and problems, but this night, between the years, we all get this glimpse of hope in our eyes, and we throw away the worries to the wind, and for just those 10-15 seconds of the countdown, we are worriless, and fearless, and free, and happy. Truly, unbelievably happy!
Every year, I feed off of the smiles, and the light in the eyes of people at midnight on New Years; the tears, the kisses, the hugs. They all seem sincere and whole! For those 10-15 seconds, I think I will always want to see and be around “people”, to renew my jaded energy from an old, tired and “silly” year that passed, and appreciate being human again. It gives me fuel for the new beginning …
It was a smart choice to go out. Food was unbelievable (more on that later); people were friendly and welcoming; music was great. I told my sister I need to go to Romania every 5-6 years for a wedding to REALLY dance, because in the US no one dances… Well, not so on New Years. Old and young, fat and skinny, beautiful and plain were dancing their hearts out. I felt right at home …
I felt right at home, with strangers all around me. I let the crowd swallow me, and the wine warm up my cheeks and the music sway my hips and everything was all right and easy and non-weird again.
I woke up the next day to the same cats, in the same bed as always, but coffee tasted a little sweeter today and my omelet was a tad tastier, I thought. I smile more and I am once again hopeful.
Bring it on, 2008. I am ready!

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