I remember that when the millennium rolled around a few years back, everyone was freaking out. I didn’t really understand why back then because I was a kid and the arrival of the millennium simply implied the possibility that my alien baby may open its eyes as the clock struck 12. For those of you who are unfamiliar with alien babies, they were these weird little soft plastic-y toys that the kids were mad about circa 1999. Anyway, some kid on my road told me that the alien’s eyes would open at midnight and because I was naive and unrelentingly fascinated by such an occurrence, I believed her. So while my parents and their friends did the whole drunken countdown thing, I stared the shit outta that alien baby. Sadly, its eyes did not open and I ended up throwing it at the living room ceiling…where it got stuck.
Now for me, that’s about as meaningful as the New Years Eve of 1999 was. Meanwhile, my (somewhat) paranoid parents were literally whooping with joy ’cause they realised that the world was not in fact ending, as it had been rumoured in their social circle. Turns out 1999 was home to a retro version of the whole Mayan-calender-ending-equals-the-end-of-the-world malarkey we experienced last year. Though, I imagine it was a lot less stressful for them ’cause of the lack of access to thousands of internet forums of self-proclaimed experts who backed the whole 2012 inevitable apocalypse thing. Yet, I reckon the scale of relief was probably about the same.
That’s probably my most memorable New Years Eve. Before that, I never really realised that the start of a new year was a big deal. I still don’t really get it. I usually spend it at home, in my jammies, with my cats and get really uncomfortable when I’m on the receiving end of those New Years Eve calls and texts. I can never really muster up enough enthusiasm to make my reply of ‘yeah, you too’ sound genuine or sincere. I mean, I hope all my friends and family have a happy new year, but no more than I usually do. Also, you’re expected to hug people you don’t normally hug and I have a sort of lingering resentment towards any holiday which puts me in awkward social situations.
But I guess the one thing I defiantly like about the extravagant celebration of the 31st of December is that it reminds me to reflect on the last few months of my life. I haven’t done much really. Like, I graduated from college and entered the full time working world which I then promptly exited after spending two miserable months in the hotel industry and now I’m in the process of sorting my shit out. I guess I should be proud about passing my exams and writing a real research project and I kinda am. However, I’m much more proud of the broadening of my perspective. I’ve discovered the key to living my life well (or at least my interpretation of well). I’ve been trying to let go my judgmental perspective and come to value truly trying to understand others. It’s a lot easier to like life, people and things. I find it hard to hate anything but tend to feel a sort existential melancholy when I’m faced with those really unintelligible aspects of life. At the same time I’ve experienced these other moments that have shaken my very core, left me short of breath and trembling but also sort of tranquil. Moments of understanding are accompanied by a dawning of acceptance. Although, I have to say that my awareness of my place in the world isn’t exactly something which drives me in a certain direction. Rather, this feeling of just being and connected-ness has made me appreciate the more mundane moments of my life. Not all of the time, but at least 40% of the time.
So anyway when 2014 rolled around with a, almost inaudible, bang I cheered, hugged my mam and then sat around wondering how long it was til I could get back to reading the rest of my book.
What I’d really like is for you, the unlikely reader of this blog, to comment about something that you’ve learned that has really affected the way you life your life or understand the way of the world.