Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's New Year's Eve. I feel as though I should write a deep and meaningful blog, a reflection of this past year. Or I should give my best and worst for the year as other bloggers seem to be doing. There's nothing wrong with that. Ok, so I don't often agree with the choice for the best of 2008 but then again, once I find something I like, whether it be music or not, it becomes my 'best', regardless of what year it's from. For example, if asked what the best album of 2008 is, I would say "Green Day: American Idiot." Ok, so it was released in 2004 but it's still the album I listen to most and since nothing really came out that made me drop this from my 'best' list, then it's still the best.

So, that's why I won't do a Captain Monkeypants 'Best of 2008' list. Because my 2008 is your 2004 or 2005. And once something's the best, it's hard to top that.

Instead, I'll do what I seem to do best...ramble for a while.

New Years Eve has never been a hugely momentous event in my life. Many of my years have been spent quietly at home with my parents, drinking Baileys, occasionally champagne and turning off a movie to watch the ball drop. This may read like I'm pathetic. Perhaps I am. Yet the thing is, I adore my parents. They love me unconditionally and they're always there for me. I know the trendy thing to do is go to a party and kiss someone at midnight but if I don't have anyone I want to kiss at midnight, well, then a quiet evening in with my parents is actually a rather nice alternative.

Ok, so there have been times when there's someone I wish would kiss me at midnight but I've never been much of a romantic heroine and it never happens.

The odd occasion where I've been away from home for New Years have been interesting. One year, I had to go back to school early and my roommate and I tried to go to a New Years Eve party but by the time it was 11 p.m., almost the entire body of the party was either drunk or stoned. It was clear that the seeing in of the New Year wasn't going to happen unless the host of the party stopped throwing up enough to remember what night it was so we slipped out the back door, went home, grabbed a bottle of strawberry wine and went and watched the Midnight fireworks dance over the Ohio river. I have to say, that was a nice way to see in the New Year.

Another year, I was in Pasadena, crammed like a sardine into my friend's living room. That was a fun night. It was a houseful of people, all just relaxing. It was freezing and it was hard to stay warm. We crammed around a little fireplace, warming ourselves enough to go outside. We all planned on seeing in the New Year, watching the Stealth Bomber fly over in the morning, signaling the start of the Rose Parade.

Well, we did see in the New Year. Yet we all managed to sleep until we heard the bomber flying overhead. By the time we all sprinted outside, we'd missed it. We managed to wander up to watch the Rose Parade, a truly amazing spectacle. I don't think watching it on TV does it justice; the sight of a million flowers, wound into patterns, designs, ornaments,'s truly something to watch live.

Tonight, I've been invited to a party. I was excited to go to a real one. Unfortunately, though, my return to the Midwest from the moderate temperature of L.A. is playing havoc on my immune system and I'm coughing and sneezing and feeling generally unlike imbibing and infecting others with my germs. I may try to go but it may end up being a quiet New Year's after all. It honestly doesn't matter. To me, it's not what you're doing on New Year's Eve that matters but it's how you pass the following year that does.

2008 has been a strange year. It's been a year of loss, change, old and new experiences. It's been a year when I've learned that friends can also be family, that dreams don't die, they just strengthen and grow stronger. It's been a year when I've learned that the important things don't have to be huge, they can be tiny and still mean just as much.

I don't know if I have resolutions for the new year that I don't make every day. It's something to think about, I guess. The year starts anew and we're supposed to also but do we, really? Do we really become better people tomorrow because the year has started over? Do our slates really clean and give us a new chance?

What does the turning of a year offer us that we wouldn't have on any other tomorrow? It's all symbolic, that I know. Yet maybe there is something in the closing of the year that does make everything feel fresh, feel new. Maybe there is a reason to resolve to do things better, to try harder, to reach harder and grab tighter to the dreams we have in our hearts and minds.

Whether I celebrate as a group or I see the New Year in alone, it really makes no difference, I suppose. It will happen, regardless of what I'm doing. My friends in the UK will be in 2009 five hours before I am, my friends in California, three hours after. It's a strange time when midnight hits on New Years: time travel is actually possible. I like that aspect, it's exciting.

I suppose I should think about New Years Resolutions. Perhaps I should resolve to not be so mean about Stephanie Meyer. Although, since it's still 2008, I can safely say the WORST book of the year is definitely Breaking Dawn without breaking that resolution. I'll work on the rest.

In the meantime, no matter what you end up doing or who you end up with, I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. Here's to 2009, a year of hope and newness.

-CM 12-31-08

No comments: