I want to spend this last post of this year doing something different.
I don’t want to think about how well or badly this year has gone, which of my dreams have been fulfilled, which ones have been modified, I don’t want to imagine what the next year will look like, and whether I’m on the right path…
I don’t want to do any of that.
Instead, I want to think about why it is that I’ve become the kind of person who’s very happy spending the annual countdown solo.
For many years, I’ve harbored the secret suspicion that I’m somewhat of a high-functioning sociopath. The truth is, more often than not, I prefer my own company. I don’t need make up to impress me, no cute but sexy dress, I don’t need to be the bright yet confused cutie who laughs easily, I don’t need to be the girl who fakes a connection or tap-dances around the fact that you’re crushing on her… I can just be the girl who likes her glass of wine, enjoys watching action films and isn’t always funny or profound.
Sitting here on my couch, watching the Mission Impossible series on mute, while sending new year messages to the maybe 12 people whom I do give a damn about, I’m shocked to discover that I don’t miss having them around right now. This night used to be so important for me; I was among the millions who believed that how I spent this evening would cast its glow on the rest of the year. And that is why I used to insist on spending it with friends, in a loud boisterous party with plenty of food and drink. Looking at my life I realize that my normal days are filled with the warm fuzzy feelings one gets from friendships, lived around tables littered with the remnants of delicious meals, interesting cocktails and fun gossip.
My year, it seems, is a lot more than what I end up doing on its last night.
I don’t feel the need to kiss someone at the stroke of 12. This year there is someone in the wings, waiting for even the tiniest hint of encouragement for him to take the plunge. I’m flattered because he’s genuinely nice, truly interesting and interested… But I’m not there yet, and probably won’t be (who knows?) but I don’t feel the need to sink my hook in deeper by making him think otherwise. I’m happy to know that he’s having a good time wherever he is and that I can sleep when I want to.
Will a real person to dance with be better than dancing solo to my own tune? Certainly. I think. It’s been so long since that happened that I’m no longer sure what the big deal is. Is the dream of ‘meeting new and interesting people’ and having the ‘start of a beautiful relationship’ still an attractive one? Oh yes. But is it supposed to happen only on a magical new year’s eve and no other night of the year? I don’t necessarily buy THAT anymore.
And one major lesson of this year? That it’s all really going to be okay. Families will grow and rebuild, broken hearts will mend, friends will increase, work will be enjoyed and bank balances will somehow always have enough to take care of travel and shopping needs.
What else can you possibly want?