New Years Can be hard. The pressure to go out, get drunk, and get that kiss at midnight. Social media is ridden with glitter, parties, and kisses at midnight. No one wants to bring in the New Year alone.
I was never one to go to parties or hang out with friends on NYE. I usually spent it in the house (my mom’s) with my mom, sister, and occasionally cousin, watching music video countdowns (one year it was a 90-Day Fiancé marathon) and waiting to turn to one of the channels to watch the ball drop. I mean, last year I had planned out of town, but it was a pajama party at a friend’s house with a bunch of strangers engaging in debauchery.
The end of 2019 put me in a weird predicament that I had never found myself in before. My mom had to work really late, and my sister was having friends over to the house (and my cousin doesn’t celebrate holidays anymore). The thought of ringing in the new year alone in my room hiding from college kids seemed really sad to me.
So, I decided to set the tone for the start of the Roaring ’20s differently and go out. Downtown. By myself.
Every year, my hometown does an NYE celebration concert block party thing. They bring out pretty good acts. One year was Ms. Lauryn Hill. This past year (How does one count NYE? Do you say it was for the year that’s ending or the one that’s beginning?) it was Salt-N-Peppa. I love them, so it worked out.
Who would have thought this was excellent practice for upcoming NYE! I never dreamed that a global pandemic would bring us here, let alone us having to endure it for over a year. While some folks are lucky enough to have their small pod of close friends and family, others aren’t as lucky. Thanks, quarantine.
So, you finally want to know how to spend NYE alone? Here are my biggest takeaways from that night:
- Wear what makes you feel good.
A fleece onesie? Or all-out gold sequin mini dress? Wear what makes you feel confident or comfortable.
I wanted to wear something shiny, but I didn’t own anything flashy. I compromised with a crop top and leggings, but none of that mattered because I borrowed my sister’s puffer jacket. That was an excellent choice because it was colder than I expected, so I stayed warm. Didn’t matter if people didn’t see my outfit, because I felt good about what I was wearing.
- Make a plan.
How do you want this night to go? Do you want to host a tiny gathering with your buds? Do you want to stay in under the covers reading a book or watching your favorite show? Find what feels good and either is acceptable! Forget anyone who tells you otherwise.
I picked going downtown for the first time because it was a nice night and I wanted to sing and dance to Shoop in a sea of people who didn’t know me. Oh, how I miss the days of being crammed with a bunch of strangers.
- What’s your drink of choice?
A full-body red (I don’t actually know what this means) to make you feel sophisticated? A glass of bubbly to make you festive? Your favorite ugly mug and some catnip tea to put you out right at midnight (I know it sounds weird, but catnip tea will calm you down like I don’t know what. I’ve linked to my favorite brand who is not paying me to sponsor, although they should because I tell everyone about it)?
I had two beers to loosen up the social anxiety that I was initially feeling. The trick is to buy both at the same time, so you don’t have to go back to the long drink line. But since you will be home, you get the perk of no line, no social anxiety, and no driving home after!
- Sing and shout and let it all out!
Thanks, mistress Brittany for that stellar advice! Or do whatever you want. Just use this opportunity to harness pure joy in whatever form that may take. Happiness is great, but joy is something like the energy you can physically feel move through you. Whatever it takes to get you there, do it.
I got joy from people watching people and singing and dancing and not giving a crap what people thought when they saw me. The energy was intoxicating and you too can have that energy. Unless you have a really judgmental cat.
The night was better than I could have hoped for and I had a smile on my face walking back to my car. I couldn’t have started off a new decade any better, and it taught me a lot of lessons for the year to come.
I know this post is all well and good, but NYE can also be really tough to spend alone. It’s not as easy as reading a blog post telling you that you should feel joy. Sometimes you spend NYE alone and it’s sad or you don’t want to pretend to be happy. That’s ok. If you need to spend this time in quiet reflection or crying your eyes out, that’s ok. If being alone reminds you of things or people you lost and you’re just not up to it, that’s ok. This year has been hard enough.
And for everyone, reading: You may have to spend NYE alone, but you are never truly alone and there are people out there, whether you know them or not, who care about you and/or are thinking about you.
If you like this article, check out: https://www.harnessmagazine.com/in-my-skin-on-choosing-joy-by-communing-with-the-sadness/