We’re coming towards the end of 2016 (already, woah), so I thought I’d just do this post on a topic I was reflecting on a little while ago. Something I used to wonder when I was younger was why everyone made such a big deal out of the new year. I understood that it was a chance to be festive and celebratory, but I didn’t understand the actual need for a new year, for the fresh start people always perceive it bringing.
And then 2015 happened, and I got it. I was miserable for a lot of that year, a lot more than I let on to the people around me. And I couldn’t help it, it was just a fact. This isn’t an unhappy post, or asking for pity – it’s me making a statement to any of you, if you’re like me and you never understood why people needed the new year so bad. Why people couldn’t just say “tomorrow will be different” any other day of the year, or why a new month or week wasn’t good enough. I will tell you why: the new year is definitive.
A new year is acknowledged worldwide. A new year can mean anything. For me, the moment when the clock turned midnight and 2015 was finished, it was a moment of closure. I knew from the beginning – in fact, I knew through most of last year – that 2016 would be a better one. It was an amalgamation of things all coming together.
When the new year came in, it was shutting a chapter to the end of a decade-long friendship that fell apart. It was accepting that many of the people I’d spent the last four years with now had nothing to do with me. It was seeing a new dawn where I felt closer to the real me than I had in a long time. It was the knowledge that this was the year when I would finally go to university and move out of my town.
When the new year came in, it was like finally turning the corner and seeing the finish line after running a marathon I’d never signed up for. I’d come to know 2015 as the year that shouldn’t have happened. It felt unnecessary, an extra year I didn’t want or need.
Sometimes it isn’t about a decision to wake up and see things differently, and it isn’t about deciding to change something starting Monday morning. Sometimes it’s about the knowledge that something has actually come to an end.
So yes, I can state now that I know why people need the new year. And not everyone does, but when you stumble across those people who are watching the countdown clocks as if it will make everything better and solve all of their problems, don’t stand there and wonder why, or ask them what will actually be different just because there’s a different number at the end of the date. Be happy for them for finding a moment where the world comes together to say goodbye to the old and welcome to the new.
Thankfully, this year has been so much better, and I don’t feel anything like I did last year. But either way, I’m planning on welcoming the new year in with open arms!