Since childhood, Lauren, Crystal, Nikita, and I have gone out of our way to have horrible New Years Eve gatherings. We never enjoyed the “holiday” (it astounds me that businesses close up shop for the sake of the New Year) and even made a video of our hatred for it during our junior year of high school. In 2009, Crystal and I hung out with her then-boyfriend in Davis and joked that it was nice to do something worthwhile on NYE for once, but the following year was met with immense sadness on my part.
Last NYE, my roommate Anna and I moped in our northern Virginia apartment as the rest of the world welcomed 2011. I believe I was weeping in bed for some reason or another — mainly because I was lonely and heartbroken at the time. That evening, I vowed never to celebrate NYE solo in the dark ever again. I was tired of the holiday spoiling my mood.
Even so, I was hesitant to indulge in NYE fun early yesterday morning. My favorite burrito eatery in town shut down for the “holiday,” giving me another excuse to go on a rampage about NYE. I had plans for the night, but complained about the way it made people behave nonetheless.
To my surprise, NYE 2011 ended up being phenomenal. Unfortunately, it was the best experience I’ve had since being at UA, and I haven’t been in school for 1.7 years. It’s a little sad that I let my personal life take such a backseat upon obtaining my degree. Career-wise, I have surpassed the post-college expectations I had for myself, but never fully enjoyed an evening out on the town until last night. There was something in the air for sure. An unstoppable trio, Lauren, Crystal, and I took on Santa Cruz and came out of the “holiday” (I’ll always and forever put it in quotation marks) with hilarious life-long memories. For one, Lauren wound up with a fellow named Dove whose father teaches yoga. Only in northern California! From 3pm yesterday until 11 am today, it was weird story after weird story. We roamed Pacific Avenue, laughed in the Red Room bar, befriended a group of men in suits and a dapper marine biologist, dragged them to the clock tower to celebrate the New Year at midnight, danced among bubbles, accomplished what we each set out to do, created a million new memories and inside jokes, and somehow managed to become even closer than we’d been prior to that day. Having been close pals for fifteen years, we didn’t think it was possible to have a tighter knit friendship, but NYE brought us even closer together and changed our dynamic forever. It goes to show that relationships never stop growing and evolving.
Last night brought dozens of hilarious moments, some of which I’ll keep between me and the girls, but I’ll fill you in on some of the funny events of NYE. When one of our new pals asked for Crystal’s number before we all went our separate ways, she responded with, “Why do you want it? It’s not like we’re ever going to see each other again!” I respect a person who tells it like it is and recognizes BS immediately. Crystal wasn’t about to engage in forced pleasantries, and I think it’s awesome that she speaks the truth in all situations. I accidentally walked in on Lauren and Dove together, but when I apologized, he smiled and said, “‘Sorry’ is not allowed in this room. Don’t be sorry.” He went so far as to do yoga poses and push-ups whilst hungover, so we dubbed him Yoga Man.
I’m glad my buddies and I broke our terrible tradition of having awful New Years Eve celebrations. Up until last night, I couldn’t understand why the New Year is even worth cheering about. Upon reflecting on our fun experiences that took place at the beginning of 2012, I’ve realized that everyone simply wants to get the year off to a great start. If an awesome New Years Eve is in any way indicative of an amazing year, then 2012 is going to provide me with endless amounts of joy and excitement. From here on out, I want all NYEs to be as fun as the one I just had, as there’s no better way to begin the year than the manner in which my friends and I did.
With that, I’m happy I passed on spending NYE in New York. It was more important to me to be with my longtime buddies, but perhaps I’ll do the whole Times Square thing next year. As long as I’m in good company, nothing else — even location — matters.
I’m happy to leave California on a fun note, but a little bummed about returning to cold weather tomorrow. I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved walking around my neighborhood without a sweater or jacket the past two weeks. Now it’s back to heavy coats, wool socks, boots, scarves, hats, and mittens. As much as I’ll dread the wind, I eagerly await NYC’s first snowfall of the winter. The heat wave was nice for a while but is beginning to scare me, as it’s a reminder that our planet is in trouble, so hopefully we receive some snow in no time. At this point, we need it.