But I think the strangest was waking up in 2014 on my friend’s floor in Berlin, Germany.
Last New Year’s Day I woke up in my flat in Wellington, New Zealand, and the house was full of empty bottles, orphaned shoes, hefty hangovers, and some of my best friends.
The beginning of a new year always makes me a bit anxious. People are busy making resolutions, and all I can think is ‘Fuck. By the end of the year there’ll be a whole new army of beautiful, thin, healthy, successful, motivated assholes who have used this year wisely’. I can’t help but think that a new year causes us to approach resolutions with a list of all the things we’re not, or things we failed to do the previous year. Fuck that noise. I’m fully aware that I didn’t save a significant amount of money, lose a significant amount of weight, or give up a significantly unhealthy habit. It’s easy to be aware of all the things you don’t quite get right. It’s easy but I don’t know that it’s helpful.
So. This year, instead of worrying that I’m still not a size 6, that I still drink too much, and that I still have an ability to save money that would give some people a coronary, I have decided to pick two things that I didn’t fuck up, and that I can actually (and it’s hard because we’re not supposed to say this sort of thing) already be proud of. And not because I picked an arbitrary goal and gave myself 365 days to achieve it. Life is too short, and too fucking great to worry too often about how you measure up.
So here they are. The big two. Only two because, well, let’s not get too ambitious here folks.
1. Finishing university. Not ‘getting good grades’, not ‘working really hard’. Just. Finishing. I’ve said this before, but I am fucking amazed I graduated. I was a shitbag student. I think my grade average was about a B (on an optimistic day). And I did that with minimal work, maximal drinking, and a couple of anxiety attacks. So, no. I’m not proud of my grades or work ethic, but I am really proud to have sat in the Michael Fowler Centre with some of the best people I have met in my life, and know that we did it together. Also, that day half of us were hungover as all shit, which sums up our university experience nicely.
2. Moving to a foreign country. On my own. Where I knew no one. And none of the language. This one I am still coming to terms with. I know that I am here on a time limit, and that in six months I’ll be home again, but moving to Austria is one of the most terrifying things I have ever done. There are things no one tells you when you move to a foreign country, the most important being ‘you know how, at home, you would always walk up to a person drinking by themselves in a bar and ask if they’d like to join you and your friends? No? Exactly. Good fucking luck’. Making new friends is HARD, and at 25 it feels a little bit embarrassing to admit that. It’s so much easier when you’re five and people sit next to you because they like your shoes. The other hard thing is watching people at home continue without you. This gets easier, but at the beginning, jeeeeeesus. FOMO was my middle name. And my first name. And my goddamn last name. Generally, for jumping head first into this, I am really proud of myself. My comfort zone was, I think, getting a little too comfortable.
So there they are. My two self-administered pats on the back. I also aim to live this year with kindness, good humour, adventure, and love. But that is not a resolution. That is just not being an asshole.