Maintaining a glass half-full attitude does not come easily to me, but determination and self-control are two qualities that do (when I want to them to, of course). So my thinking in the last few weeks, as I pondered the impending new year, was that I could use those strengths to will the former weakness into something more resolute. It is so easy to see everything in a negative light, but it is far more difficult to seek out the positive. That said, my ultimate goal this year is to do just that. I figure that a positive attitude is like a muscle that—with continuous, forced use—can only become stronger.
My New Years Eve was the perfect entrée into this mode of thinking, as it was wholly unexceptional and yet incredibly fun. In years past I caved to the thought process that if the evening was not mind-blowingly amazing, it was a failure. All or nothing, you know? Naturally, that always resulted in me feeling let down. This year I had zero expectations, and did my best not to let the stressful notion of having a “perfect” night get to me. People have been harping on the benefits of doing that for ages, but I was stubbornly stuck in my ways. Much to my surprise—their wise words paid off.
I could have easily gone the June Gloom route.The dress I ordered for the evening fit strangely, hanging off my non-chest like a potato sack, alerting all interested parties to my lack of tatas. And the silvery color didn’t look as good on as I had hoped. Cue outfit crisis. I ransacked my apartment trying to find something else to wear, the ultimate crise de la white girl. I started telling myself that I had to wear a dress, because that’s what ladies do on this holiday, until I remembered that I generally hate dresses and don’t feel like myself in them. So I relaxed and wore a typical me outfit—all black, a little sparkle, an upside down frown.
I was late to pick up my friend, and early to the event we were headed to. But staying warm in a nearby Subway (work with what you’ve got?) turned out to be highly productive. We made friends immediately who were headed to the same party as us, a couple of nice gents who restored my faith in our generation’s ability to be kind and converse without the protection of devices. Once the night really began, the drinks were delicious, the silly costumes were worn rather than eye-rolled at (my usual M-O), and the laughs were plenty. I didn’t feel the need to feverishly seek out a midnight kiss, as if kissing a complete stranger would wildly up my winning-at-life game. Instead, I reveled in me, myself, and I, my best-friend-cum-love-of-my-life, and the twisted joy unleashed by turning down overly-confident men. [Sue me?]
At the next spot I danced with abandon and actually missed the stroke of midnight because I was too preoccupied with that strange sensation called: enjoying myself. I was certainly hungover when I woke up the next morning, but forced myself out of bed with the allure of coffee and cereal (simple pleasures go a long way). Chugging copious amounts of water, coupled with a little lovin’ from ibuprofen, helped seal the non-miserable deal. For coffee, I walked a little farther than my usual stop at the corner deli to have a quality cuppa instead, genuinely reveling in the slightly-too-brisk air and the deserted city streets. It was like a fucking Lifetime movie, minus the self-disgust re: enjoying it.
This life-high is not indomitable, and 2014 will probably bring with it its own set of challenges, letdowns, and regrets. But if the last month taught me anything, it’s that you can make it really, really difficult for things to get you down if you choose to, and the endgame is totally worth it.
On a similar-yet-different note, here are some more lighthearted resolutions I’ve made for the year, in lieu of yesterday’s post:
Relearn world geography.
Don’t buy anything from H&M this year.
Don’t read any of the trash on Thought Catalog.
Rigorously clean out your wardrobe.
Invest in one special piece of jewelry.
Watch all seasons of The Sopranos.
Always drink water with alcohol.
Don’t buy any more books until you’ve read the ones you own.
Keep cross-training (don’t just run run run).
Get more creative with your breakfasts.
Be bolder in the hair and make-up department.
Go to more concerts.
Plan a trip to Portugal.
Try to buy only all natural hygiene and beauty products. Or, at the least, avoid products made with this stuff.