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NYE: It’s About Your Heart, Not What You Have Planned

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girl in lights, New Year, New Years, NYE, NYE plans, truth about New Years Eve
Almos Bechtold

With the New Year comes a buzz—not only about resolutions and plans for the months to come, but an energy about what, exactly, you’re going to be doing, where you’re going to be, or who you’re going to be with. There is such hype about NYE—bars have special hours and events, nightclubs have ‘exclusive’ tickets, even parties at people’s houses come with dress codes and expectations. And sometimes planning the evening in itself can be overwhelming, whether you’re trying to figure out how many appetizers to make, who to invite, what to attend, or who to spend the countdown with.

But in the flurry of excitement, in the frantic recipe-scanning and planning and organizing and ticket-buying, here is something to keep in mind: New Years Eve, like any of the winter holidays, is not so much about what you do, what you get, where you go, or even who you’re with.

What matters the most is how you feel in your heart, and the true purpose of the celebration.

It doesn’t quite matter if you’re on the opposite end of the country from your family; you can still celebrate new beginnings with a Skype call, with an encouraging text message, with intentional plans with a future date to see and spend time with them. It doesn’t matter if you’re not surrounded with all of your friends; friendship isn’t (and shouldn’t be) determined by how often you see one another, or party together. Your bond should be strengthened by your promise to continue your friendship into the New Year. It doesn’t matter if your significant other can’t be with you for the midnight kiss. That kiss does not promise a beautiful year; your commitment to one another does.

Stop worrying about who you’re going to be with or where you’re going. You don’t necessarily need to spend hundreds of dollars on an event, on new clothes, on bottles and tables and fancy plans. Sure, by all means, if that’s something you want to do, then do it! But if you’re feeling like your NYE won’t be fun unless you spend money, or are surrounded by everyone you love—that’s absolutely not true.

New Years is about the promise of new beginnings, new starts, new chances. It’s about shedding the past year, past pain, and walking forward with confidence. It’s about knowing that some things won’t change, but encouraging yourself to face those things with a positive mindset. It’s about celebrating a beautiful past year, but being excited about what’s to come.

It’s about celebrating what you have, regardless if it’s tangible and right in front of you when the countdown begins.

The night is not about how much money you spend, how good you look in your shoes or dress, how fancy your plans are, or how many people you invite or are surrounded by. It’s not about the drinks, the craziness, the lavishness. It’s not about being with everyone, or even anyone at all.

New Years is about your mindset, your heart. It’s about reaching inside yourself and realizing what you’re proud of, encouraged by, and excited to do in the next 365 days. It’s about celebrating the people and things you have, even if they can’t be with you in that moment.

So if you’ve been stressing about your plans, your family, your friends, your significant other, your hopes for the night and what you want to do—don’t.

It’s not about the one night; it’s about a beautiful year to come. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & producer. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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Cut yourself some slack. One of the biggest regrets most people have about their 20s is that they didn’t enjoy them more. And I’m not talking about “buy more expensive dinners, take another trip to Thailand” type of enjoyment. I mean having the ability to take a deep breath and sip coffee in the morning knowing that you have done, and are doing, your best.

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