Thought Catalog

Why New Years Always Brings Out The Pessimist In Me

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image - Flickr / Amodiovalerio Verde
image – Flickr / Amodiovalerio Verde

I’m scrolling through my feed, half asleep and burrowed cozily in my bed. I scan the articles mindlessly, looking for anything that piques my interest when I see the words “for the New Year.”

And just like that, my relaxed state of mind dissipates.

Because to be honest, New Year’s stresses me out. There’s just too many expectations, too many resolutions people make but never keep. I’m not sure why it scares me, but it does.

There’s too much anticipation built around it; maybe it’s the same reason why I hate birthdays. It’s supposed to be a day where everything is special, everything is magical, everything is perfect, but what we don’t realize is that life isn’t perfect. Sometimes it really sucks when you don’t want it to. Sometimes you have three presentations and a test on your birthday. Sometimes you spend your birthday crying because you miss home and it seems like no one here cares anyway. Sometimes your boyfriend breaks up with you on New Year’s. Sometimes you expect New Year’s Eve to be crazy and wonderful, but instead you’re sitting alone in the kitchen at 12am eating a box of doughnuts.

I’ve never really been a pessimist though. I’ve always had the belief that things will work out just fine, and if they don’t, then it’s just a bump in the road. If you work hard to get what you want, then you’ll get it. I believe in luck and soul mates and happy endings. Life may not be perfect, but it’d be boring if it were. Despite all the optimism, there’s something about New Year’s that puts me on edge, bringing out the inner doubt in me.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never really considered New Year’s to be a huge turning point. For me, the only reminder that something has changed is remembering to write “2015” on my papers instead of “2014.” I don’t feel any different on January 1 than I did on December 31, just like how I don’t feel any older the day after my birthday. It’s just a day, but that day holds so many expectations. There’s articles all over the web: “Best Ways to Stick to Your Resolution!” “Healthy Recipes for New Year Weight Loss!” “Resolutions to Make for 2015!” “How to Make 2015 Your Year!”

It all tastes like BS to me. Why wait until January 1 to change? What makes that particular day so special? We read these articles, gain some semblance of motivation, and lose it a couple of hours, days, weeks, months later. We find that it’s June and the year’s already half over, and what have we accomplished so far? Our gym shoes have been pushed to the back of closet, we’ve stopped trying to be nice all the time because that’s just not feasible. We find that it’s December and the year’s basically over, and oh my where did it go because we haven’t done anything that we said we’d do.

Maybe New Year’s scares me because I’m scared I’m letting my life slip by. Maybe I feel like I should be making these unrealistic resolutions and sticking to them. Maybe I feel like there’s some aspect of myself I should change, something else I should put on my already full plate.

Maybe I’m scared that that’s what the end of my life will be like – December 31, realizing that I’ve done nothing I wanted to. TC mark

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