New Year's Eve has always been one of my absolute favorite holidays. I love the lack of expectation that comes with the day--the care-free smiles and parties, laughter and champagne, and the inevitable wave of nostalgia. So many other holidays have such high expectations. On Valentine's Day, you're expected to be in love or be miserable. At Christmas time, so many people concern themselves with the commercial and then complain that it "just doesn't feel like Christmas," but New Year's Eve is effortless, a breath of fresh air.
2011 has been the greatest year of my life, which I can claim with absolute certainty. I have been given wonderful opportunities and I have spent it surrounded by the people I love most. Last year at midnight, my friends and I made a toast to "the best year of our lives" that would indefinitely unfold, and as we clinked glasses and laughed, it felt sincere. Tonight, I will celebrate the arrival of 2012 in an identical fashion, though the kids behind those glasses of sparkling cider are now adults, ready to face the world. Brave, yet scared out of their wits. We have grown up.
I look forward to 2012 with great anticipation. It will bring some of the biggest changes and challenges of my life so far. I will move out of my family's home and into a college--not to mention, I'll have to choose a college. I will spend a week in Switzerland and Italy, exploring and rediscovering my soul. I will graduate high school. I will see my friends scatter in all different directions. I will love, laugh, cry, paint, create, and rediscover.
2011, you've been kind.
Happy New Year.