I am not a fan of New Year’s Eve – never have been. In fact, I kind of hate it. The past two New Year’s Eves, I haven’t even made it to midnight. It just isn’t my type of holiday. There’s a party I could attend tonight, but I probably won’t. I’m just not into it.
But I do owe a debt of gratitude to New Year’s Eve as well. Back in 1999, I was still hating on the holiday even with the change of the millennium. But I was very intrigued by how each country was going to mark this momentous change, so I spent a good part of December 31, 1999 watching the year 2000 get rung in across the globe. I don’t really remember what any country did, except for one – France. I had never been to France or even Europe at that point but when I saw the countdown to the New Year in Paris, I was captivated. The way they made the Eiffel Tower twinkle was magical and from that point on, I was completely smitten.
My first trip to Europe, specifically Italy and Switzerland, was already planned for March 2000 but that New Year’s Eve put Paris on my radar. I took my first trip to the City of Light in November 2000 and so began my love affair with that city. And my love of Paris is what made me want to be an expat, and its what made me invest the time and money into getting my EU passport. So, thanks New Year’s Eve – I owe you one.
On New Year’s Eve, I suppose one can’t help but reflect on the year that has passed and anticipate what might happen in the year about to begin. 2014 was a year of change for me, not all of it welcome. But I had no choice but to roll with it and hope that things worked out, which they did – at least mostly.
I’m still not sure what 2015 holds. But do any of us? There are things I am hoping for, both personally and professionally. There are goals I want to reach and things I want to do, though I adamantly do NOT make resolutions. And of course, there are so many places that I want to see.
I was looking for a quote about New Year’s and I found this one by Neil Gaiman:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
This sums up my expat life pretty well. I’ve made so many mistakes, and I’m sure more await me in the New Year. But it’s the mistakes that will keep 2015 interesting.
So, my friends, for this New Year, cheers to your health, cheers to your happiness – and cheers to your mistakes!