It was a few minutes before the clock struck 12 a.m. and I was right where I wanted to be.
I was at home with my family.
Earlier, we taken tortilla chips and scrapped cheese dip from our bowls until they were clean and popped pigs in a blanket into our mouths until we were full.
Now, everyone was in their pajamas. My mom and my older sister were on the couch, watching “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” waiting for the ball in New York City to drop. My dad, who had wished everyone “Happy New Year” already, was asleep for the night.
Meanwhile, I poured my younger sister and me a cup of sparkling cider. It was something we had done since we were little girls, a tradition we did not plan on discontinuing. Fingers wrapped around the glass, rim drawn to our lips, we watched the minutes drag by.
Last year was a different story. Around this time, I was at a party surrounded mostly by strangers. It was the first time that I had ever spent New Year’s Eve anywhere else except home.
It was supposed to be a small gathering – Domino’s pizza, good music and board games – but as the night progressed, it began to get more crowded.
The air became thick with smoke and the music, deafening loud.
I remembered sitting on the couch with some guy I barely knew, sipping from a red plastic cup. The guy had his arm around me and he could barely keep his eyes open. I had already made my mind up that I was going to kiss him when it was midnight. It was stupid decision, but it was something that I had seen in movies and always wanted to do.
And, I did end up kissing him.
In the movie “Riding in the Car with Boys,” Beverly said, “One day can make your life. One day can ruin your life. All life is, is four or five days that can change everything.”
For a while, I lived by this. I blamed this one day for ruining my whole year.
I thought that maybe if I had spent it at home like I normally had, my year would have gone a lot smoother. I thought that by kissing this one guy that I barely knew, it started me off of the wrong foot thus sending me on a pathway of wrongness.
But even though it felt like this was the domino that sent everything else spiraling, I knew that it was only one day out of 365 others.
Looking back, I do wish that I had not kissed anyone that night. Instead, I wish I danced with the people I knew there and perhaps, ate more slices pizza, but the deed was done now. I know now that I cannot change this mistake nor should I dwell on it; I can only grow from it and move on.
This year, I decided to start the year off in a familiar setting with the people I loved. I don’t think beginning this way has affected how my year will look in 2020. Right now, it is looking a little blurry. I imagine that this is something only time will reveal.
Truthfully, I don’t think it matters how you decide to bring in your New Year –whether you spend it in your pajamas with your family or toasting the night with your friends. However, what does matter is how you manage the rest of your 365 days.
I want to encourage everyone to take it one day at a time. Remember that even though yesterday was tough, tomorrow the sun will rise and it will be a brand-new day. Please, do not let one, two or even five awful days dishearten you from having a good year.