This will be the first New Year’s Eve in many, many years that I spend outside of New York.
I’ve never been a Times Square on NYE girl. It seems horrifying; I don’t like large crowds, I don’t like not being able to dip if I need to, I don’t like the cold. Numerous friends over the years have said “I can’t believe you live in NY and you’ve never done Times Sq. once.”
“The only scenario,” I’d reply, “that will ever include huny + Times Square + New Year’s Eve is if I’m in a penthouse suite at the top of one of those buildings, in a dress slit all the way up to my poundcake, looking down on that shit with a champagne flute in my hand.”
I maintain that.
However, realizing that even the option to go to Times Sq. doesn’t exist for me tonight has my stomach hurting a bit. Truth be told, I do not like NYE. It’s too much motherfucking pressure. It’s almost always disappointing and underwhelming. I’ve never had that glamorous party with a perfect kiss at midnight experience. It’s cliche, but for many years I ached a bit for it. Just once. The story. Last year on NYE I was so depressed I was nauseous. I was so heartbroken and disappointed my chest hurt. I didn’t want to live. That’s haunted me this entire year. I guess it’s true what they say about New Year’s setting the tone.
So I was quite alright to stay home alone this year and go to bed early to just avoid it all. I was actually looking forward to it. But a couple people who love me told me I shouldn’t do that; that if I had even an option of finding something to get into, I should. So I found something. And I’m getting into it. Fine. I’m wearing a short tomato-red dress with a deep v-neck. I’m wearing heels. I’m wearing pantyhose that lace up my leg like a corset. I’m wearing shiny lipstick and glittery eye shadow. Fine fine fine.
Truth is, I’m more afraid to start feeling like “myself” here than not. Because I don’t really know what that’s going to look like so far away from what I’ve known. I feel reluctant to let some new me spring out of the unknown proverbial soil. Ole stranger bitch soil. I’m not as brave as I thought I was. Getting older for me has meant accepting many things I can’t have, and for someone who believed they could have almost anything they wanted with the right amount of drive, focus, and gangsterliness, it’s devastated me. It’s changed me entirely.
I feel the weariness setting in, though. I’m growing weary of holding myself back. I’m talking to myself more kindly. I’m taking more initiative to practice self-care. I’m seeing how beautiful I am reflected in the eyes of the kiddos and my friends. I’m having enjoyable moments here, with people who actually want to get to know me, that give me hope–something I’ve recoiled away from for a long-ass time. Pittsburgh, this soon-to-expire year, this mystery–it’s all a bridge. I can’t see what’s on the other side yet, but I’m already on it and it’s one-way.
Might as well charge.