New Year’s Eve. A night of debauchery and a quest for the best party, the best company, the best dancefloor. The empitome of peer pressure for the young set, time to be beguiled into that extra glass of champagne, leading to the shots of tequila, leading to the infamous New Year’s Day “flu”. Its no surprise that New Year’s Eve provokes a lot of anxiety to those of us who suffer from “spotlight syndrome”, a loving term for feeling as if one is constantly being looked at and, consequently, judged. Surrounded by glitzy glamour girls in sparkles and lipstick, I often feel a shrinking violet, a wallflower with grey-tinged petals. It has little to do with my teetotaling tendancies and much to do with my social anxiety, this cringing feeling that accompanies me to big parties or bars. At times I yearn to throw my anxieties to the wind and smile with my eyes in enjoyment of whatever company I find myself in and the music playing on the stereo. Unfortunately, I tend to err more on the side of standing by those with whom I feel most comfortable, taking photos and letting my toes go numb in my 4 inch heels. Is it really so bad, you ask? Well, no, I suppose its fine to go to a party and not become its life. If only it didn’t end in my being bored with the night, tired of small talk and jaded to the festivities of the New Year.
Not to be a total tight-ass about New Year’s parties, but they really haven’t been the greatest in my experience. This could also have something to do with the fact that I still find myself in the company of others in my age group who think that drinking to the point of oblivion is “like OMG the coolest thing ever!”. But I digress, this post has little to do with my dislike of raucous drinking (read: puking) and much to do with the focus our society has on New Year’s Eve. In the place that I am right now, in the midst of my recovery, I’m finding it necessary to steele myself against the inevitable push on gym memberships and “healthy eating” in the media. The New Year is one of the biggest marketing ploys for gyms and dieting centres, as these places leech onto the ill-founded resolutions of individuals to “loose 10 pounds!” and “get buff!”. Last year, I disliked the newbies to the gym for an entirely different reason: they occupied my beloved treadmill in jeans, walking, when I wanted to sweat myself into serenity, uninterrupted. This year, I’m on hiatus from the gym, focusing on really getting healthy, but not in the conventional sense. Because, despite what the Special K ads will tell you, there are many ways to get healthy, and many definitions of what healthy really is. I know that these ads, for example, are not “healthy” for me, my state of mind, and my commitment to recovery from my eating disorder.
In other New Years news, why is it necessary to wait until the New Year to resolve? A few months ago, on an arbitrary day in an arbitrary month, I committed and resolved to give my all to recovery. If I’d waited until the New Year because “it’s the only time to make a resolution”, I’d be far worse off than I was when I started treatment. It is my belief that resolutions can, and should, be made at any time that works for an individual. But now it sounds like I’m bashing the whole idea of New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and resolutions, which is almost as clichéd as really digging the whole snafu. Take it how you will. I’m happy it is a New Year, but the passing of the old and entry into the New need perhaps not be laden with hangovers, lame parties and flawed-logic resolutions. I resolve to not let it bug me, next year.