Why I went away for New Year’s Eve

Every year, we are faced with the pressure of doing something great for New Year’s Eve. The pressure undoubtedly comes from our need of wanting to make the upcoming year better than the last, which means going out with a bang. For me, (for a long time) that meant getting dressed up, rallying all my friends, and heading to a club or party.

Sadly, I would often miss the countdown in company and end up wishing my friends a Happy New Year stuck on the underground. It also meant getting insanely drunk and spending New Year’s Day hungover, swearing off alcohol and cigarettes, kissing strangers, and regretting every life choice I’ve ever made – all whilst trying not to throw up every time I opened my mouth. As much as I romanticised this behaviour over the years, I came to realise that the only thing that needed to change was this NYE routine that I am now pleased to report I have outgrown.

2022 was a rough year. It had its ups – and I had a lot of fun in those moments – but it left me emotionally spent and in great need of some much-needed rejuvenation. Looking at those closest to me, I knew they shared the same sentiment. That’s why I decided if we really wanted the year ahead to be different, we needed to leave our comfort zone and troubles behind and spend New Year’s Eve away from everything that was plaguing us to get some space and time to reflect.

On New Year’s Eve, we stood on the terrace, held hands, and screamed into the darkness all the things we wanted to leave in 2022.

So, we headed to Whitsands Bay in Cornwall and stayed in the most gorgeous, cabin/chalet built into a cliff overlooking the ocean. The sight was breathtaking, the chalet was well decked out, and had a gorgeous modern-homely feel. There was a fire, a hot tub, a fully stocked kitchen, and not one tall building in sight – it was everything we needed. We cooked, relaxed, absorbed the view, and braved the cold sea winds to stand on the terrace and overlook the ocean to let our minds wander and reset.

On New Year’s Eve, minutes before the clock struck midnight, we stood on the terrace, held hands, and screamed into the darkness all the things we wanted to leave in 2022. Just in time to run back inside and wait for the clock to change and welcome us into the New Year. It was the most cathartic experience I’d had in a long time, and everything from the company to the ambience made it a trip I will carry with me forever.

It’s been a rule of mine for the last few years never to make New Year’s resolutions for obvious reasons. The main one being that I find it counterproductive to start my year off setting myself up for failure. By no means because I’m not capable of carrying them out, we can all do anything we put our minds to, but because New Year’s resolutions are just phony. We only make them because everyone else is doing it and because society has made us believe that everything we are in February- December is not good enough in January. And the fact is, if our New Year’s resolutions were something we actually wanted to achieve, we wouldn’t need to wait until the strike of midnight to make them come true.

All I vowed when the clock hit midnight was the same thing I have been trying to channel all year – putting myself first. The cabin was the perfect setting to reaffirm what I’ve been trying to adopt as my default and New Year’s was the perfect excuse for a getaway.

It’s so easy to forget yourself in the everyday. Being held down by commitments, relationships, or work, we are brainwashed into putting all of these things above our own sanity. Sadly, for many of us, that will never change, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t weave in some much-needed, greatly-deserved me-time in the middle of it all, to help you solidify your sanity, realign your priorities and just be at one with yourself.

Now that I’ve experienced coming into the New Year without an anxiousness of impending doom or fear that it’s just going to be the same as the last, I’ll probably always spend my New Year’s this way. It doesn’t have to be a cabin in a cliff or in Dubai (which I see many people opted for this year), but your new year should be spent in a place where you feel like you have the space to be yourself. You should feel safe with people you love and be with those who understand you. It’s baffling to me that I ever felt the need to spend such a momentous occasion with a hundred strangers in unfamiliar places for the sake of looking like I was having an amazing time. I’m sure I did at the time, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I can’t remember any one New Year’s Eve I’ve ever spent in a club with any more detail than the outfit I wore – and that’s only because of the pictures. If it wasn’t for that, you could tell me it never happened, and I wouldn’t be able to prove you otherwise.

The New Year shouldn’t leave you with any expectations of anyone or anything except for yourself. So, spend it with yourself, spend it with your thoughts, and spend it with people you simply couldn’t do without. Why? Because the endorphins you get from that and the feelings you experience in doing so are much more likely to get you through whatever lies ahead more so than complying with any ad telling you who you are isn’t good enough.

I’m excited for 2023, and the best part about is that there is no particular reason for my excitement, other than that having started the year the way I did makes me feel good knowing that whatever it brings, I’m mentally and emotionally where I need to be to handle it.

Happy New Year, everyone.


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