Tags: commercialization of the holidays, holiday spirit, New Year's Eve, Times Square
Every year during this time there is a huge sense of excitement everywhere you go. Togetherness and gift-giving are thrown in your face from ads in the subways and straight to your television. Gift-giving is followed by the momentous celebration that is New Year’s Eve.
Growing up Jewish, I never totally got the whole Christmas spirit thing. I don’t remember any real feelings of jealousy. I mean, I got a free day off from school with no obligations to spend with anyone. I had already received 8 days worth of gifts, and now I had a full day just to play with my new toys.
But I have often confronted New Year’s Eve planning with a level of disdain. It is such a huge night where literally the whole world counts down together. (I wonder if when the supposed end of the world on December 21, 2012 will also be met with a similar countdown). Each year, there is this feeling that you should end the year with a bang — do something big. Thousands of people spend hours waiting in Times Square and other huge gathering areas, or pay crazy prices to watch the clock. Some people take the easy way out and have people over locally — to me, that sounds like a great idea and I’ve been guilty of going that route. I have done everything I can to get away from New York — the only time of year I purposely run away from the home I love — because it just gets too crazy. This year, I will brave the craziness for a fun night out in the city, knowing that at least I won’t be on the road with a bunch of drunk drivers.
But back to my original question — is there really a way to ignore the holidays all together? I imagine if you have big distractions, like a newborn child or something along those lines, you may forget about New Year’s for a brief moment. But the holidays are here to stay. There will always be a New Year’s and a Christmas, until the world really does end. So whether you use these holidays as excuses to let loose or a chance to remain low key, you can always do it differently next year.
And hopefully, you are making unforgettable memories in a more organic way too — without planning, without the whole world literally rejoicing at the same time. Those are some really special moments.
Tags: aging, finding yourself, living the life, no commitment, study abroad, traveling
Backpacking through Europe. Moving across the country. Taking time off after college to “find yourself.” Moving to the big city. These are some examples of activities you are told to experience “while you’re still young.”
I guess the idea is that, while you’re still “young” you have time to mess up and rebound, you may have no commitments, few responsibilities.
I did not take in any of these activities, and not for lack of desire. I had wanted to study abroad, but it seemed irresponsible to go when I had 6 credits left to graduate. I knew I’d be financially paying for it in the long term. Instead, I did shorter trips to England, Italy, France, Spain. Still, I have this thirst to know the world, to explore different cultures, walk ancient passageways, relive history.
I also had this inherent understanding and need to join the workforce as quickly as possible. And I was lucky enough to know at an early age what direction I wanted to take my career, so no need to “find myself”. I have always known who I am and what my strengths are.
I wanted to live in the big city for as long as I can remember, but my career path and with the addition of a large, playful dog to the family, made it in unrealistic.
But I don’t think it’s over for me. Sure, my current path leads me to marriage, and who knows from there, but there might be a chance to stay true to this some of this whole “while we’re still young” mentality.
And if not? Well, if not, maybe I’ll get to some of these activities later in life. Being young is not the only time to explore the world. I plan to live an active life, to see many things, to experience many things.
And what really is “young” anyways? I’m young, but I have a ton of responsibilities and commitments. I don’t see that stopping.
Maybe it’s not really about age. Maybe it’s more about the desire to live and experience, to enjoy life and all the wonder it has to offer.