What an eventful year!
On campus there was Fall Fest, Battle of the Bands, Hill House trick-or-treating, and Holiday music. Off campus there was the ballet with Anahat, Club Elsewhere with Bella and Eli, the ballet again but this time with Sig, the MoMA with Valentina, the Strand with Chiara and Tyler, and Rockefeller Plaza with myself (but I love a bit of me-time). This year I saw the Nutcracker, a Cupcakke concert, the 100th anniversary of Chanel Number Five, Mamhoud Hamadani’s exhibit, Serenade at Lincoln Center, the Christian Dior exhibit, and the play “Fairycakes” in Greenwich Village. There were a few stops in between at Halalal Guys, Blondies, and Magnolia’s Bakery for food. It was an idyllic New York City picture show and yet I am still going to top it in the year to come.
I was masked, vaxxed, and distanced for all of the above. I started the year off with COVID, because I really know how to bring in the new year. There was an attempted coup d’etat at my nation’s capitol, a presidential election that came straight out of hell, but had a happy ending, and several protests across the country. I endured a second year of a global pandemic, in which I worked multiple jobs and attended college. Throughout all of this, I somehow managed to make great grades, new friends, and some reasonably good choices. The one thing I celebrated this New Year was the fact that I made it through all of this and did not do half bad for myself.
You might know my policy on New Year’s resolutions: don’t do them. New Year’s resolutions focus on what’s wrong with you and not what’s right and I’m delightful, so what’s to change? Also, from a psychological standpoint, a person cannot just change their behavior, they must first change their beliefs, which is why declaring what you’re going to change about yourself seldom works.
Nonetheless, every year my mind tends to wander towards things that I could change about myself and my lifestyle and I suppose you could call those things resolutions. A few obvious ones come to mind: learning how the New York subway system works, replacing all of my screen time with time spent reading books, and maybe going on an actual date- COVID permitting.
My aunt told me about a friend of hers who picks up a new skill every year instead of fulfilling certain resolutions and then working on it weekly. One year she said that she wanted to become proficient at baking, so every week she baked something new. One year she decided that she wanted to professionally learn how to make cocktails, so every week she concocted a new cocktail. By the end of every year, she had picked up a new skill.
Try as I may, I can’t come up with a weekly vocation to devote my time to, aside from attempting to read a book a week, which my school work won’t seem to let me do. I’m not yet twenty-one so the cocktail one is out. Groceries are expensive on a college girl budget so I won’t be baking weekly either.
There is nothing that I would like to be good at by the end of the year, except for maybe having written a novel, but who doesn’t want to do that?
New Year’s Day came, which I spent doing only positive things that I like and eating food that I don’t like.
If ever there was a day to be superstitious, it’s New Year’s Day. I jinx nothing on New Year’s Day. I am hesitant to even wish people a “Happy New Year,” since we’ve jinxed it the past two years in a row.
Even though I was alone with my family and drinking Prosecco, I sat overly-dressed in my living room on New Year’s Eve, because I cannot bring in the New Year without looking my best. Superstition dictates that I shouldn’t sweep on New Year’s Day since it is bad luck. I take it a step further by not doing anything on New Year’s Day that I wouldn’t want to do throughout the year. Instead, I only do the things that I would like to keep up throughout the year. I consider it to be setting a precedent. Ideally, if I do everything right on New Year’s Day, then I’m on the right track for the remaining 364 days. So on New Year’s Day, the plan was to read, paint, and write while avoiding TV and social media. In the end, I worked on my novel, started a new book, watched the news, and went for a walk.
I combine my Yukoslavian heritage with my Southern roots by eating special foods on New Year’s Day. It’s considered good luck in the south to eat collard greens in order to bring on wealth, rice so that you might never experience hunger in the new year, and black eyed peas for good luck. In Croatia, on New Year’s Day, they eat an animal that ruts forward, so that you might only look forward, and not backwards, in the new year. So, my mother makes pork. It was for these reasons that on New Year’s day, the menu consisted of pork, collared greens, black eyed peas, and rice, very little of which I like, but they should yield money, luck, and plenty of food, which I happen to really like.
I will let you know whether or not the food is working its magic and if I truly do get to be well-fed, well-paid, and lucky throughout the year, but in the meantime I am wishing everyone else an equally appealing new year that is filled with those wonderful things as well.
Happy New Year! We all could use it.
The Tragic Queen,