I wish I had a specific, deep, meaningful word to describe New Year’s Eve and Day. But for me, the fireworks, the late night, the memories, and the anticipation can’t be contained in one specific word, so bear with me as I use a vague one instead. It’s not just bittersweet, not only hopeful, not simply a little nerve-wracking, nor merely nostalgic. The only word I can find is weird.
Lamest choice ever, yes? I’d tend to agree, and yet it encompasses the bittersweetness of letting go of some amazing people and places from 2017, allowing them to pass into my memory as I leave their reality behind. It includes my hope that I’ll grow closer to God and understand more about His world and its strange and incredible inhabitants called “people.” It grasps that nervous tremor in my stomach as the butterflies remind at 11:57 PM on the 31st that I’m not ready, not ready for college, not ready to turn 18, not ready to live without my family, just not quite ready for 2018. And it comprehends the nostalgia that reminds me of all the painful moments, all the beautiful moments from this year; reminds me that I’ve lived through them; reminds me that time has deemed that I’m ready, and so I am. It’s weird. (If you have a better word, let me know in the comments. It seems my diction fails me at particularly monumental moments. Typical Generation Z. I can’t even.)
Last week at Christmas, I talked about love and its effects on our perception of Noel. I think that same love is what makes New Year’s so painfully good. It’s love that turns our memories golden or allows us to move past the ones we’d rather forget. Love asks us to sacrifice, finding resolutions to make us better people in the New Year for the sake of Jesus Christ and those He’s placed around us. This holiday takes the love that opened a new way under the new covenant in the Nativity and Resurrection and reminds us that we have a new start in it every year, even every day, because His love is perfect and enduring. Love starts to wash away those scary, clingy bits of weirdness in New Year’s and make it simply beautiful.
Wishing you a beautiful, not-too-terribly-weird New Year’s Eve and 2018,