Friday, January 6, 2012

Why the New Year brings stress

6 days have passed in January and I'm already feeling a nervous anxiety that's turning into a world shattering paranoia about my life, job, friends, apartment, and current lifestyle. I thank the media, my friends, and Cooper Anderson's NYE special for this particular anxiety since I believe it's root stems from "New Year's Eve". New Year's Eve, the most fun party of the year, turns sour when the symbolism of the the new year, and all the change it's supposed to bring, start to sink in.

New Year's Eve at MSG

New Year, New You
Why do we have this tantalizing feeling that every new year we're supposed to become someone completely new? Probably because all the magazines and articles are saying it. They all poke and prod at us to find our new hairstyle, new wardrobe, new body, new swagger, and new appearance, as if our 2011 selves have now become out-of-style and moot. What if this is just a stagnant year for my body and I just stay the same? What if I skate by in my 2011 wardrobe and let my hair keep growing and I don't weave feathers/strings/colored hair extensions into it? No? Not "new" enough?

New Year, New Age
New Year's always feels like a second birthday. My birthday's in August, so I just turned 24 less than 4 months ago but I keep thinking "This is the year I turn 25...". I can remember this year, as I was getting a little too intoxicated with my girl friend on New Year's eve, we found ourselves recounting all the new year's we spent together. Three in college, two out of college, in cities, at concerts, abroad... How many more of these 20-something new year's do I have left? I mean 25 is when people start to turn the corner to 30, right? Will she and I get old/married/pregnant soon and not ever again spend new year's wandering around New York city with a cheap bottle of Andre wearing pink mustaches? I hope not.

New Year, New Drive
By drive, I mean personal drive and aspiration (not like a car, though I'm sure driving on new year's brings a whole other type of anxiety). Something about the ball dropping in times square makes a light bulb go off in everyone's head. People everywhere seem to acknowledge all the things they have slacked off on in the previous year, and a fiery burn of restless dissatisfaction seems to ignite inside everyone. Some people call these dissatisfcations "New Year's Resolutions".
Resolution that reads "I want to study for the GRE" really means "I don't think I'm where I want to be in my career and need to go back to school".
Resolution that reads "I want to lose 3 lbs" really means "I feel inactive and I probably party too much and need to change my weekly activities".
Resolution that reads "Get outdoors more" really means "I live in a city of smog and overcrowding and I miss seeing mountains and having a lawn with grass and trees". 

One horoscope I read about my sign said "Your drive will be very fierce in the months coming. You can and will get a tremendous amount accomplished". Well if that doesn't start me in a down spiral of panic attacks over this hypothetical amount of shit, that I don't even know about yet, which I'm supposed to get done this year... I don't know what will.

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