A chance for quiet reflection

January 03, 2018

Big Ben - New Year is just another reminder that the clock is ticking.

On Sunday night, as the rest of the world was out dancing, I closed all my doors and windows and officially turned old.

The grey hairs on my head have been sprouting for a while, but I never dreamed I would spend New Year’s Eve alone at 27 reading poetry and sipping tea.

I had spent the morning with family in Melbourne before driving back to Shepparton, but most of the day I was alone.

I was working the next day and could not bear the thought of showing up exhausted or nursing a headache if I had decided to head out with friends.

New Year’s Eve is barely worth being sick over.

I cooked a chicken and some roast vegetables and sat on the couch watching television before retiring to my bedroom to wind down.

The final hours of 2017 gave me the time to reflect on what I had achieved that year (I had bought a car, moved into a place by myself, had travelled to new places and managed to semi-conquer my fear of killing big spiders), as well as think about the times that had not been so great (losing some of my best friends, feeling lost and engaging in relationships with people who did not have my best interests at heart).

I wrote down my goals for 2018 (be happy) and then started reading a book of poetry that deals with heartbreak, loss and healing.

And I felt okay.

As I lit the sparkler at midnight on the dot, the reality of locking myself in a room and being alone while millions of others were not dawned on me.

It was a bittersweet feeling that told me I should have ignored my hangover worries and went out with friends, while at the same time made me feel as though it was something I needed.

I am no stranger to spending time alone, and a lot of my New Year’s Eves have not exactly been kind.

From what I hear, the consensus that the night can often be a letdown, heartbreaking or unfulfilled is widespread, and I feel it often sets the tone for the year ahead.

I have seen people fight with their best friends, young women in sparkly dresses being hauled into the back of police vans, people throwing up in alleyways and crowds having panic attacks over the sheer amount of people around.

I have been stranded in taxis as the clock has struck midnight and I have lost friends and walked alone on piers as everyone else hugged those around them, feeling like I had no control of the situation.

This year I went to sleep and had no expectation for the year ahead.

As far as resolutions go, I have decided that I am going to drink tea and be happy, and I refuse to do anything other than grow.

Even if the sky folds over and swallows up the sun.

Rhiannon Tuffield is a News journalist.

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