Happy New Year! Another Year Of Leaving My Childhood Behind? I Think So.

After so many years of celebrating New Years, I’ve realized I’ve been taking it for granted.

You know when the ball drops in Times Square on the television everybody screams, “Happy New Year!” and blows on their noisemakers. Then we hug EVERYONE, wishing them a Happy and Healthy. Then we go back to socializing, like nothing even happened. At least that’s how my New Years has been since I can remember. I probably won’t start actual partying until next year when I’m eighteen. But that’s beside the point.

I’ve realized that I don’t ever, EVER, have a New Years resolution. Everybody always talks about it; how no one sticks with it. And the news channels and Internet go crazy with ways to keep your resolutions. But I’ve never paid any attention to them, because I never had a resolution. And if I did, it was something stupid like to not date anybody, so my heart doesn’t get broken…again. But then feelings get in the way and you end up forgetting about the whole thing.

But this New Years, I almost cried. Not that anything bad happened. It was the same boring party with family friends I have every year.

I almost cried, because:

1) This will be my last New Years as a child, under the United States law.

2) A whole year has passed and I’ve been taking the whole thing for granted. In September, I’ll be eighteen and in college. I won’t be with any of my childhood friends. I’ll have to start all over. Sure, I’m excited. But I’m also scared.

3) I’m scared.

4) I feel like my childhood is almost all behind me and I want to keep holding on. I know I’ll be fine on my own, I’m very independent and can take care of myself, but that’s not why I want to keep holding on. I want that childhood bliss. The feeling of knowing that everything is all right. There’s no such thing as bad except for the monsters in your closet or a scraped knee from falling off the swings.

Another year gone, means another year I’m pulled farther away from being a kid. And being innocent and ignorant.

And happy.

Now, I’m not saying that being an adult is horrible and it means you should be miserable. But you can tell the difference between an adult and a child very easily.

An adult has stress, responsibility, and fear. Fear from just how horrible and cruel the world really is. Terrorists, natural disasters, murders. Your eyes are open to everything and it won’t ever go away.

A child has no stress other than doing their homework, which also falls under the lines of responsibility. They have fear, but for all the different reasons. They know no such thing as terrorists or murders. The only thing scary in their lives is the Count on Sesame Street. (I always thought he was scary. He’s a vampire who likes math! Who in their right mind would like that?)

But if you see my point then you know why I’m scared and I felt like crying on New Years. So when you ask everyone if they had a Happy New Year, my answer would be, “No.” Simple and blunt as that. Unlike this huge rant of mine.

And my New Years resolution?

To not take things for granted, even the little things, and enjoy every minute of my life no matter if I’m an adult or a child. Or even in-between.

And this one, I will stick with. Because it’s easier than trying to loose weight (not that I need to), eating healthier, or trying to control your feelings for the opposite sex.

So let’s welcome 2011 and say goodbye to 2010. Not with regret or remorse. But with contentment that another good year passed by, even if there were downsides. Like my childhood slowly falling out of my grasp.

Happy New Year everybody.

2011 (c) Jennifer Gioia

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