Written by Nandini Sethi
Standing at the counter of the local coffee shop, I ponder over my usual dilemma – should I go for my regular cheesy, fatty pizza or finally take the step towards self-improvement and order the salad. Slowly, a line was forming behind me, so in my panicked state, I whispered my mantra to myself – new year, new me.
We were in the throes of winter, nearing the new year, basking in the last of Christmas before the resolutions were set in place and everyone became a better person starting January 1st. My resolution for the upcoming year was to eat healthier, read more, start exercising, and for god’s sake, to stop spending hours every day gossiping with my girls! But before I took the oath and committed myself to being that girl, I decided to indulge and splurge a little before the year came to an end. So, I ordered the pizza.
Scrolling through Instagram while relishing the gooey goodness of a 3-cheese slice, I wondered if instead of mindlessly stalking celebrities, I could read a book or something. I made a mental note to do star the habit in the new year.
I didn’t realize how quickly time passed by, and now I was late to get back to office. Sprinting on the pavement, I raced past all the stores and shops, stopping only when a pair of bright yellow stilettoes in the looking glassncaught my attention. I stopped for a minute, panting, looking around to see if anyone else had been stopped in their tracks because of the sheer gorgeousness of the pair of heels.
Nonchalantly walking into the store, I peeked at the price tag, swallowing loudly, but not making any moves to leave. There was a conflict bigger than the World Wars in my mind: I knew I was well over my monthly budget but coming face-to-face with these shoes was nothing less than fate. And fate should not be messed with.
Walking back to office, a neatly bow-tied package in my hand, I promised to not be so indulgent in the new year. I would practice self-restraint.
At the New Year’s Eve Party, as everyone danced and stumbled around, I decided to make a productive choice and book my plane tickets and hotel accommodation for my next trip. Traveling was high on my list of self-improvement since I never made an effort to get out of the house or socialize even at parties such as these. Staying cocooned all day in my blanket, hoping for a miraculous strike or dangerous weather conditions, I wished to work, dream, eat, sleep, cry, and do everything from home. But not anymore. This was going to be the year of my transformation. Nothing could hold me back.
And this burst of motivation couldn’t have come at a better time.
The countdown had begun, and as the crowd began chanting “10… 9… 8…”, I embraced the rush of emotion coupled with adrenaline, feeling it in my bones- yes, this was finally going to be my year of exploration and adventure and a new beginning!
“Happy new year!” Shouted everyone. I screamed too, hugging a bunch of strangers, trying to avoid breathing in the stench of alcohol and smoke on them.
But I embraced the hug anyway, this was my year of making new friends. I took a deep breath in and smiled at the prospect of a fresh start. I unlocked my phone to look at the brand-new date, smiling at the bold January 1, 2021 glaring back at me. I had no idea what was to come.