Isn’t this day the pinnacle of broken dreams and lost illusions?
The expectations are so huge. While it’s perfectly OK to have a less-than-exhilarating Christmas, spent on your own or with family members who’d all rather be somewhere else, New Year is quite the opposite.
You should be with your friends at a huge crazy party where everyone drinks floods of champagne and laughs all night long - pleasantly dizzy but never embarrassingly drunk. As the bells start ringing at midnight you lose yourself in a soft and sparkling kiss with the love of your life (or at a minimum a wonderful flirt of the evening.)
In reality it’s never as fun as it is on TV. It’s more like a cruel reminder that yet another year has passed of your life, and what did you do of it? Where did all the dreams and promises go?
I don’t think you see as much faked happiness and as much true and honest loneliness as you do at New Year.
But for all the bitterness it carries, there’s still something about it that I love. The fireworks. As you might now, enjoying some fireworks after eating a chocolate cake in WoW is one of my guilty pleasures. And you can only imagine how childishly enthusiastic I am about them in real life. Of course it’s a complete waste of money and effort, the ultimate sandcastle, an instant flash of beauty, lost and gone within a few seconds, only leaving a fading trail in our memories. But it’s one of the aspects of what it means to be human.
New Year is also something of a reset, resembling to the release of a new WoW expansion or at least a content patch. Your calendar has still some empty spots; nothing is set in stone. This is the time and place to make those decisions you’ve been pondering on. Maybe level up some new skill, explore a new zone of the world or even go through a complete remake of yourself, going from a forsaken to a gnome – or the opposite way. Even if the timeline is a theoretical construction and not a physical fact, the impact is undeniable.
The world is reset, and if the American dream that “anything is possible if you just try hard enough” actually is a bit of a lie, it’s still true that many of us only use a fraction of our full potential. All dreams can’t come true. But some can. And New Year reminds us of that.
I don’t think I’ve ever given any New Year solution. Or if I have, it wasn’t serious enough for me to remember it afterwards, so I reckon I broke it pretty quickly.
Oh, or wait. I actually did write down a couple of WoW related New Year's resolutions two years ago. My compliance with them has admittedly been so and so. But it’s a good reminder to glance over them again. The order in my bags and bank could be better, can’t it always? However it’s not completely out of control, in the sense that I have some space. I still don’t charge for mage portals, but if someone asks me about the fee, my reply is “what you think it is worth to you”. I still know how to do the Heigan dance! I don’t think you’ll ever forget it once you know the steps.
Most important though is my promise to see to that I keep having fun playing WoW. This means following my heart rather than the crowd, making sure the game doesn’t turn into a job rather than entertainment.
Spending the night
There are many ways to spend New Year. I will spend it 30 k feet up in the air homeward bound, crossing a number of time zones. If I wanted to I could have a reason to drink champagne throughout the whole night. It's the New Year that never ends.
Some of you will spend it with friends and for a few of you it will be a blast and a new beginning of something, possibly a romance. For others it will be a night of disappointment.
Perhaps a few of you will spend New Year in Azeroth. And if you do, don’t feel awkward or ashamed about it. If you’re with friends, having fun, you’re probably way better of than many of those who celebrate New Year in a more conventional way.
Regardless of what you’ll do, I hope you’ll have a great night, where expectations and reality somehow end up at the same level.
Now please head over to the bar disk, have a glass of free champagne and join me in a toast!
Happy New Year!