2024: A New Year, Absurdity, and Chaos

Content Warning: Alcohol Consumption, Existential Themes, Mentions of Pressure and Anxiety

New Year’s Eve tends to be this poorly thrown-together affair, a letdown of a celebration that’s basically an excuse to drink, coupled with the added stress of making it some kind of extraordinary night, setting us up for inevitable self-sabotage. A lukewarm evening culminating in a brutal hangover the next day. Now, imagine my surprise when my Dad questioned why I hadn’t sent him a New Year’s text or made a celebratory call.

Coming from Europe, where the academic and professional calendar starts in September and ends in July; the whole New Year’s fuss feels out of sync. It’s like birthday celebrations all over again, hyper-aware of their significance, yet it’s just another 24-hour cycle. Birthdays at least mark another trip around the sun; the new year, on the flip side, is so mundane and devoid of meaning that it’s almost liberating.

Let’s face it, the New Year is merely a time marker, a human-made concept that could easily be swapped for any other day. When you ponder the year ahead, with its fears and aspirations, you’re essentially reacting to the moment and projecting yourself based on your current knowledge. And here’s the mic drop: you can do that any day. It’s not about saving the planet or making grand resolutions for the upcoming year; it’s about taking action now. Resolutions? They shouldn’t be an annual ritual; they should be an everyday thing.

That anxiety about the impending year? Treat it as a present reality that demands action right now. We’ve built up this idealised notion of the new year, loaded it with unnecessary pressure, and unwittingly set ourselves up for sabotage. Let’s break free from that cycle, shall we?

Now, the harsh reality is that we’ve been placed on an earth, where the ticking of the clock signifies a worsening state of the world. Transitioning from 2023 to 2024, like any other year, is a chilling prospect in the face of our tumultuous reality. Yet, it’s peculiarly banal. Our daily existence isn’t solely centred around humanity’s failures; it’s about navigating the ordinary.

Nevertheless, maybe 2024, will be for you what 2023 was for me; a year of transition, a whirlwind of new experiences that demands a spotlight on oneself, not in an egotistical manner, but out of sheer necessity. As for me, I’ll be retracing my steps, delving into my second year of university, no longer entranced by the novelty it once held. It’s a return, slightly embittered. 

When the new year is spoken of, I grasp the celebration of fresh beginnings. Yet, for those without a new chapter to toast to, there’s an undeniable careless liberation. You’re unburdened by societal pressures, free to instigate change whenever the mood strikes, and authentically attuned to life’s disappointments and bitterness. Not in a way that drags you down, but in a liberating way fuelled by absurdism and the humour found in self-deprecation. Embrace life’s quirks with a lightness that only the absurd can bring, finding joy in the chaos and sharing a laugh at the joke we call existence.

Amelie Blanc

The author Amelie Blanc

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