It is ten minutes ‘til the ball drops on Times Square and I should be excited over the prospect of a new year ahead.
Instead, it feels like I’m carrying the weight of that glittery glow ball on my shoulders and I’m stuck in a holding pattern. The daily grind of day in, day out in this rat race they call adulthood.
“Girl, what’s going on with you? You look like you’re considering jumping off this roof, which would be a real tragedy because those are some really nice shoes,” my friend, Scarlett, says with a droll smirk, gesturing to my shoes. “I could keep them as a keepsake memory of you if you want.”
I roll my eyes at her attempt to humor me and stare out over the cityscape from our incredible rooftop vantage point.
“These shoes are going with me. They cost half my rent this month. And I’m not going to jump, by the way, but thanks for your genuine concern.” I flip her off to show her my sincerity, to which we both laugh.
“So why the frown, Marin? You look absolutely stunning tonight and we’re drinking free champagne. The only thing that could make it better is if Joe Manganiello walked through those doors and asked us to have a threesome.”
I gasp innocently, covering my gaping mouth with my hand. “You can have Joe all to yourself. I’d rather hope for Chris Pine. I’d climb his tree.”
We laugh at my innuendo and indulge in some more champagne, chatting about our resolutions for the year ahead of us.
“Hey, by the way, did you get the group text from the Mi Alpha Alpha Alum group?”
Scarlett fills up her plate with a menagerie of hors d’eurves as I follow behind her, picking at all the delicious food and piling them up on my own plate.
I pull out my phone from my clutch and turn it on to see a plethora of texts pop up on my screen. “Oh, wow. No, I had my phone turned off.”
I sit down on the couch next to Scarlett and begin to read the thread started by my former sorority president, Stacy. It says, “Remember, ladies. Do it. Whatever it is you want to do. Wherever you have wanted to go. Whatever you want to try, to taste, to feel, to live…do it. This is our year.”
I reread the message and scroll through the many responses that come in after it in response to Stacy’s resolution decree. It hits me square in the chest. I’m twenty-five years old and I think I’m having a quarter-life crisis. I absolutely hate my job and my boss, Mr. Farrugia.
I took this job two years ago right out of college as a bookkeeper and office manager for Abe Farrugia, who owns several buildings in the Manhattan area. It’s my first grown-up job and I was so excited about the possibilities and looking forward to putting my degree to good use.
Instead, all I got was a grumpy old man who was never happy with my work and nitpicked every little thing. Oh, and his nephew, Carmine, is the sleaziest pile of shit I’ve ever met. He comes in and makes a pass at me once a week, like clockwork. Even though he’s in his mid-forties and has a wife and kids. Had I not needed the money for Christmas gifts, rent and food this past month, I would’ve walked out on Christmas Eve.
But the final straw was when Mr. Farrugia asked me to fudge the numbers on our end of the year’s Profit and Loss statement. I stared up at him from my tiny, crappy desk, my jaw dropped wide open. Then I stood, turned off my computer, grabbed my coat and purse and walked out. I may have flipped him the bird as I did. He yelled obscenities at me as I left, but I never looked back.
That was two days ago and now as I overlook New York City on a cold New Year’s Eve, I’m left thinking about that text about life and resolutions. About all the things I want to do, try, taste, and see.
Up until now, I’ve always played it safe. I lived a safe, comfortable life and didn’t take any chances. While all my friends in college partied on weekends, I was in my room studying. I worked part-time jobs to make ends meet, making sure I had a cushion once I graduated.
An idea germinates in my head, popping and exploding with excitement like the confetti party poppers that will burst open at the stroke of midnight.
I snap my fingers. “That’s it, Scarlett. I have my resolution.”
She quirks an eyebrow with interest. “Oh yeah? Do tell.”
“I resolve to be bold and daring this year. I don’t know what that entails, exactly, but whatever it is, I’m going to do something way outside my comfort zone. Throw away the conventional, safe life that I’ve built and break the mold. This time next year, I will not be the same old Marin Cooke. You won’t even recognize me.”
I give her a determined smile and raise my champagne glass in a toast.
With my New Year’s resolution now voiced and firmly established, I take a sip of the bubbly and give myself an inner pep talk.
You’ve got this. Or at least, fake it ‘til you make it.