I’ll start by saying I DO NOT enjoy New Year’s.
I don’t like the parties. I get stressed out by resolutions. And although I’m a night owl, I don’t want to be under an obligation of staying up until midnight. My best friend Gabby feels the exact same way I do. Year after year, we tell each other that something needs to change. And on New Year’s Day of 2018, we had an idea; we’d try to spend the next New Year’s together.
If Gabby was a normal friend and we lived under normal circumstances, we would have spent that holiday together every year, probably hitting up clubs and taking limos to NYC or something. But we don’t live very close to each other. In fact, it takes a 2 hour plane ride to get from my Philadelphia airport to her Orlando one. So there’s the distance, and there’s also the fact that we both struggle with chronic illness, which almost always threatens to ruin our plans.
The very thing that brought us together is the thing that likes to keep us apart.
I took all of these possible obstacles under great consideration for about three minutes before purchasing the non-refundable December 30th, 2018 plane ticket to Orlando (and a returning flight home for January 4th). There were a couple weeks where I worried I’d made a great mistake with the non-refundable part- I learned I’d be needing a possibly major surgery- but we managed to push that off past the date of departure. And by 5:00pm the day before New Year’s Eve, I was with my best friend.
We had an incredible trip, and the best of it had to be New Year’s Eve. We started the day at Starbucks and went on to spent way too much time shopping for outfits. We finally found some INCREDIBLY cute options at none other than TJ-Maxx. Mine was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but that’s why I loved it so much; I’d be starting 2019 wearing something that actually made me feel good about myself.
We did go out that night, but ended up coming home around 9:00pm. We spent the next three hours sitting on Gabby’s couch, ordering pizza and talking with her brother. We watched the ball drop at midnight and went to bed not long after. I learned that night that I’d take food and close friends ANY day over a night out, even on New Year’s Eve.
We ended up resting for the next two days, just sitting around her house, ordering food, and talking about anything and everything. On my last full day we went to Orlando with her friend Mackenzie, who made a perfect third addition to our pair for the day. It was quite interesting to see Gabby with her “other” best friend; I was a little worried I’d feel left out, but the three of us clicked instantly. (Gabby has good taste in friends, if I do say so myself).
I left on January 4th and was home around 4:00pm the next day. I spend that night and all of the next day feeling pretty down about being home, and being alone, and not having my best friend by my side to tell my every thought too. I’d learned so much from that little holiday trip. I’d made so many fun memories. I was sad that all of it was over.
I’ve been home for three days now and I’m still a little sad that I have to wait until my next grand-travel-plan to see Gabby again. But I think what makes our friendship so special is the fact that it takes SO much effort to see each other, yet we always fall into our normal routines once we’re together. Starbucks and shopping and naps and takeout; we don’t need anything extravagant when we have each other. In fact, we don’t want it. And on a holiday that normally makes me feel left out, I was right at home on that couch in Gabby’s living room. No expectations or worries to be had, just good company.
That’s really all you need from a best friend. I’m lucky I was able to begin my 2019 with mine.