Une Nouvelle Année

new year's eve It’s an old adage, but supposedly, the way you spend New Year’s Eve sets the tone for the new year. While I can’t guarantee its veracity, I enjoy the feeling of spell-casting as I map out 2017 in the guise of New Year’s Eve plans.

Last year, I wasn’t feeling the party. I was still nursing a nasty prolongation of a broken heart (more on this later), so when my boss offered me the chance to cat-sit, I jumped at the opportunity to shun frivolity and hermit away. Go out there with the masses when I could spend the night eating takeout Chinese and cuddling with a sweet kitty? Pah! However, when all the takeout options were mysteriously closed and I ended up reheating cardboard pizza and watching In Search of a Midnight Kiss, I should have known 2016 was going to be a dud.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not bagging on the movie. In Search of a Midnight Kiss offers a dose of straight-up realism: real life is not picture perfect! Sometimes you have to source your date from Craigslist. Sometimes Old Hollywood glamour and magic-wand waving plot lines make me feel worse! In fact, for the cynical folks looking for a New Year’s Eve in, I heartily recommend it!

This year, however, I’m pulling myself together. I’m skipping the pajama party and going outside. I’m writing to you from my favorite perch at KB Caféshop, staring out at the glittery Christmas trees and wrought iron balconies across the street. Most mornings start this way, and today will be no exception. I always find it funny to think about how many times I’ve sat here reading or working or puzzling out a seemingly dire chain of events since my semester abroad in 2013. If I’m making changes for 2017, drinking coffee here won’t be one of them.

Journal and pen at the ready, I made a demanding, unrealistic—and somewhat conflicting— list of resolutions to carry me through 2017, a few of which I’m keeping to myself. I’ve always held New Year’s Resolutions close to my heart, despite the fact that I’ve had rare success. There’s something so hopeful about another year…another opportunity to make good on all your promises to yourself and start again. To that effect, here’s what I came up with:

  • Finish writing Ye Olde Novel gathering dust on my hard drive
  • Blog regularly—or die trying!
  • Support myself as a freelancer—aka. build clientele and establish a career…probably should learn SEO, photoshop, and how to take pretty pictures…eeek! This is a big one.
  • Learn how to ride a motorcycle
  • Pass B2 French level exam
  • Travel: Reykjavik, Istanbul, Chefchouen, Ljubljana, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cadaqués, NYC, Salvation Mountain
  • Plan travel ahead of time, rather than traveling to counteract an emotional response
  • Read 38 books
  • Start a Parisian book club
  • Follow recipes…
  • Learn to play the ukulele
  • Keep saving monthly for future Diptyque Candle Life
  • De-clutter life: say NO! to people/activities/obligations that are emotionally draining, condense belongings, use the magazines for scrapbooking or toss ’em!
  • Learn to read tarot cards
  • Buy fresh flowers once a month because they make me smile!
  • Let go—dwelling won’t move me forward

I’m not going to be instantly transformed into New Lauren starting January 1st, but a little goal setting can’t hurt, right? I’m probably always going to want to jump on a train when I’m upset, and I will dwell. I will dwell hard. I might not join a gym or buy a whole new wardrobe to reflect the “New Me” that brands keep asserting will exist as soon as the clock strikes midnight, but I do want to look critically at my life. What do I want to keep? How do I want to grow?

Last night, in the throes of an emotional overreaction, I packed a bag at 2am and googled flights to Madrid.What can I say—2016 couldn’t resist one final sucker punch. But running for the hills doesn’t help me save for Diptyque Candle Life nor is it a new destination on my list. No, I’m going to be sensible. At least I’m going to try. For this evening’s revelry, I’m ringing in the new year in my favorite Parisian quartier—Montmartre, bien sûr! If I write it here, it must be true!

new year's eve

After scanning through the bevy of options for a Parisian Révillion, Hotel Particulier Montmartre‘s festive bar—Le Très Particulier—popped to the top of my list. Tucked away between Avenue Junot and the Rue Lepic, Hotel Particulier is easily overlooked. Lush, romantic, and chic, the atmosphere certainly sets the tone for the sort of 2017 I’d like to conjure. Plush, oxblood velvet banquettes, black-and-white checkerboard floors, and dense, leafy plants combine to create an intimate setting. Bring it on!

new year's eve
Photo by Jefferson Lellouche for Hotel Particulier Montmartre

While I’m not sure I’ll be on the lookout for a midnight kiss, I am excited to ring in the New Year in style before skipping home to my sweet furry roommate, Catsby. I might even sneak in a late night movie screening chez moi…after the classy cocktails, of course.

Perhaps I’ll see you there? I’ll be the one with the pastel pink hair.

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