A crescent shaped slice of orange and the splintered remains of a cocktail umbrella are not a good look stuck to one’s cheek as one stares into the bathroom mirror searching for shred of human dignity. Just as one flushes away last night’s curry round the u bend, it is quickly followed by just that last remnant of dignity and its companion, moral probity. All you have left of a night’s celebratory excess, dancing past midnight, is a buzzsaw headache, what looks like a love bite near your left nipple and the mounting fear of blurred regret bubbling up for something you might have said to your best friend’s mum which involved the letters F, M L and I, but not in that order. As for the lipstick smudged on the base of your penis…?
Such is the joy of being barely into your 20’s when judgment is inverse proportion to the severity of consequence. But it was a New Eve’s party and you only die once. If one could go back and have a little chat with one’s former self, what advice or resolutions would be put in place? How would life have been improved ‘if only’?
This being the 1st of January, it is customary to reflect upon the errors of one’s ways and resolve to live a more productive, healthy and wealthier life. It is also customary for some celebrity A list twat to try and sell you happiness and wellbeing in the form of creams made from the secretions of the sexual glands of a soon to be extinct small mammal in Sri Lanka, an array of superfoods with exotic names which in the local language translates as ‘berry‘ ‘nut‘ and ‘don’t eat that, it is fucking dangerous‘, and the latest iteration of an eastern religious mythology involving energy forms and bat licking while you twist your legs and arms into positions only porn stars are comfortable with.
Resolutions usually fall into the various categories of a) weight loss b) finances c) fitness or d) self improvement through the acquisition of a new skill such as learning Hebrew (Old Testament version – the one without Jesus in it). However, the flaw in most people’s attempts at putting these resolutions into practice is that they are hard work and we are just not built for that. If you believe the bullshit in every Sunday supplement for the next week on how to better yourself, in just a few weeks with a bit of free will you too can be Joe Wicks who cooks like Nigella while writing a play in Latin while paying off your overdraft and saving enough for a piede-à-terre in Tuscany. Instead, by March, you’ll be slumped in front of old reruns of Downton Abbey, a slice of Victoria sponge smearing strawberry jam across one cheek having put on half a stone while reaching for a tissue to wipe your snotty nose as you weep into a small tumbler of gin.
Let’s face it, you will be in no position of moral authority to tell your twenty year old self to go easy on the rum daiquiris at your mate’s New Years eve party. Your present self is about as qualified to coach your past self into the path of righteousness as a Ghislaine Maxwell is qualified to offer advice to schoolgirls about going to parties attended by forgetful celebs who have no need of a bit of roll on anti-perspirant.