Happy New Year, Autostraddlers!
The past year was a whole lot of ups and downs; maybe you’re sad to see it go, maybe (probably) you’re not. You know what’s more important than 2013 OR 2014, though, is YOU. You’re both the Keymaster and the Gatekeeper. We at Autostraddle have looked deep into our hearts and realized that if we want our 2014 to be fucking incredible, and we do, it’s gotta start with us being our bravest and boldest selves – taking no prisoners, kicking all the ass, and refusing to listen to the radio edits of Beyoncé singles. Here’s how we’re gonna be brave and bold in the new year. What about you?
Ali, Geekery Editor
This past year, I quit my day job to pursue my writing full-time. This next year? 2014 is the year of unfinished projects for me—every project that should be finished but isn’t, it’s get-it-done time. From my screenplay to my short story collection manuscript. And any of y’all who know me in life know that I always finish everything, and anything that remains unfinished is as it is because I’m terrified of it. So brave I will be in 2014.
Lauren, Contributing Editor
In 2014, I want to hesitate less. I want to stop self-sabotaging by convincing myself that I don’t really know the things that I truly do know. On the other hand, even though I know it’s ok to not know everything all the time, I need to actually believe that it’s ok to not always know all that is knowable, you know? I want to never look at a list of things millennials “need to be doing” or “need to be not doing” ever again, because even though I despise 99% of those lists (I reserve 1% for the lists that say things like “millenials should buy cheap wine” and “millenials need to stop reading lists about millennials”), I still have a tendency to get sucked in and it just doesn’t work for me. It only makes me hesitate more and I want to hesitate less.
Maddie, Contributing Editor
In 2014 I will bravely graduate from college. I will keep running further than I ever have before. I will find new creative and productive ways to take a stand on things I believe in that are hard for me to say and hard for others to hear.
Ever since I fell in love and entered into a monogamous relationship with a cis straight guy, I felt like I was somehow negating my queer identity. Despite being the happiest I’ve ever been (he’s the Ben Wyatt to my Leslie Knope) I still felt like I wasn’t a good enough gay. As if there was a wrong way to be bisexual or queer. These fears made me hesitant to join the AS community (which I did) attend A-Camp (which was incredible) and apply to be a writer (which I’m doing now because you are reading words I just wrote!) NEWSFLASH: there isn’t a right or wrong way to be queer. Don’t worry about being gay enough, kids. There is no cardboard cut-out of Sappho at the entrance to the Great Gay Rollercoaster that demands that you be this gay to ride. The Narwhal Revolution is here, it’s queer, so deal with it! In 2014 I’m going to be the bravest narwhal with the least internalized biphobia you ever did see.
Laura, Contributing Editor
In 2014 I’m going to initiate more… everything. Passively waiting to be asked helps no one. I’m going to be a braver, bolder initiator this year.
I’m gonna be braver than:
– All the unmanageable expectations placed on me by people who I share a bloodline with
– Other people’s projected anxieties and fears
– The never-ending dimensions of my waistline
– Color blindness and white privilege
– Unregulated corporations and consumerism
– A pair of leggings
– Anyone who says they suffer from anything that isn’t an actual disease or unfathomable human condition (aka one suffers from starvation not affluenza etc)
– The last drop of bourbon in my bottle of Bulleit
– That time my dad told me I’d never make the high school basketball team and it crushed me so bad that I didn’t even try at the try-outs
– All the things I fear when the sun is 30 minutes from rising and no one knows I’m awake and I’m too busy tearing myself down to watch the sun do its thang
– The Kardashians
– Ugly and fat like they always have and always will call me
– My muthafucking asthma
And like, if I could be as brave as I am in my daydreams then I’d have this life shit on lock, and that’s the goal for 2014.
Mey, Contributing Editor
Ever since coming out as trans about two years ago, I’ve purposefully avoided the dating scene, mostly because I feel like being a fat trans woman makes me undesirable in queer communities. So my pledge for 2014 is to be brave and bold and get back into the dating game (hey there Autostraddle readers).
Stef, Music Editor
Guys, to say I had a rough 2013 would be an enormous understatement. As I reached the end of my twenties, I became slowly and then quite rapidly disillusioned with my job, the city I lived in, and my whole life that I’d worked so hard to build here. The week before this fall’s A-Camp, I lost my grandmother, the person I loved the most in the world. I’m still recovering from it, and I’ll never be able to look back on this year without thinking of her and how much I miss her.
In 2014 I’m changing everything. Can I tell you a secret (if you promise not to tell my job)? I’m quitting soon, and at the end of the month when my lease is up, I’m moving 3,000 miles away. I grew up in New Jersey, went to school in Philadelphia, and have lived in New York City my entire adult life. I’ve been in this apartment longer than I’ve lived anywhere, save for the house I grew up in, and part of me still can’t imagine not calling this place home. Soon I’ll be a six-hour plane ride away from my family and almost everyone I’ve ever known, and I still have no idea where I’m going to live or how I’m going to get around or what I’m going to do for work. All I know is that I’m thirty years old, there is nothing keeping me where I am right now, and I desperately want something new. I’m rejecting everything that feels comfortable and familiar, and diving headfirst into a whole new life. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between thrilled and frozen with terror for weeks now.
So yeah, I guess you could say I’m making some changes next year. I don’t really know I expect to manage the upcoming challenges, most of which I can’t even begin to predict – but I do know that I’m ready for them.
Kate, Contributing Editor
In 2014, I will be unwavering in my commitment to making me, myself, and I the number one priority in my life. No more sacrificing my self-care, no more feeling shitty about removing toxic elements from my life, no more apologizing for the things that make me feel good. Also, I want to become an expert sharpshooter and finally buy pants that fit.
Chelsey, Editorial Assistant
I recently quit my life in Orlando and moved to Los Angeles. In 2014, I plan to be braver and bolder by rebuilding it here with things I’m actually passionate about instead of those offer stability but not ultimate happiness.
Brittani, Sports Editor/Comedy Writer
I will be braver and bolder by answering the phone more.
Lizz, Fashion/Style Editor
This year I’ve resolved to write about emerging issues in women’s health and healthcare without worrying that I might offend colleagues in medicine.
This is also the year I’ve decided it’s okay to sometimes hate on Emily from Pretty Little Liars.
Yvonne, Associate Editor
I’m ready to slay 2013 and all of its negative post-grad energy with a gold, emerald-encrusted sword and ride into the sunset on a tiara-wearing purple unicorn holding hands with 2014. Here’s how I’m going to be bold and brave in the new year.
I will stop procrastinating. Honestly, I think I procrastinate because of anxiety issues so I’ve never learned to properly deal with it. Whatever the cause of my procrastination, I want to get better at dealing with it and be more productive than ever! Also, I need to read something substantial. I’m an editor for crying out loud. I do read every day, a mix of regurgitated shit on the Internet and lots of good ole’ long form journalism, but never a full book. I want to change this ASAP!
I want to volunteer and invest some serious time into an organization or cause that I care deeply about. I don’t want to just help out an organization for a few hours on a weekend. No, I want to make a commitment to make a change over time in any way I can. Since I’m new to Dallas, I think this will give me a chance to really get to know where I live and see what needs to be changed to make it better. I’m mostly interested in volunteering with an organization that helps undocumented folks.
I want to write about more things I’m passionate about. I worked for a local gay and lesbian magazine for the first half of the year and basically wrote the whole thing cover to cover for three issues. (Yes, I know, ridiculous!) But none of those words meant anything to me. I wrote lots of puff pieces on rich, white business owners who happened to be gay. Thank god I don’t work there anymore and work here, my queergrrrl, feminist dream! But I have to tell you, I’m very disappointed in myself because I don’t think Autostraddle has seen my full potential as a writer. I’m mad at myself for being complacent and comfortable with what I’m producing and not going the distance. (I think that’s a line from Hercules.) I want to be better for you, for my team and for me. I promise I’m gonna kick myself in the ass and write with my heart, mind and soul.
Sarah, DIY/Food Editor
I plan to have more patience in 2014, both with myself and others and situations I get myself into, and to approach all new things with open eyes.
I’m going to be braver and bolder in 2014 by not taking the easy way out, and doing the hard work that’s needed to achieve my dreams. I’m going to be more confident so I spend more time getting to know new people in my town and less time worrying about drama on Tumblr. And I’m going to write more articles! (I promise.)
Cara, Contributing Editor
I’m really terrible at getting out of bed in the morning. Earlier this year I decided it was time to change this once and for all, so I sought advice. Someone suggested that I try “flying out of bed,” aka just springing up onto my feet as soon as my alarm clock goes off, without all the sighing and snoozing and rolling around and considerations of whether getting up is a good idea after all. It works AWESOME. It’s like jumping into an icy pond rather than wading in slowly, except instead of an icy pond, it’s the rest of the day.
In 2014 I would like to apply the “fly out of bed” principle to other areas of my life. I spend a whole lot of time wondering whether or not the things I want to do (or even the things I have to do) are “really worth doing.” It’s time-consuming and stressful and makes me cynical. Less of that. From now on I will be flying into everything as fast as I can.
Kristen, Contributing Editor
This year I’ll overcome those little insecurities that have held me back over the past few years. It’s time to ignore the critics in my head, take a selfie or two and sit on a goddamn bicycle.
Carolyn, NSFW Editor
Last year I threw out and ended a lot of things. This year I am going to keep and start a lot of things. I’m also going to be braver and bolder and better and more honest and less fearful, in the hopes that aiming high will inspire me to procrastinate a little less and floss a little more.
Rachel, Senior Editor
In 2014 I want to be brave and write more stuff that makes me nervous to publish — weird stuff, stuff that’s personal, and stuff that I have to use a telephone and/or leave my apartment to research. I want to be more open and honest with the people in my life, which is totally terrifying, and that includes talking more to the people in my offline life about this weirdo website I work for — maybe you’ve heard of it, autostraddle dot com — without worrying what they’ll think. I’m also officially deciding to be excited rather than scared about whatever comes next after I finish my graduate program in April. I’ll let y’all know how that one pans out.
Laneia, Executive Editor
My boldness and bravery is going to be about trust in 2014. I’m gonna be bold enough to trust that I have something important to say, and trust myself to say it well, and brave enough to believe that somebody will give a shit. And because there’ll be all this trust, there’ll also be honesty. I also really want/need to learn more things! So I’m going to be brave enough to fail and fuck up while I’m teaching myself these things, and bold enough to believe that I deserve to learn them.
I’ll also be carrying over a resolution from 2013 that revolves around me wearing whatever the fuck I want forever and ever amen.
Riese, Editor in Chief
I want to trust everything more. I want to trust love. I want to remember that revolutions aren’t started in safety, but with guts. Being CEO of this website means there are heaps of people — including some of the people I love more than anything else in this world — counting on me to pay them and give them life, which means I’m scared — no, petrified — that I could say or do the wrong thing and ruin this for everybody; ruin everybody’s hard work and everything we’ve built together. I am so afraid that you will leave — you, who work here, you, who read this, you, who love me — that I’ve let that fear become louder than my leadership and my love. I find myself writing with a keener eye on how my words could be misinterpreted or taken out of context than on my interpretation of words and the context of my own ideas. I need to remember how we got here to begin with. I need to accept that not everyone will like me, and write for those with clear eyes and open runagayhearts. I want my writing to be guided by what I think and how you feel, instead of what I want you to think of me and how I feel. I want to remember the revolution, take risks and change the world. I want to make a mistake and not feel like the whole world is ending. I want to be myself. I want to remember how to trust myself to be the leader that I know I am.
Share your plans for boldness and bravery in the comments!