Blessed be, kittens! 2016 is almost over. It’s been decided pretty unanimously that this has been one of the worst years on record, because of the celebrity deaths strewn throughout that struck us in the hearts and the dreams of ours which died on Election Night and the endless stream of no-good, very bad news which created a backdrop for all of these other sad things to happen in the midst of! But one thing is certain: We will go on. The clock will strike midnight on New Year’s Eve and poof! It’ll be a brand new year, a new dawn, a new day, a new chance, a blank slate.
I love the turning of the page that happens on New Year’s Eve. I know it’s mostly bullshit, because really we could start our lives over whenever we want (and trust, I know this because I did not too long ago), but it’s nice to have a celebration around the world ringing out for what could be. This year, I’ve pledged to start the calendar by redoing The Desire Map and getting my emotions in order to move forward as briskly and bravely as possible. Also, I’m going to SoulCycle ASAP because I’ve been in New Jersey with nary an overpriced spin class in my neighborhood.
So, what’s your resolution? Yes, you! I wanna know how you’re gonna make this year the best year ever — and certainly better than this one. I wanna know what’s in store for you. In fact, we all do! We’re all here, a bunch of queers standing in front of the Internet asking it for its truths. And to make it more fair, here’s our resolutions. These are the hopes and dreams Team Autostraddle is clutching to its chest in 2017.
I will follow the universe. I will think about what makes me happy — really happy, happy right now, happy for real – and I will shamelessly and unabashedly chase those things. I will follow the universe. I will drink as much fucking coffee and espresso as I want. I will follow the universe. I will write “drive into the desert” and “drive next to the ocean” in my planner more often. I will follow the universe. I will get rid of everything that doesn’t fit, everything that has no place, everything that no longer serves me. I will follow the universe. I will figure out where all of my mightiest parts are hiding and re-attach them to my body. I will follow the universe. I will pack up my car all by myself, put Eli in the passenger seat, and see something I’ve never seen before. I will follow the universe. I will build a revolution. I will follow the universe.
I don’t want to keep secrets anymore. I don’t want to put myself second anymore. I don’t want to run myself into the ground anymore. I don’t want to be noble and scarred anymore. I don’t want to second-guess myself anymore. I don’t want to choose pain in the place of conflict anymore. I don’t want to sleep in anymore. I want to meet someone on the fucking bridge. I will drink two liters of Evian a day, go to SoulCycle twice a week, get to work early and leave while the sun is still out, keep my room clean and keep my car cleaner, smoke American Spirits with the window down, wonder often where it’s going but refuse to script the next scene, pin love letters to my cubicle walls, repeat my CDFs to myself every morning, remember my worth, and surround myself with people who value what I do and who I am.
Also, I need to go back to budgeting.
I don’t believe women can or should have to attempt to “have it all” when it comes to work and kids. Until men are culturally expected to take an equal role in parenting, there is always going to be a double standard for moms at work (even gay ones). I love my work and I love my little pooper. My resolution is to find a balance that works for all of us in 2017, even if it means my work life and activist work shift to accommodate my newly intense home life. Also, I’d really like to get back to journaling?
My resolution this year is to learn how to invest properly and be so well versed in the stock market that if I called into the Suze Orman show she would have nothing but praise for me.
Slightly ironic to say here, but my resolution is to spend less time online. I don’t mean the unavoidable work stuff — hi, I’m on staff at this website — but the empty hours on social media and going down thinkpiece wormholes. I feel like I used to be a lot more productive than I am now, and unproductivity equals anxiety for me, so I want to try cutting back on my biggest distraction and see what that does. At the very least, I should make my distractions worthwhile — read a book when I’m bored, stuff like that.
This year, I would like to have a crush on another human being that involves any amount of chill whatsoever. Last year, I wanted to figure out a solid balance of work/personal life and never did, so I’d like to keep working on that as well.
This year I’m moving to LA, so I guess my resolution sort of needs to be to work harder or more? Because I need to make more money this year because LA is a lot more expensive than Idaho. But also I’m going to make a resolution to be a better, less selfish and more kind friend to the people I love.
This year I’m going to be a better activist by thinking deeply about areas where I have privilege and leveraging the fuck out of it to help groups who are marginalized in ways that I am not.
Also I would like to get really good at homebrewing.
The night of the election, after it became clear that Donald Trump was going to win the electoral college, Stacy and I were lying in bed, sick and stunned and heartbroken. At some point she rolled toward me and turned my face to her and said, “You have to promise me that whatever comes next, you’ll be gentle with yourself.” Being gentle is kind of my main thing. It’s why kids and dogs and cats love me. But as gentle as I am with other people and animals, I am hard as all heck on myself. (Plus also: I wouldn’t trade this job for all the Kit Kats in all the world, but the hardest part about it is the constant barrage of anger from queer folks blaming me for whatever thing. This thing that happened on a TV show, that thing someone wrote on a mainstream website, Donald Trump getting elected, etc.) I’ve never slept well my whole life, even as a little kid, because I was always convinced there was more I should be out there doing, and I’d obsess over the things I had done, convinced I hadn’t done enough. I’m doing it right this second. It’s snowing and I’m thinking about all the ways I could have made my outdoor feral cat shelters even warmer. So my resolution this year is to keep my promise to Stacy to be gentle with myself as I continue to unleash my fire on the world.
Also I plan to keep going with last year’s resolution which was to remember that Dumbledore couldn’t have accomplished all he did if he’d spent his time acting as a Hogwarts hall monitor.
This year, I resolve to stop disappearing when I get stressed out and also to get back into therapy in a very real way. Also more dancing and Instagram-able moments that happen with friends because I live alone and spend too much time alone. Also, I never figured out budgeting last year, but 2016 was also a hot mess, so I’m gonna try that again. Also, I want to be the kind of person who has routines. They’re so comfortable and yet here I am still living routine-less. No more. Also more dates.
Primarily, I would like to film a queer re-creation of the music video for “Work From Home” in my pole barn starring Erin Sullivan, Kaylah Wilson, Sarah Sarwar, and other stars TBD. The male parts will be played by butch lesbians. Keep your eyes peeled for that. Secondarily, I’m literally living inside the fallout of a breakup — in a house of a certain size on a certain amount of land in a certain location chosen for an eventually-to-be-married couple who wanted to have a family one day and grow things on the land — and I want to figure out what new destiny lies in store for this place now that that relationship is over. Also I want to sign up for or commit to doing at least one recurring outside-of-the-house activity (e.g., volunteer work, club, class, etc.).
I want to do the same things I always want to do: get more sleep, grow something I can eat, drink more water, look at my kids’ faces more, call my grandmother, do yoga, take pictures of abandoned shopping carts, clean out every closet in the house, paint on something bigger than a sketchpad, read a book a week. I want to be a better person. I want to start projects and finish them and make room for new projects. I want to mute doubt. I want to be honest with myself and then do something about it. And I still want a kitten.
Eat less meat. Drink all of the coffee in my mug or cup instead of abandoning it. Write more short stories. Write more letters. Write more. Say no to the things I don’t want to do that I don’t have to do, and say yes to the things that make me uncomfortable. Find out where the hell my father is. Speak softer but with more assurance. Buy tissues instead of just using toilet paper. Hang things on the walls of my living room, finally. Make more things with my hands. Take better care of my cuticles. Put more money in my savings account, and less random shit on my credit card. Learn how to whistle. Use the hiking boots my mother sent me at least once. Watch more documentaries. Try to stop being so scared of how much I love my girlfriend. Try.
I already stopped biting my nails because time is an illusion. Take that, 2016.
2017 is looking to be a year of asking for help. I spent so much of this last year struggling with anxiety, depression, overwhelming workloads and astronomical expectations. So (and this already started happening), this upcoming year will be the year I finally believe that constant improvement is better than delayed perfection. This will be a year of met deadlines, reliability, mindfulness and thoughtfulness. I’ll update my software the very night my computer suggests it, I’ll email back in a timely fashion (I hate email for the record) I’ll communicate better, and I won’t get short with my mom. I’m going to call my dad more often.
I’ll finally perfect my hollandaise sauce.
I would just like to preface this with Carmen asked everyone to write a resolution otherwise she would cry, so here I am. I care about Carmen’s hydration and there doesn’t need to be added tears.
My 2017 I want to really dedicate myself to myself. Be less of a hermit. In 2016 I was working so much. I can work but when I have jobs that are more client/customer facing it takes so much energy out of me. I would just work and spend so much time reenergizing myself it left very little time for me to be social.
Be kinder to myself, go to bed on time, make myself food and don’t be lean on the vegetables, talk more, give zero fucks. I give too many fucks about everything all the time. Care only about people who care for me. Oh and figure out how I can add a dog to my life.
This year I would like to work harder than I ever have before on things I care about and for my community, and at the same time would like to give myself permission to not work so hard all the time, at least not in the exact same way I do now. I am hoping that somehow the latter will make the former more feasible! That’s how that works right?
This year I want to write more and be better at time management. I recently read in a book that “Time management mandates that you get honest about who you are and what’s important to you, and then to make choices based on that assessment, and not out of guilt, shame, obligation or convention.” That’s exactly what I want to do. I need to deeply reflect and reach inward to figure out what I really, really want for myself and make a plan to obtain those dreams.
My resolution is 2560 x 1440. You meant screen resolution, right?
This is the first year of my adult life that I’ve actually figured out what my priorities are, what path I want to follow, and how to save enough money to make my dreams happen. My plan for this year is basically: make art in the mountains for a while, then move to Brooklyn and surround myself with weirdos. It’s unconventional, for sure. But I can’t believe I’ve grown enough to get to the point where I’m embracing an unconventional life path. After spending my whole life internalizing the goals of the Asian model minority, and trying to turn my queerness to straightness, and trying to hide my irreconcilable differences into easily understood awards and accomplishments, it feels huge that I’ve safely untethered myself to the idea of stability. It’s huge that I’ve relinquished myself of the burden of thinking that a stable career and a stable income with a neatly wrapped story to give the world equals happiness. Having survived most of my life by changing some part of myself to be acceptable means that I could never before envision a life that would allow me to be loved just for being my authentic self. So I’m gonna try that this year, and it’s very terrifying. I hope that the world loves me! Also I’ll also be in a place where I can re-energize myself to do some meaningful political work for this fucked up world. So I want to commit to activism again! And because I want to continue to grow, I’m definitely gonna get more serious about mental health and find a good therapist!
Okay, now it’s your turn.
How are you starting over? How will you be better, or gentler, or wiser? What will you finally dare yourself to do? Where will you end up? Start dreaming and scheming, queermos. It’s almost time for a brand new year to unfold – and you’ll have 365 days to stuff it full of whatever the fuck makes you light up, stand strong, and burst open.
Tell us your resolution in the comments – or just talk about your day! Or show me photos of your pets. That’s always my fave.
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