Hello. It’s been a while since I’ve written a stream of consciousness, curse-filled blog post and it feels rather fitting for the last day of 2020. I like to think of this as a one-fingered salute to everything that tried to get us to give up and go quietly. Ending not with a fizzle, but with a bang.
It is a truth universally accepted that around this time of year we start to be bombarded with advertisements, detoxes, challenges and other pressures for a ‘New Year, New You’. T’is all part of a multi-billion dollar industry capitalizing off of fear based marketing and insecurities my friends. (Excuse the regency speak, I’ve watched Little Women, Pride & Prejudice and Bridgerton all within the span of a fortnight so you could say a few things have rubbed off.) I am officially giving you permission to tell all of them to fuck off.
In plain words the vast majority of new year’s resolutions are bullshit. Namely because they typically serve to make you feel worse about yourself. Namely because they have far less to do with your actual dreams and wishes and far more with the expectations of others. Who has ever been inspired or motivated after watching a powerpoint presentation of all the ways you’re not living up to society’s expectations? The clock striking midnight on December 31st does not magically make it more feasible that you’ll suddenly win the lottery. So why on earth allow insidious messages of self-loathing disguised as self-improvement in your head just because it’s a new year?
That is not to say that you can’t makes plans or look forward to 2021. Dream travel destinations, financial or savings goals, career moves, or a new hobby like roller-skating or learning sign language are all perfectly valid. But true goals, lifetime goals, require equal parts discipline and compassion for yourself. Too often we live in a culture of immediacy, in which a click of a button will solve all of our problems, rather than looking internally to see what makes us truly feel fulfilled and happy. These far too fickle New Year’s Resolutions blissfully ignore all of the mountains we’ve climbed to get to today.
This past year has been a bit of a clusterfuck to say the least, but I know for many including myself it was also major reset and priority shift. Not to go ‘accomplish all of the things’ or use quarantine to have a ‘glow up’ but to stop waiting for the ever elusive right time to do all of the things that we want. For me that has been leaning into creativity, photography and fashion. Art is the highest form of hope and prioritizing this part of my life has honestly allowed me to get through 2020. I embraced getting dressed because it made me happy and personally, I think beautiful things are meant to be loved in the here and now rather than shut away for special occasions that may never come. Christmas morning, I was freezing my ass off in a red ball gown and as happy as I have ever been. And yes, I received a chorus of ‘oh her majesty has arrived’ from my sisters when I rolled up to the house still wearing said red gown. One’s ego can never get the better of you with siblings on the watch!
Some of us became experts in sourdough baking, keeping houseplants alive, cocktail mixology, voter registration, the intricacies of reality TV, cutting our own bangs, grassroots community organizing and more. Some of us experienced the greatest joys of our lives, some of us experienced the worst heartbreak and grief. Some of us clean forgot the day of the week. At some point all of us felt like we were just barely muddling through. All of us smiled, all of us cried, all of us laughed. While some of us may be choosing sparkle, and others choosing sweatpants to bid adieu to 2020 ce soir, I think it’s important to recognize that simply getting to the end of this year is enough. I say this whether you’re looking back on highlights, the moments where lights shone through the cracks, allowing yourself much needed rest, or seeking out hope for the coming year. Being as you are, is enough. Sometimes finishing with a bang is drawing yourself a bath, pouring yourself a glass of champagne and closing your eyes. Sometimes it’s the simple yet radical choice to be soft and kind, but take no shit.