My New Year’s Resolution: F*ck All
Nothing. I have zero resolutions, I have zero intentions, I have zero fucks left to give about improving myself or manifesting my future. I’m tired of our fix-yourself-until-you’re-perfect and try-to-control-everything-including-your-growth culture. I am opting the fuck out of never thinking I am doing enough, ESPECIALLY self improvement.
Not that resolutions and intentions might not be amazingly supportive and uplifting for others. Speaking ONLY for myself always, currently in my healing journey I’m in the process of untangling myself from all the small subtle ways large oppressive systems sneak and snake into my life and my thoughts.
I have stories upon stories about myself and my life and what I want and what I think is a good life and some of them, when I dig into them, sound a whole lot like capitalism and it’s loyal enforcer perfectionism.
Not that I don’t have any ideas, I’ve just learned to really check out where they’re coming from, because I do not exist in isolation from any outside forces. For example...Do I really want to buy a sewing machine? Write that script? Have a baby? Do more yoga and eat more veggies?
Do I think I need to do even more work to prove to myself I’m an adult? Do I have an expectation of how much time I should be spending with my creative outlets? Do I have opinions about what is and what isn’t a creative outlet?
Do I want to finish a script because I want to be like those cool, smart, hardworking and disciplined screenwriters I see? Do I think writing that script—which is essentially me processing some of my trauma—going to finally heal and fix me?
Do I want to feel more belonging amongst my gender? Do I judge myself for not being able to do it all? Or do the thing women are “supposed” to do? Am I so afraid of the possible hypothetical future regret I’m actually considering producing a human and taking on one of the biggest jobs in the world because just in case?
Do I look at yogi after yogi who are so beautiful and skinny and whose lives and pictures look so nice and cool and fun and want to be like them? Do I think eating more veggies means I’m more mature, more adult, a “better” person?
How much has a society obsessed with productivity (aka profit) and hard work (aka never feeling your feelings) affected how I think I should be spending my time?
How much has a culture dominated by one gender affected how I see mine? How I see myself? My feminine qualities, my female responsibilities, my body with curves and a uterus and a whole week every single month where all it wants to do is sleep and bleed?
My therapist taught/teaches me to reality check, reality check, reality check.
Do I want to buy a sewing machine? I think I actually do, I always have, I’ve tried a few times, I’ve always loved sewing and altering clothes. AND, my not skinny body combined with my choice to buy primarily second hand—and the fact that I don’t have a lot of time or energy to actually shop—leaves me with a tiny amount of boring and uncomfortable clothing options, and I’m over it. HOWEVER. I don’t actually feel like I have enough time or energy to pick up a new thing right now. My health comes first always, and I’m already in the middle of a whole other new thing that I’m very passionate about and needs a lot of my attention for a while, so I think I’ll choose to focus on that for now, and reassess my desire for a sewing machine in a bit. Plus, I know myself, I’m an idea girl, I have all the ideas and I struggle with follow through and even if I get to that stage I get bored and am on to the next idea anyway. So I’ve learned to wait a bit and see what happens.
Do I want to finish that script? This one I’m less sure about. Once again, I do feel pretty certain that my aforementioned whole other new thing I’m in the middle of is what I want to focus on right now. So I try to respond to the thoughts of “I’m not a real writer” “they find the time why can’t I” or “I should be focusing on my dreams aren’t I supposed to be able to manifest all my desires” with gentle compassion and even more reality checking. I am a writer. I always find some way to write even if it’s not what I expect. I don’t actually know what those other people’s lives are like. And yes I am a powerful spiritual entity with infinite potential and yes anything is possible but yes ALSO I am a human and actually I need sleep and certain other things for my health and sanity and actually I can’t do EVERYTHING. Nor, truly, do I want to, because I want my health and sanity.
Do I want a baby? Sometimes, but usually no, and I feel guilty saying it and I feel sad saying it and apparently I need to grieve a want that I only kind of want and probably there’s sooo many layers to this one—including, once again, seeing other people do it who I think look cool and successful and “normal” and I want to be like them—and I’m sure there’s lots of processing to be done no matter what happens, and maybe that’s more important.
And then the ever present “I should exercise more and eat healthier.” Good f*cking god its so incessant. I’m tired, I’m not doing enough exercise or eating enough nutrients. I’m depressed, same answer. I’m anxious, same answer. My joint aches, same answer. My eyes are dry, same answer. People annoy me, same answer. I tripped, same answer. The sky is blue, same answer. Doctor says I’m healthy and all my blood levels are fine, nope same answer. My body is definitely asking for sleep and one of my old injuries from the days of pushing my body is really wanting some rest, what’s that brain? I’m still not exercising enough or eating well enough? Oh fuck off. This one needs CONSTANT reality checking. Possibly it’s why I’m too tired to do any of the other things I’ve mentioned here today.
I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that no matter how much I do I never think I’m doing enough. I know I was born and raised and still live in a society that hustles because they don’t feel like they’re enough, that keeps busy to avoid feeling anything uncomfortable or intimate. I know that programming is still in me because it pops out at every chance it gets. I know that I’m still receiving that messaging from all around me because I don’t live in a cabin in the woods with no human contact.
You know what I need to do? Nothing. I am exhausted. I need rest, I need stillness, I need quiet, and I really need to not commodify those into achievements or activities or measurements or resolutions. I don’t need to make even an intention because I already have. I’m already on this path, of healing and growing, I already chose it and have worked my ass off to integrate it so deeply into my self and my life that I live and breathe it.
The best thing I can do for myself in 2020 is trust myself. To believe I’m enough and doing enough. And then fuck all after that.
PS I want to acknowledge the important work of others that has helped me come to this point with this topic. They walk ahead, build the path, and light it for people like me to follow.
Burnout: The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski
Brené Brown (and her discussions about the importance of rest and play)
My holy trinity, Elle Bryan and Bryn, who tell me to nap.