in recent years


new year, same me

Resolution culture is garbage. It is a New Year, but you do not have to be a New You. You are wonderful and you don’t have to change jack shit if you don’t want to.

But if you want to make a change, the New Year isn’t a bad time to, right? New Year, fresh start, all that stuff. You’re the same person you were last year, but with maybe a little extra motivation.

I spent 2014 making some very big and serious changes to my life partially because I got The Cancer, but also because I was well enough to have a full-time job and sort of behave like an actual Adult Human for the first time in my life, which is kind of cool.1

So, since 2015 is upon us and I did pretty damn good making changes last year, I’m taking my New Year’s Motivation and making some resolutions and sharing them with you. Fun, yeah?

1. Write More

I’m a writer! But I basically forget to write. I cram blogs in at the last second and I forget how much I actually enjoy writing them. When I write one blog, I feel urged and excited to write more of them. I should, you know, follow that instinct. I also write fiction! And, to be fair, I verbally and text-message-ually write almost every single day because I tell my girlfriend stories of all shapes and kinds, but I don’t write enough of those stories down. I have a finished novel I should edit and try to, like, sell and another that’s got a solid shape and tons of ideas scribbled down in a million places. I want to do something with them. I love words. I need to write more of them down.

Concrete Goal: Write 100 words a day! Edit/re-write my MFA book.

2. Consume More

I read and watch a pretty fair amount but I want to consume more and I want to consume things more intentionally. I like liking things and I want to find more things to like. Simple.

Concrete Goal: One new movie every two weeks, three new episodes of TV a week, 50 books this year, and more comics! Update listography and goodreads regularly, including a small review for each book I finish this year. Try to hit at least some of these diversity challenges.

3. Keep Moving and Feeding This Body

I work out frequently — sometimes six times a week! — and I have gotten much better at feeding myself in a way that satisfies my body and doesn’t make me miserable. I want to eat burgers and fries for every meal, but it turns out that my gastrointestinal system doesn’t exactly feel great when I do that? Crazy. Also, I kind of like how I feel after I work out. Gross, right?

Concrete Goal: Keep food journaling, meal planning, and going to the gym. Keep on keeping on.

I also want to be less envious and subtweet-y. I hate how often being cranky makes me think everything is dumb, but it’s kind of hard to resolve to like, be an entirely different human being than you are? And to come up with goals more concrete than “Be less of a dick.”

I am going to try to ask myself “Do you really want to say that?” before letting things loose on the world via social media. And also try to think, “That’s nice” when someone is enjoying something, even if I’m not into it. I love enthusiastic and joyful people! I don’t need to be a passive-aggressive bummer. I want to lift people up whenever possible or at the very least try harder not to drag them down, indirectly or otherwise. I am not a beacon of sunshine and I will never be, but I can strive to, you know, shut up a little more frequently when I’m in a mood.

Are you making resolutions? Are they as boring as mine? Did you resolve to become a superhero? That’d be pretty cool, to be honest.

1: I would way, way rather be sitting on my couch marathoning TV shows, but we can’t have everything.

  • Dave Evans

    OK – this was a kick but article … And then it ended too soon. Damn, I was just really getting into it – AND IT WAS OVER (lol)… Excellent though. I just would have liked more laughs this morning….. Classic line – “Be less of a dick” … I love that!

    • ash

      thanks, dave!

  • i love making goals, but stuff like read 110 books, and see 50 movies in the theater! i like to have a “mantra” for the year and this year mine is “whatever forever”. i always dress and look kind of frumpy and boring because i’m afraid of “looking dumb” but who cares? This year I’m going to do cat eyes every day for work and maybe start wearing lipstick too. all the colors i have are really bright and bold so i’m a little hesitant, trying to get over my damn self.

    • ash

      i think the goals are a really smart way to challenge yourself to do more without having to be too self-helpy which is GREAT. and i LOVE your mantras every year! you are so awesome and you really shouldn’t be afraid of doing what you want!! one of the benefits of having been fat my whole life is that i really learned early on that people were going to think i looked stupid no matter what i did or said or wore, so i just did whatever the hell i wanted and i am SO APPRECIATIVE of that attitude now.


  • I love the idea of trying not to be a dick. I struggle with that too. I think in person I am pretty nice, but in social media I come off real bitchy. Truthfully my boyfriend is worse than me about it because in person he is waaaaay nicer than me and a huger dick oh Twitter. I think its so easy to forget that real people are out there and are attached to the things I make judgey comments on…I want to empower more, but like you said, isn’t snark just part of my personality traits?

    • ash

      yessssss SAME! i am super nice in person and very ~charming, but on the internet i can be SUUUUUCH a douche! it’s been going fairly well so far by just thinking like, do i really want this to be my legacy in this conversation? and then if i still think YES, then i think, how crappy would i feel if someone said something similar about my favorite thing? and usually the answer is VERY and that shuts me up. snark is fun and i don’t even think it’s that destructive in most circumstances, but i am definitely noticing an overall improvement in my ~energy because of my trying to be kinder. I WISH YOU LUCK if you want to do the same, haha!