My New Year’s Revolutions
Most of the time, autocorrect takes us further from the truth, to hilarious effect. But every once in a while, it reveals a deeper wisdom. Today, that message shows up as autocorrect turns everyone’s New Year’s resolutions into New Year’s revolutions.
That substitution may make some people uncomfortable. A resolution is a low-bar challenge. It’s self-enforced, so if (or when) you stray from your resolve, the only person let down is you.
On the other hand, revolution is naturally unsettling because it throws out the status quo, and it frequently happens on someone else’s timetable. Revolutions have ripples that go beyond your sight—if you start a revolution, expect it to have unintended consequences. And above all, revolutions strike at the heart of the systems that oppress us.
These statements may not seem like much to you, but each one of these things is something that defies a message or expectation I’ve received in the last year, many of them fostering doubt, shame, and worthlessness deep in my heart.
So, in these hours before 2014 begins, here are my New Year’s Revolutions:
- I will say something out loud, to another person, about my beauty everyday.
- I will work out more to recapture my stamina, not to lose weight.
- I will listen without talking so I can learn from people whose lives and voices are not like my own.
- I will answer questions fearlessly about myself and my story, so others know they are not alone.
- I will begin to give my eldest son a comprehensive, emotionally-grounded sex education so he knows that that part of himself is not a source of mystery or shame as he grows into it.
- I will work on yelling less.
- I will not apologize for prioritizing self-care above overcommitment.
- I will actively work to rewrite my unrealistic standards for self-worth.
- I will not denigrate or be afraid to lift up my skills and accomplishments.
- I will build stronger, more responsive connections in the groups where I work and play.
- I will keep showing up for issues and communities outside my own.
- I will create works of information, imagination, and enjoyment, even if they’re only for me.
- I will make my voice and presence a powerful force in the halls of government and the streets of our community.
- I will not accept or internalize shame for the way my family and I live, and what we value.
I love this. And this is one of mine, although not nearly as neatly written as yours: I will stop looking at tv/movies/magazines’ portrayal of women as realistic and will start to internalize that I will never have an airbrusher on hand nor will I start to wear spandex to contain me. Instead, I will focus on being stronger and accepting my body.
So yeah. Thank you, Jess.