I haven’t been writing much lately. I have little spurts of motivation followed by long stretches of what’s the fucking point?
Today is New Years Day. Why is there an s on the end of “new years” anyway? This holiday is ridiculous.
Another new year. Upon each new year, we reflect upon the previous year, and reflect upon ourselves. We go through our carefully crafted inventories of all the things we’ve decided are shitty about ourselves, and then we pretend we are going to change those things.
I’m done doing that.
Do I need to exercise? Of course I need to fucking exercise. I will continue needing to exercise and maybe at some point I’ll do something about it because it is good for my physical and mental health and all that shit. Or maybe I will never ever exercise on any kind of regular basis, and WHY THE FUCK WOULD IT MATTER? Is my life really less valuable if I am not “fit?”
To all of you out there who have decided you need to lose weight: OK. I think people should do what makes them feel good in their bodies. But know this: First of all, don’t share that shit publicly. It’s a shitty thing to do to talk about how terrible fatness is. It’s a shitty thing to do to share how much “better” you look after losing a bunch of weight. Just stop doing that. Talk to a few people you’re close to about it. Share your success with those people. And then leave the rest of us alone, because we’ve all had enough of that shit. I am not a fat person and I speak for no one else, but my body is a regular human body and I am a 40-year-old person who doesn’t exercise. I am not fit and I am not toned. I am what people call out of shape. So my personal goal is to love my body as it is, teach my children to love their bodies as they are and to love and respect everyone’s bodies.
And also, to those of you who want to lose weight: YOUR LIFE MATTERS… EVEN IF YOU’RE FAT!! Seems like a simple concept, but it isn’t. I know that I’ve had anti-fatness pummeled into me on a daily fucking basis for my entire life. We really are taught to believe that fat people are worth less, deserve less love, and are somehow weak. Much like the ways we treat all women and people of color. But you know what I think is worth less? The fact that we value a person’s muscle tone over their ideas, or their compassion, or the ways people actually contribute to the society they live in. I guess that makes me the weirdo here.
I highly recommend you read this piece by one of my personal heroes, Ijeoma Oluo:
Honestly, what else is there besides not being an asshole? Except that for me, there is this other thing. I had a disturbing conversation with a friend of mine the other night, and it has been weighing on me. Said friend is a dude, and during the conversation he said several things that really bothered me, but was also condescending and dismissive of me throughout, and I realized he has been that way for the entirety of our relationship. I have felt like shit over and over after interacting with him. But I keep trying to be likable, and keep trying to earn his respect and approval. What a fucking waste of time.
My resolution this year is to call dudes out on their bullshit. This year has been fucking awful for the most part, but I have gotten much more in touch with my own feminism as a result of some of this awfulness, and lemme tell ya, I’m tired of living my life trying to please men. This is what I’ve been trained to do, and I have a lifetime of practice. I’m good at pleasing men. And I’m not talking about sex, pervs.
My resolution is to stop holding my tongue to keep other people (men specifically) happy or to remain likable, or to avoid causing discomfort. I’m almost 40 years old goddamn it, and I haven’t contributed much to this world, and I have no reason to keep bottling up the way I feel when men I love (or men I don’t even fucking like but still try to please) make clear that they have no respect for me (or other women) at all, that they barely even see me, let alone see me as an equal.
So, to my male friends and family members, fair warning. Lucky for me, the few relationships I have with men that really matter to me are relationships that can withstand honest conversations. I hope. But these are probably not the men I will face this with, which means I might be letting go of some men this year. And that will be hard and painful and necessary and liberating as hell. If you’re an asshole, why should I care if you like me? If you’re an asshole, someone should tell you you’re a fucking asshole.
I guess I do have another resolution, if you will. It is basically the same as the first one, except regarding all people, regardless of gender, and it is GIVE FEWER FUCKS what other people think of me. GOD when I think about all the time I’ve spent worrying about what I’ve said or done wrong, it disturbs the shit out of me. I just can’t keep living like that. It will not be easy, because I have always been so committed to being a likable person. But you know what I realized? NO ONE LIKES ME ANYWAY! Now, don’t jump in and say, “That’s not true!” I know it’s not exactly true. But I also know that I am insignificant. And I know that I am deeply affected every time I sense a shift in a relationship with a friend, when they are suddenly not as warm, and I convince myself they just finally got to know the real unloveable me, and that shit weighs me down, drowns me like the piano in that movie The Piano.
No one gives a shit anyway. I have nothing to lose. If there are people who love me or care about having a relationship with me and I’ve done something “wrong,” those people will tell me. But mostly, very few people give a shit. The thought that no one likes me anyway is incredibly freeing. Because if no one likes me, I can just be meeeee while giving fewer fucks. The thought fills me with a gratitude that makes me feel physically lighter. Only people with this particular brand of social anxiety will understand how exhausting it is to give so many fucks. I already give so many fucks about the world at large, and I will continue giving fucks about things that matter, including other people’s feelings, but I am going to work my ass off on letting go of the worry about what people think of me. Imagine what I could do with that energy. I could write a fucking symphony. Or maybe just read more books or play with my kids more.
My uncle John committed suicide last spring, and he is the first person I think of when I think about these things. John could not handle almost any interaction with other humans by the end of his life, because of the exact issue I’m describing. His worry was all-consuming. He convinced himself that any interaction with him was harmful to others, and he removed himself from the equation. Honestly, I respect his decision to commit suicide even though it breaks my heart. He got to end his life when he wanted to end it. He had lived in pain for a damn long time. But John did virtually nothing to address or deal with that pain and the issues that plagued his mind, and I refuse to be John. I wonder how things would have been for him if he would have said, “You know what? Fine! No one likes me! How about I stop giving a fuck?”
I say all this with great strength and resolve, and I know even as I type that I am going to fail a lot at this. But I’m going to try. I’m going to try to stand up to dudes and I’m going to try to give fewer fucks about the infinite number of things I’ve done or said that make other people hate me in my mind. Probably in reality too sometimes.
I’m so fucking over it.
Happy 2018. Let’s hope our fucking child of a president is eaten by alligators or something, or at least impeached.
Is anyone reading this? I doubt it! Why the fuck would they? Who gives a fuck?
Ugly cliche of an image from pixabay.