i didn’t make a resolution for 2021.

i honestly didn’t see the point.

my 2020 resolutions went up in a puff of smoke as covid started to make its way around the globe. 2020 became a year to just hang on. survive. everything was changing so quickly and so often that it was hard to look much past the present week, let alone a whole year.

by the time 2021 came around, i was so burnt out that all i could do was cover the essentials. eat. sleep. exercise. work. my mental health, which i already struggle with, was worse.

i was adrift.

i still did things. i still found ways to just stay ahead of the avalanche. just enough to not get completely bogged down.

i was surviving. nowhere near thriving.

as the days quickly passed and 2022 encroached, i had become jaded to the societal expectation of making yet another unachieved resolution. i had become more critical of society broadly. my beliefs—humanity, community, identity—were all disillusioned. my optimism was subsumed by cynicism.

i questioned everything.

i didn’t make a resolution for 2022, at least not until long after the new year passed. it wasn’t until being forced to stop. to rest. to think.

after all the day and months of meloncoly that was so pervasive throughout 2021—the struggle to find meaning—upon reflection, may have been what was needed after all.

everyday prior to the pandemic, was filled. but it wasn’t. it was just busy.

busy fills hours. it justifies pressing on. but it doesn’t fulfill.

busy is a construction.

it is what we are continued to need. but in the end, what does it do.

busy doesn't build relationships. it doesn’t sustain.

it destroys.

it tells us that we need to be doing. whatever doing is.

it is a failure of our collective society.

there must be something better.

yeah, it’s long past new years day. should that matter.

resolutions—changes—should be made when you need them. not on others’ schedules. certainly not by the demand of the oppressive systems that we have normalized.

shortly after the new year, as i was recovering from covid, i listened to calm it down (a podcast by pianist Chad Lawson). in this episode, what i had been feeling was presented to me over the calming melody. i heard the words aloud that i had been feeling.

it gave me the feeling that i could give myself the permission to just skip it. skip the resolution. skip the false or unobtainable goals. skip the societal pressure to pick up and “just do it”.

i could skip the bad feelings of missing another resolution. i could skip it all.

it was a relief.

it was empowering.

it helped me to find, well, me. without a goal, without a plan, i was free to explore. i was free.

i sat. i read. i was.

as i reach the end of this semester—another difficult, exhausting semester in a string of arduous semesters—i’m still tired. but i’m better.

i’m recognizing the falsities i’ve told myself for decades. falsities my younger self rebelled against. falsities that my teen angst—not knowing how to process or name what i was feeling—guided me to punk music and punk communities. an ethos that imprinted a desire for radical equality, a distrust of authority, and a whole lot of diy-ness.

as the pandemic stripped away the world’s sugarcoating and any sense of certainty, i found bliss in the search. in the pursuit of knowing who i am. who i care to be. the who that society cares little for.

humans have an intimate drive to understand. to find stability in the chaos. but maybe that’s our problem. the world is not stable. it is not planned. it maybe patterned but ever more complex than we can comprehend.

we’ve created society, expectations, resolutions, to supplant order. a false sense of control. control that remains elusive, heavily weighted to some and not others.

it is here that i found my resolution.

i have resolved to choose me this year. to find my happiness. my center.

a center that is constantly questioning. that is a cheerleader, not a critic. that finds strength in my convictions. my beliefs. that will no longer give heed to the ceaseless voices requiring production and achievement.

i have resolved to share.

for too long, i’ve kept myself from the world but no longer.