Not changing with the calendar: Why I don’t give a damn about resolutions

Mayan Calendar
Mayan Calendar

ALABAMA, February 4, 2014 –  For the Chinese, January 31 ushered in the Year of the Horse. A fresh start to throw out the old and embrace the new. The confetti and hangovers we celebrate are a month long gone, as are all those resolutions you all make.

What I don’t understand are the folks who do indeed believe a calendar date marks a new beginning for the rest of their lives. These people that think a calendar date change means they are going to change, particularly for the better, are just plain delusional.

Change takes work, not fabricated resolutions that will magically suck all the bad out of your life.

It comes as no surprise that there are some (including this author) who cringe at public announcements and declarations of “New Year, New Me,” and “I Woke Up Like Dis!! #2014” on their Facebook and Twitter timelines.

And of course there is always the Facebook philosopher who pops up on at every occasion to give advice about breaking bad habits. Or a personal favorite, the Facebook preacher who quotes Biblical scriptures about faith, change and fresh starts as stated by Jesus Christ. And you better share that message or be damned to eternal unhappiness, or hell.

New Year’s Day, or any day, is in fact not a fresh start, but more of a continuance of the same person you were yesterday. Time and time again, instead of setting lifestyle goals to work towards, people mistakenly wipe their slate clean on New Years Day, forcefully trying to change who they are literally overnight.

That might be all fine and dandy for some but resolutions are indeed for suckers.

Instead, I like to think about how un-resolutioney my year will be. Yes I just made that word up.

So here are a few things that this author refuses care about this year:

  1. Being Late: That saying, “If you’re early you’re on time, and if you’re on time you’re late” soooooo does not apply here. I’m hardly ever on time try as I might. It is not a defect, it is a fact of life.  Although being punctual is not my strong suit, it is something that I have come to accept about myself.  If I say that I will be there, I will be there, just not on time. It does not mean that an event is any less important or significant. It just means that traffic or an alien abduction has gotten in the way of my on-timeness.This one did bother me once but not anymore.  Only in life and death situations am I ever on time, and usually I’m about five-minutes late for that as well.
  2. Being Politically Correct: This is a big one. I often walk a tightrope between not wanting to offend too many people, and still wanting my voice to be heard. OK, that is not going to happen. My voice just offends sometimes. And the key to failure is trying to please everybody—everybody but yourself. Far too often things go unsaid that should have been said ages ago and “nipped in the butt” (as my mom calls it) before it has time to fester. Please don’t get me wrong, tact is of the absolute most importance but sugarcoating the truth will always put you a few steps backwards. You might as well tell an adult to make earmuffs when you speak.  Being blunt is quite a gift of mine; one that I don’t plan on giving up anytime soon.
  3. Fixing my “Bitch Face”: Don’t tell me to smile. Maybe I am in deep thought. Maybe I am thinking about a song by The Weeknd.  Who knows? Not you. So asking me why I look angry is like me asking you why your breath stinks.  Quite rude, no?  I don’t fake smiles for the men who see me on the street and coo “Why you ain’t smiling? You need a smile on that pretty face.” After I force a smile they ask me if I have any spare change. If you want a smile on my face then put it there, it’s as simple as that. And don’t ask me for money.
  4. Fitting in:  You may find this surprising, based on the above, but fitting in has never been my strong suit and it’s not going to start happening now. I ate lunch alone at school as I do now at work. And that is just fine for me. Being an outcast in school was probably one the best things to happen to me. As an outcast I met other outcasts and we would have a good ole outcastey time together all in the name of Otherness.In high school the popular kids clique reigned supreme, in the adult world it’s a pesky thing called “networking.” The cycle continues only now it wears a suit and tie with a fake plastered smile (no “Bitch Faces” allowed), all in an attempt to be at the top of the pyramid.I don’t make friends easily because I don’t like most people. And I am just fine with that.  The friends I do have are quality people because at the end of the day who wants 100 pennies when you can have four quarters?
  5. Leaving childish things behind: I still rock footsie pajamas like a pro…dammit.
  6. Being a “Lady”: Ah the lady. She is graceful, poised, a work of art for others to behold. She speaks softly, is dressed impeccably, and orders salad when her stomach is growling for steak. She is not me. And that’s cool.In the words of Miss Janelle Monae “They be like ‘Ooh let them eat cake,’ but we eat wings and throw them bones on the ground.” Yes, I just read that in my Shakespearean voice. I’ll never be a beauty queen and I’ll never cross my legs without an uncomfortable constipated look on my face. I have always preferred jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers over a dress and heels. But when the time comes to rock the latter please believe that I do so flawlessly. I will never change my physical appearance to appease others because I am a slave to my own vision of who I want to be. Everyone has their own vision of what a lady is, and frankly I don’t have the time to give a damn about that vision.
  7. Love: Awww LOVE *cue Minnie Ripperton.* Although love has both evaded and captured me in the past, it is something I am not really giving a damn about this year. If it happens, then it happens. I know some women who are determined that this year will be THE year to find a man and get married. Heck let’s throw a few honeymoon babies in there. We’ll call them Ren & Stimpy. There are so many people out there that would put India Arie to shame, whining about being ready for love. But why has it eluded them? Does it even exist? What is love? Is this love? Where is the love? Even the ones supposedly in love have questions for God’s sake! Please believe that a single night-stand will not be given to any of these mind-numbing questions. Instead, I will find love in the little things like how my boisterous Yorkie Riley spins in circles when I come home from work, how my little sister Kylie makes me laugh when she tells me about her day, how my mother tells me how proud she is of me even when I fall short.About how, even after a long day of work the only thing on someone’s mind is how they can put a smile on my face—without asking for spare change.
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Aziza Jackson is a native Californian born in Los Angeles and raised in Los Angeles and Oakland. Equipped with her AP Stylebook, Aziza has braved the tough wilderness of rural Alabama, saving lives, and kissing babies all while writing about, advocating for, and connecting with east Alabama residents through the wonderful world of public relations and community outreach. She has served as a compelling storyteller, austere copy editor, social media guru, rigid gatekeeper, creative project manager, marketing whiz, and human encyclopedia in some special cases. She also writes for The Oakland Tribune, and in her spare time likes to write her bios in third person. Don't judge her, it's her journey. "Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light." --Joseph Pulitzer
  • Jim Bozeman

    I hear ya, Aziza! Good story, good laughs. Thank you.

  • Pcyeta Stroud

    Great article, Zee!