Normally, I hate New Year’s resolutions.
Take your sanctimonious ‘new year, new me’ statuses elsewhere; I’m lighting up and opening the bottle. Cheers.
We can’t magically make ourselves better people (and even if we could, would such a quick fix be fulfilling?) with our diets and our deadlines. Resolutions leave us shortchanged and reeling from the assault of January’s media pressure to change, change, change.
Shine brighter. Try harder. Be thinner. Get fitter. A whole starry world of -er comparatives laid out like pick n mix. We indulge in unrealistic expectations of ourselves (who says I can’t lose 20 pounds by the beginning of February? It’s easy…) and gosh, don’t we feel guilty when we fall through spectacularly?
So, to get to the point, this year I have new resolutions, and ones that aren’t just for me. I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s thoughtful book ‘The Happiness Project’ which suggests that to find true happiness, one must know their innermost self intimately; knowing your own strengths and shortcomings is the route to accepting yourself, and beginning to appreciate your personal ambitions.
And of personal ambitions I have much to say. The last two years have opened my eyes to what I really want to achieve, and I’ve realised that standing for the subversive is a large part of who I am. My resolutions for this year are ‘do more’ and ‘be more’; continue to make those small, personal stands on this platform.
Promote marriage equality and LGBT rights, so that one day I might beable to marry who I love, regardless of their gender, in Hong Kong. Promote women’s rights and be part of a movement gaining momentum across the globe. Say no to sexism – actively scream no to sexism – in the workplace and in the wider world. Teach little girls that there’s more to life than being beautiful and thin (and that the two aren’t mutually exclusive). Tell them that they can be anything they want to be. Be a good role model; be strong, be hard-working, have courage. Be someone to be emulated: intelligent, opinionated and informed.
Say the things other people may not be comfortable enough to say. Talk about depression and disillusionment frankly and unapologetically, because mental health is my here and now. Be the inspiration that I wish I’d had when I was growing up angry and confused and humiliated. Make a point. Have a point to prove.
No-one, or at least not many people, can be the change alone. But if I can add one small voice to the chorus crying out for progression and personal freedoms, new expectations and accepted identities, then I’ll have done my resolutions proud.