AdviceHey, Bonita!

Let’s All Ease Into 2016 Together

This is my first column of 2016, but I’m writing it in 2015. New Year’s Eve hasn’t even happened yet, but I’ve already got three of my outfits planned for the evening, and I’m considering getting a French wax. I probably won’t get a wax, though, because they hurt, and I never do that, so I’d be presenting a lie to anyone who came face-to-face with my crotch on NYE. I’m slightly superstitious about this particular holiday, and I firmly believe that I must come correct on Dec. 31, literally and figuratively, lest I start 2016 on the wrong foot.

2015 was pretty interesting and fun in Athens, wasn’t it? The national conversation about racism and the value of black lives is finally happening on the local level, with various news organizations calling out our city’s de facto segregation and racist downtown bars. Our police department gives a serious shit about fair and impartial policing. SlopFest was amazing. Also, I think something happened with the UGA football coach?

Personally, my year was challenging but mostly awesome—this column included. I want to thank all of you for trusting me with your secrets and drama, and I’m proud to be the anonymous jerk whom you trust to talk you through hard times. I had a rough start, but I’ve worked hard to get better at this job and foster the trust of this community. Perhaps it’s working, because some of you even offered me places to live when I needed one. At the same time, I overheard a woman at a party calling Bonita Applebum an unintelligent slut, but they say if you don’t have haters you’re not doing it right. Thank you all for sending me questions, and please keep them coming in 2016.

A new year means everyone’s setting lofty goals to fail at, but I’m not. I gave up on New Year’s resolutions decades ago. I’ve always failed at them—hell, most of us do. That’s not to say we shouldn’t strive to better ourselves, but making life changes based on your holiday schedule is a recipe for disaster. We make resolutions because everyone else does, and if we miss our start on Jan. 1, there’s always tomorrow, and there are infinite tomorrows. I don’t know New Year’s resolutions to be passionate moments of life-changing intention for anyone, and most of us know they’re an empty promise the moment we make them. I think that’s the challenge we face in making our resolutions happen. There’s no real drive behind them.

I want you to intend to have a great year in 2016, but I don’t think it’s necessary to tell everyone—or even yourself—that you’re gonna lose 50 pounds or quit smoking or finally get in a long-term relationship. Make plans and work towards them, but find the value in them so you keep going out of love and fun, not because you have something to prove to others. Make it about the joy of physical activity or the pride of good health, and know what you are capable of. Make your goals manageable, and make the work part of your life.

When it comes to dating, I don’t think I got the hang of it until I stopped demanding that I score a partner and instead asked myself why I hadn’t been able to pull that off in the past. Instead of making my yearly resolution to manipulate long-term intimacy from someone, I decided I should get to the bottom of this trend in my life. I don’t wanna share the details, but know that I figured it out, and my dating life really is turning into what I want it to be. I am no longer lonely or afraid; not because somebody put a ring on it, but because I don’t want a ring.

That was a long road for me, but that’s the difference between making a resolution and changing your life. I’ve never succeeded at a thing when all I cared about was the success, you know? Find joy in the process, and the rewards will come.

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