January is basically just opening the first page of a book that you’ve read before
I used to start the year off by making a list of all the things I wanted to achieve by the end of year, and it always felt like such a fulfilling task. To me, I was starting my year right if I put pen to paper and curated a lengthy list of goals (most of which were slightly unrealistic). I fully believed if I wrote these things down then they would all for sure come to fruition, and for those who weren’t- good luck to them because they won’t be elevating. I was on to bigger and better things and ready to girl boss my way into the year ahead with my carefully curated list of goals, that I would for sure be ticking off at the end of year surrounded by all the things I had attained as a result of my manifestation of "the list".
Starting our years off with the pandemic still having its firm grip over us has been kind of a saving grace for me in getting rid of this toxic way of thinking. The new rhythm of welcoming the new year mostly in our homes with more time spent alone, has made me realise how futile this whole "new year new me" is in the absence of shifting your perspective.
"You most likely still have the same phone and are about to start recycling your yearly "winter winter" wardrobe with the exception of the odd new coat and new boots combo."
Yes it’s a new year, but there's actually very little newness in you and your surroundings and that's completely okay. You’re probably still the same weight, you most likely still have the same phone and are about to start recycling your yearly "winter winter" wardrobe with the exception of the odd new coat and new boots combo. The days are short, cold, and gloomy. Your Netflix screen time is at its peak, and all you can think about is how insane it is, that the guy from the puppet master documentary managed to finesse three reasonably sane people into thinking he was an MI5 spy for ten whole years! TEN YEARS!! If that isn't spending the same 24 hours that Beyonce has as efficiently as Molly Mae- I don't know what is.
I’ve decided to start feeling more comfortable with all this sameness, and stop rushing to check list my way through the year ahead. For the first time in years I have no physical list, just a mental note of the things I’d like and currently working towards, and somehow feel way more motivated about the year than I've ever felt.
So I guess what I’m trying to say here, is that this ritual of literally check listing yourself to a better you needs to be left in 2021. Ditch the list that you think will fast track you to where you need to be, and adopt new ways of welcoming in the new year with less angst and more acceptance. It’s always great to have a plan but always remember that life in your 20s can be extremely volatile. Things happen and don’t happen, but what’s always important is that you're constantly shifting and realigning your mindset. With every book opening comes new experiences, new challenges, and new ways of making sense of the world around you. So take time out to consider whether some of your New Year's rituals are really just things holding you back disguised as self care, and stopping you from actually being kind to yourself.
The Podcast recommendations
1) Harsh Reality
Narated by Trace Lysette, Harsh Reality tells the story of Miriam Rivera, aa trans woman who was the at the centre of a sadistic early 2000s dating show, where a group of cis het men were fighting for the chance to win 10,000 and the heart of Miriam. The crazy twist at the heart of the story is that none of the men are aware that Miriam is trans, which sets the scene for an inevitable catastrophic big reveal. The podcast is a must listen, as it highlights how nefarious the culture of the early 2000s was towards trans women.
2) Private Parts Episode 241: BJ King of Fyre Festival
Every pop culture podcast always has that one episode that's just pure brilliance. Episode 241 of private parts is that episode. An interview of Andy King who you may remember as the shining hero from the fire fest documentary who was willing to risk it all for bottles of Evian water. Hosted by ex MIC cast members Jamie Laing and Alex Myton, Andy recounts that crazy project he worked on and offers a behind the scenes exclusive to the sheer chaos of the worlds most hilarious and outrageous failed festival. An absolute gem of a conversation!
3) Forbidden Fruits with Julia Fox and Niki Tekash
This is a new find for me, and I owe it all to the Tik Tok algorithm for this landing on my FYP. Hosted by everyone's new favorite material girl Julia Fox and Niki Tekash, FF is a cultural commentary podcast and your new favorite messy tea source. My favorite episodes so far are: Jane doe vs Epstein (an interview of Jane doe who is one of the victims from the Epstein case), and Behind the scenes with Julia Fox where she spills all the tea on the new man in her life.
4) Today Explained
Everyone who knows me knows I won't shut up about this podcast. It has become such a fixture within my daily routine, as it's daily and who doesn't love a daily podcast. From the creators of Vox's Explained series on Netflix. Today Explained is a roundup of news stories from around the world. My current favorite episode is titled: The James Webb Time Machine, which is an interview with some of the scientist working on the JWST (the world's strongest telescope and Hubble's predecessor), and discusses their the search of "cosmic dawn" a period long ago when the first starlight transformed the universe.
The Documentary list
1) Puppet master (Netflix)
In this harrowing docuseries, a cruel conman masquerading as a British spy manipulates and steals from his victims, leaving ruined families in his wake.-Netflix
2) Green Planet (BBC I Player)
Dive into a world where a single life can last a thousand years, with David Attenborough. See things no eye has ever seen, and discover the dramatic, beautiful plant life of Earth.- BBC
3) Seeing AllRed
Seeing Allred is a film directed by Sophie Sartain, following women's rights attorney Gloria Allred as she takes on cases of sexual assault allegations concerning some of the most famous people in politics and business.- Netflix
This gripping docuseries follows the ups and downs of Navarro College's competitive cheersquad as they work to win a coveted national title. - Netflix
A brief round up of some of the sounds I've loved this month. Starts off a little slow and moody, before moving on to some lighter tunes