The New

I even wore my fun lashes for the photograph. New Year, Old Me; may I never know where to look when trying to take a photo.

It’s been a minute longer than I anticipated, and truth told, I’m not entirely inspired to write this, but feel it’s necessary to do so since a whole month has sprinted me forward without my consent. December has been exceptional; I am so excited to be back at work, and I love what I am doing and those with whom I am doing it.

Which is more than enough regarding paychecks.

When she put the question to me the first time, I told Poppy that I had just finished a year full of resolutions and felt resolutioned out. Except. Turns out that I am not. And this is perhaps the most important resolution I had yet to make –

To say NO, thank you when it’s precisely what I want to do. Not to ignore it and hope it goes away; not to pretend I didn’t hear it and hope it doesn’t get repeated; not to smile and say OKAY YES WHEN when I really want to just not.

My default position is to make others happy, at the cost of my comfort. Mostly, however, with respect to men.

I had to relearn how to ask for what I want, especially if the thing would bring conflict. It is still extremely hard for me to do this. So hard that I have anxiety just thinking about it, and I cannot do it unless either cornered or I have written it out in my Notes app. Seriously.

My girls will tell you – I am a notes drafter, but never more than when I have to say No to a thing. Even the simplest thing – the feeling obligated to accept a coffee date because I have been conditioned to believe that it would be rude to say no.

Often, I find myself whispering What in the actual fuck? after I have agreed to seeing someone whom I have NO DESIRE to see. (Never women, by the way; I am always down to hang out with other White Witches. Always.)

But nine out of ten men? No, thank you.

Which is my NYE resolution. An articulation of a simple nope when I doewanna.

My God. I already have guilt. Because thanks to being raised to keep the peace, sugar and spice, everything nice, in a world that doesn’t forgive women who don’t keep a man’s ego. (PSA: I will always maintain the deserved and well-earned confidence of another human, but ego is for assholes.)


Happy New Year, my loves! May it be filled with radical honesty, clarity of heart, and actions that follow suit.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. The necessity of making my bed every morning. Because this means that I have one.
2. Friends who make dinner reservations.
3. rose-water syrup being carried at Readers Bookstore in Amman, Jordan. So many heart emojis.

Ottawa | December 31, 2019

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