F*** 2022. I will not be sad to see you go.
Platitudes are the biggest waste of linguistic space ever invented.
They’re just word bunches that we say when we don’t know what to say but feel like we have to say something so we end up saying words that just take up space so we can feel better about having said something while the person we said them to wonders why we bothered saying anything at all.
So if your 2022 was a year of misfortune, tragedy, frustration and absolute fuckery, we’re about to tell it to
Hit the road
And burn the bullshit to the ground.
Because the last thing we need to hear right now is someone uttering the exact five words that drive more guilt, anger, shame and sheer urge to commit a Class A felony than any other platitude in the global lexicon:
“It could have been worse.”
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Southern culture has a way of teaching people to bury their pain and grief that’s truly a masterclass in How to Create and Perpetuate Intergenerational Trauma. There’s a strong possibility that my first words as a baby were, “I’m fine,” and my next were “It’s okay.” And for the past 40-something years, I’ve had this shitty mixtape playing in my head filled with all sorts of pain-diminishing and guilt-inducing phrases that made me ashamed I ever felt any sort of slight or hurt or (god forbid) sorry for myself.
I spent 40-something years with this Pavlovian conditioning that said FEEL PAIN?
THEN SMILE AND INSERT PLATITUDE*.
*my longstanding favorite was “It is what it is.”
And, of course, I still do it — the trudging through, tamping down and occasional burying of “negative” emotions. I still try to smile through.
But sometimes things just suck.
Sometimes life is just an absolute fuckweasel that raids your emotional hen house and makes off with the best life has to offer.
And it’s okay to want to hunt that fuckweasel down and hold it responsible for what it’s done to you. How it’s made you feel. How it interrupted your well-planned life and robbed you of THE VERY THING you most needed/cherished/wanted.
Love. Stability. Rent money. Trust. True friendship. Health. A chance to apologize. A paycheck. A happier childhood. A real family. A partner who wasn’t the asshole in every AITA post.
It’s okay to crawl into a blanket cave and spend the day researching nursing school/ketamine therapy/every wiki page you can find on Grey’s Anatomy/serial killers/Googling “how do i know if i have depression” and “how old is too old to join the CIA.”
It’s okay to feel every feeling you’re feeling and let them all finally bubble to the surface after being packed so tightly into your heart for so long.
Our bodies aren’t carry-on bags, and we don’t have to cram all our feelings into such a tiny space just so we don’t have to go to baggage claim*.
It’s okay that our feelings spill over into LIFE.
It’s okay to not be a lady or gentleman or polite because seriously fuck all of those things since life and its tragedies and mishaps are anything but ladies and gentlemen and polite.
Grief is rude. Tragedies are rude. INTERRUPTIONS TO OUR BEST-LAID PLANS are rude.
And it’s okay — on December 31st — to tell the current year that you are so completely sick of its bullshit.
It’s okay to dump everything that weighs you down into the year’s last day.
To scoop it out of that emotional carry-on bag you’ve been rolling around life’s airport.
To put all the year’s complete RUDENESS into a massive heap.
Look it the eye*.
*Of course it has eyes.
Look it in the eye.
And drench it with the most potent lighter fluid available to humankind:
And set it all to burn as the clock strikes 12:01 A.M.
Because sure. This year could have been worse. But it fucked you up without bothering to first take you to an Applebee’s for dinner.
This is your exit strategy. The most anti-platitude flex you can make. It’s a gift to give yourself as the calendar resets and we all begin the process of fucking up the year we write in every email/letter/form for at least the next 3 months.
And I know that lighting this year’s bullshit on fire won’t completely make it go away.
But hope is the only thing that will get us through anything.
Including COVID. Which Clark Kent and I both tested positive for yesterday.
Fuck you, 2022. Truly.