As midnight on December 31st got closer and closer, the repeated question from some of the friends gathered at my house was, “What’s the theme for 2015?”
And no wonder: the theme for 2014 is going to be hard to beat. Despite taking my blog down not long after declaring 2014 the year of FUCK IT, the spirit of FUCK IT had already run off without me, infiltrating a group of my friends and their friends, and their friends. It had spread like some kind of – what are those things that spread on the internet?- yes, memes. And it spawned at least one tattoo.
Fuck it, I made a mini-meme.
Once midnight passed, we joked about the theme periodically for the rest of the evening. For a few moments I was certain 2015 would be the year of spiderwolves,* which might be something I made up based on overhearing two conversations simultaneously with a big cup of whiskey in my hand.
Spiderwolves could be a meme, but when it comes to a theme, I needed some time to get a sense of the new year, just like I had in prior years. It’s a lot of pressure – having to follow-up a meme year and it’s the year I turn 40.
A week later, with a surprising amount of time available after deactivating my facebook account, I was reading a book about Chinese medicine and thought, “This is bullshit.”
“No it’s not. It’s a revered tradition.”
Also as in years prior, I started having a conversation with myself.
“It’s a revered tradition and bullshit.”
“We’ve been mystically drawn to yin and yang since childhood and have two manifestations of it tattooed on us. This is shit that works.”
“It’s bullshit that works.”
Thus, the year of bullshit came into being.
2015: Know Your Bullshit
Again, as in prior years, I’d already created the theme’s trajectory before I realized it consciously. It’s not so much that I think Chinese medicine is bullshit (the opposite, actually) it’s that I might not have been sitting in bed at 9:15 reading about Chinese medicine if I hadn’t deactivated my facebook account. That was my first big act of bullshit identification and remediation. Facebook makes me feel bad more than it makes me feel good, and I spend more time on it than I need to. That’s bullshit.
As I turned over the idea, I realized this was really the only logical follow-up to the tattoo-spawning year of Fuck It, because…
Fuck It. This Is Bullshit.
Saying “Fuck It” is the first step to getting free from the bullshit that holds you back. But saying Fuck It, as I learned last year, only gets you halfway there. If you can’t name it – your bullshit – you can’t get free from it.
Intensive use of the big F got me through a rough move, some emotional bumps, and difficult times proving myself professionally.** It worked until early October, when one evening I had to leave an outing with friends after less than an hour because I was on the brink of starting a relationship-ending argument over my gentleman friend wanting to go to a nice restaurant with me on a weekend other than one I’d suggested. I couldn’t handle that kind of rejection. I couldn’t let it go. I had to leave. I had run out of Fuck It.
Unfortunately, somewhere in the year of Fuck It, I also started saying Fuck It to things that actually mattered, just to get by. And there are some things to which you do not say Fuck It.
You don’t say Fuck It to your health.
You don’t say Fuck It to your friends.
You don’t say Fuck It to your family.
You don’t say Fuck It to yourself.
Sure, you can say Fuck It to being obsessive about your health, because that gets in the way of fun (which is bullshit). You can say Fuck It to trying to keep up with a big herd of acquaintances, because that takes your attention away from the friends who are most important to you (also definitely bullshit). You can say Fuck It to crazy family bullshit, because families are full of crazy bullshit (crazy bullshit!). You can say Fuck it to yourself, because you’re doing this bullshit again? (Fuck that bullshit.)
You really have to watch where you point that thing, though. If you’re not paying attention, you’re going to end up free from the good stuff, too. Like a freshman psych major who decides her roommate is bipolar and also her mother and the RA and her ex-boyfriend, it’s easy to get carried away and say Fuck It to things that are good for you. The year of bullshit is the first step in refining Fuck It. It’s one of the prerequisites for advanced Fuck It (Fuck It 301: Saying Fuck it to Your Bullshit.) It’s the 200 level class: Bullshit Identification and Remediation. You can’t say Fuck It to your bullshit if you haven’t figured out what your bullshit is. That takes some nuance.
When I presented the Year of Bullshit to my best friend, she thought it sounded angry. I can see why. It came out of being really depleted, and we’re talking about bullshit, here. Who wants to deal with bullshit? It’s enough to get on anyone’s nerves. But, it’s liberating, too, so we worked something out.
Sometimes your own bullshit is really painful and gross. Sometimes it’s angry. But that doesn’t mean the process of getting free from it has to be painful, gross, and angry, too. You can’t get free from something you can’t name, but you can put a hat on it. You can turn it into FLUFFY BUNNY BULLSHIT until you’re really ready. It’s a lot easier to look at when it’s just FLUFFY BUNNY BULLSHIT in a hat.
So, welcome to 2015. Grab your hat and your bunny suit and get to it.
*I had no idea what Welcome to Night Vale is until I googled “spiderwolf,” so here’s a picture of Gary the Snail instead. I have decided he’s the mascot for the year of bullshit, along with a FLUFFY BUNNY.
**Which is why I took my blog down. And about that… it’s entirely possible that someone I work for or with is going find my blog and all of its profanity and weirdness. That’s how it goes. This is what I do, and when I said Fuck It to blogging, I said Fuck It to something that I enjoyed and that mattered.