Here are a few things that didn’t make it into my 2014 Year in Review post. In 2014, I:
-Started participating in the Alternative Curves blog hop, and joined its Facebook group. It’s been great to find my niche with other plus size bloggers who enjoy punky, goth-y, costume-y, and otherwise quirky fashion. Looking for that niche was the very reason I started this blog! I’m especially excited for this upcoming month’s theme, Riot Grrl Heroines, as well as June’s (’90s Mall Witch) and August’s (Japanese Streets).
-Joined another fashion-niche FB group, the Glitterati, for people who subscribe to Crown and Glory’s monthly subscription box (which is always awesome and full of shinies). It’s fun to connect with other people who love sparkly things as much as I do. And I got Leah into C&G too, woohoo!
-Even as I joined more groups and connected more with the fatshion world, I also felt left out, as people have increasingly moved to Instagram. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t plan to get one anytime soon, so there’s a whole social network I can’t be part of, and it feel like that’s where everything’s happening these days. It’s also frustrating seeing so many lists of “top ten bloggers!” “best 20 outfits!” and knowing that I never even had a chance to make the list, because they’re all pulled from Instagram. (I know, I know, I’m not in this for the recognition–but sometimes recognition is nice.)
-Read 30 books by women of color.
-Participated in a Curvy Yoga workshop at a yoga retreat in Western Massachusetts. Anna Guest-Jelley is just as wonderfully body-positive in person as she is on her blog, and it was so powerful to do yoga with a room full of fat women, moving our bellies out of the way without shame. I hope to have more opportunities for movement with other fat people in the upcoming year.
The retreat, which was in the Berkshire Mountains, also reminded me just how much I need nature in my life. I feel so much better, so much more me, when I’m surrounded by trees and mountains and lakes. But I’m also a city person–I love living near most of my friends, being able to get around without a car, being surrounded by art and music and all sorts of interesting events. I think I’d feel so isolated if I actually lived in a rural area, not to mention that most jobs are in or near cities.
For a lot of reasons, Steve and I are happy where we live and not planning to leave our neighborhood, let alone the broader area, anytime soon. Where we live isn’t particularly green, and hiking on the weekends–when we have time, when the weather cooperates–isn’t enough. But like long-term travel, regular access to nature is something that just isn’t going to happen without making sacrifices that I’m not willing to make. So that’s another tension that I’m going to have to keep living with and doing the best I can.
I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, so instead, I want to make a rememberlutions jar. I’ve heard of the idea before but never actually got around to doing it–so this time, I’m going to dig out one of my many Mason jars, my hot glue gun, and some glitter, and get started.
I was also happy to come across a post titled “To hell with resolutions: this poem is all you’ll ever need” featuring Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese.” You might guess from my love of nature that I also love Mary Oliver, and you’d be right. I can always use more of her words in my life.
In 2015, I am looking forward to:
-Not only visiting Montréal and the Pacific Northwest, as I mentioned in my other post, but also spending a week in New York City next month. Long story short, I had some surprise vacation time that I have to use or lose by March, so I decided to spend it in NYC. I am so excited about everything from the new cat café to the Gudrun Sjödén store to all the food. If you’re in New York and would like to meet up while I’m there, let me know!
-Participating in Fatshion February, a month-long outfit challenge. I did it last year, but felt that I didn’t experience it fully because I was working in a mailroom and had to wear comfortable clothing that I could get dirty. Now I work in an office, which means I actually get to wear nice things, and I’m looking forward to documenting them. I haven’t posted many work outfits in a while, since I usually don’t feel like taking outfit pictures by the time I get home, so this will be a great opportunity to show you what I actually wear five days of the week.
-Hosting more clothing swaps–I already have one planned for later this month–and going to other fat-positive local events. I am also hoping to organize another fat thrifting excursion sometime this year.
-Continuing to be involved in various movements, and hopefully getting more involved in local climate activism. I realized that I didn’t do much of it this past year, partly because I spent a lot of my activist-energy on responding to what felt like urgent crises (the bombing of Gaza over the summer, the recent spate of racist police brutality without consequences). I know that these issues are all interconnected–and I know that issues that look suddenly urgent from the outside are actually ongoing crises that need dedicated, long-term action. But still, I only have so much energy for protesting, reading, and going to meetings. I have only so much emotional energy for absorbing pain. (Yes, I know it’s a privilege to be able to look away–but I still can’t look at everything all the time.)
It’s easy, too easy, to put climate change on the back burner when there are so many systemic human rights violations that need attention. It’s too easy just not to think about it, because thinking about it is scary and overwhelming as hell. In 2015, I want to: 1.) do my best to sit with that fear, and act anyway, 2.) balance my commitments to the many issues I care about and 3.) remember not to beat myself up if I can only do so much at once.
“It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.” – Pirkei Avot 2:16
What are your hopes and dreams for 2015? What are you looking forward to?