Here's what you're not going to do this year

The 2020s been bending us over for a couple years now – time to switch positions.

What’s our motto for the new year? No-effing-more. Starting now. Here’s what we’re not gon’ do in 2022.

Allow straight guys to gay-bait us for profit

Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash

I get it: Straight men are hot. And they’re arguably even hotter when they’re dipping their hairy toes in the musky man waters. But you know what’s not hot? Pretending to be queer on social media for likes and clicks that translate to real-life profit. Because the likely truth of the matter is that this growing army of online gay-baiters are using that extra cash to take their opposite-sex girlfriends out on dates, supporting anti-LGBTQ+ causes (wittingly or not), and referring to us as cocksuckers and faggots whenever the cameras aren’t rolling. Are we gluttons for punishment? Of course we are. Why do you think we text our exes “You up?” every time we’re fucked up? Regardless, it’s time to break up with these no-homo narcissists once and for all. They’re taking us for a ride – and not the kind we douched for.

Live in fear of COVID-19

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

Guess whose business it is whether or not strangers are vaccinated? Nobody’s – and especially not yours. If you’ve received the vaccine, congratulations! You did your part. That’s it. You’re done. You can’t do anything else to prevent the spread COVID-19 from anyone else but you. Accept that, and get on with your life. This virus is here to stay, and all of us ought to start learning how to live with it. Starting now.

Allow toxic people to destroy our self-esteem

Photo by Abstral Official on Unsplash

I struggle with depression and anxiety as a result of trauma – trauma that stems from my childhood, past relationships, alcohol and drug abuse, and various other contributors. While I’m in control of some of those contributors, I can’t control other people and what they say or do to me. What I can control, though, is their access to me. I’m cutting ’em off this year. Kickin’ ’em to the curb. Doesn’t matter who they are – parents, siblings, boyfriend, boss. I’m fed up. Had enough. Fuck with me in 2022 and you’re gonna get the boot right out my life. Take a similar stand (and stop drinking so much while you’re at it) and you’ll surprise yourself in myriad ways.

Pretend like everything’s OK when it’s not

Photo by Calvin Lupiya on Unsplash

Mental and emotional wellbeing is a collective topic of conversation much more now than in the past. Open discussions with friends, family and professional therapists help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety but it doesn’t remove them altogether. And that’s OK. It’s also OK for everything to not be OK, and for you to admit that. If you’re feeling down, let yourself feel down. But if it lasts too long, it’s your responsibility to identify why you feel that way and work toward a resolution or at least seek treatment. In 2022, we all deserve happy days to be here again.

Pay more while doing more

Photo by Liam Martens on Unsplash

Prices are out of control all over the place, including the supermarket, and it burns my biscuit that not only is my wallet taking a beating but now I’m also expected to do the jobs of employees. Like cleaning up carts from the parking lot or bagging my own groceries.

What else is the cashier doing, besides scanning my items, if I have to bag them? That’s their whole job – just beepin’ shit across the laser? Meanwhile, I’m tasked with paying the bill and dodging the next customer’s purchases coming down the line before I’ve removed mine from the collection end of the belt. That’s not to mention that in California we pay 10 cents per bag, a fee that’s promoted as helping reduce the amount of plastic in the environment, but which is really just another way for corporations to dig into our pockets. And that’s even if there are bags to offer. I was at a Walmart recently that had no bags to provide customers – the second separate store where I’ve encountered this issue – forcing me to throw dozens of loose pantry staples and produce all over my trunk.

This year, join me in my crusade to not do anything that somebody else is getting paid to do – unless we’re getting a check, too.

Rest on our laurels

silhouette of person standing on rock surrounded by body of water

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

If you’ve been coasting through the past couple years by living off unemployment money and taking full advantage of on-again/off-again lockdowns, 2022 is the year to get your ass back in gear. Rest period is over. Grab these first few months by the balls and return to normalcy. Create changes, too. Big ones. Make a physical move, take a few risks, apply for a new job or enact a whole new career change. Just do something besides hang around the house in your jammies and field Zoom calls day in and out. There’s still a wide world out there, and it wants you to be part of it.

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels

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