Top Ten Resolutions I will Not Be Upholding in 2017

1). LOSE WEIGHT: Oh yeah, let’s start big, shall we? Pun intended, because I hate myself. This is the top resolution for an eating disorder girl gone lazy, I’m thinking, or that’s true for me. This is the year I get serious about my eating disorder and make it work for ME! And I mean serious like I was in high school, that assurance of immortality mixed with breakneck death wish. That’s some deadly real shit. Or maybe, fuck it, I’ll be a grown up and fire up the Weight Watcher’s app I still have downloaded and I’m paying that monthly fee like a snooze alarm on my self hatred, never using it but telling myself I will. How many assholes just like me account for the bulk of Weight Watcher’s profits? Or you know, maybe I won’t do any of this shit, like I never do any of this shit – just flirt with the idea enough to get by, enough to keep my eating disorder inflamed and kicking me from the inside like some demon baby that never shuts up. And maybe that’s okay because to be honest as a chubby neurotic mess I still manage to get plenty of dick and that’s what it’s all about, right? Validation? So I’m good. No plans to lose any weight in the new year.

2). EXERCISE: There’s just no way I’m going to do this, and we all know it, so really it would be pretty embarrassing if I made this resolution. Picture me telling people, I’m going to exercise more this year! and them shifting their eyes around being like, Oh great, yeah. But no danger of that, there are infinite reasons not to try and fail at this. Partly because it involves engaging with the outdoors or the world at large in some way. Partly because I have the stamina and strength of a premie crackbaby. Partly because my depression hisses at sunlight and activity like it’s garlic and holy water. Partly because I look stupid in all clothes that one might deem “workout clothes.” There’s really no end to reasons not to exercise. I’m unclear what the pros are. Prolonged life maybe?? Pass. Hard pass.

3). EAT BETTER: Honestly I think this is for pussies. You know? I mean, really, think about what we’re up against with 2017. I don’t talk about politics because I try not to engage in anything more real than Netflix and social media, but even I know that we’re in trouble and it’s all fucking doomed. Imagine if the apocalypse comes about, and some of us survive. Who’s going to make it in the burned out rubble of the new dead world? People who are used to shit like quinoa and hummus and fresh vegetables and almond milk or whatever? Or people like me who can survive on lard and salt and questionable meat processed to death with bonemeal to make it stick – frozen and fast food so fake and greasy the fucking wrapper goes all orange and see through? If you don’t know what I’m talking about with the see through wrapper, you’re not going to make it after the blast. You need the fortitude to be able to eat trash like a fucking cockroach and survive without water, you need bad body fat and guts like a garbage can. Check. My self hatred diet stays the same, and I’ll still be here.

4). BE MORE ORGANIZED: This seems innocuous enough, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing. I take on way too much, I do it epidemically. I take all opportunities offered to me like some kind of unstoppable moron, always picked last for everything in middle school, now as an awkward adult saying yes automatically because I crave validation. Then I panic and shut down and get instantly and permanently behind. That’s why you’re reading this piece that I agreed to write before Christmas well into 2017. Couldn’t get my shit together. All I’m ever doing is just enough to get by and give the appearance of productivity. I’m skimming the surface. The thinnest veneer of work. I’m that part in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead where she’s trained to say, I’m right on top of that, Rose! So the thought of actually getting for real organized and lining all my editing and writing and teaching and mom and life shit up and figuring out how to stay on track with it and really FACING the crushing weight of what I am actually responsible for in this world – really, I think that might kill me. My heart might stop beating and I’d cease to live. So, yeah, I think it’s best if I just forge ahead pretending to be organized and productive while underneath the appearance of my social media presence I teem with misery and panic at all the undone shit. It might be what’s keeping me alive – the tension of that. Let’s not find out.

5). QUIT SMOKING: Well, shit. I don’t smoke anything. Should I start? It seems like this might be a good one to reverse break. Maybe that’s a thing I’ll spearhead. Make a resolution to significantly worsen my life by taking on a destructive habit – new year, new shittier me! Smoking is terrible and expensive. Plus I have asthma so this is definitely a solid idea all around. I think what I’ll do is become one of these vaping assholes. Can a girl be a vapelord? What is that for girls, a vapemilady? I could get that bedazzled across the back of a acid wash denim jacket easy. People will know me for my jacket and the fat vape clouds I rip and the distant sound of ambulance sirens racing to the aid of my crippling asthma attack. That’s how hardcore I’ll be. Finally, a cause worth dying for. Vapemilady. Is that Twitter handle taken? Checking now.


7). SPEND MORE TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY: This also seems fairly innocuous, doesn’t it? But what would it entail? Let’s break it down. Coming off the life support of television and twitchy constant phone scrolling and auto-eating. Finding clothes that fit your fat ass and don’t have dried chocolate them and putting them on your body. Doing whatever the bare minimum of grooming is necessary to make is at all socially acceptable to leave the house. Once out, looking people in the eyes and speaking to them. Incidental or accidental thawing of the deadness inside that comes with human interaction, allowing anxiety and doubt and sadness to scream in. This is what it takes to get coffee with a friend or to go to a family dinner at Golden Corral. Maybe these things seem simple or bearable because they’re temporary but there is always the possibility of obstacles thrown in, additional encounters you didn’t plan on. In fact at the Golden Corral near my house there are clowns who rove among the tables looking for people to draw into a public magic trick. Magic trick Golden Corral clowns. This is not a joke. It’s real. The world is horrifying and real. No thank you. I’ll continue to spend my life dodging these bullets and living the sweet life of a terminally ill shut in.

8). BUDGET AND SAVE: Really honestly at this point I don’t know what quality of life is left for anyone who tries to follow these fucking resolutions. So – I’m a drug addict by genetics who is sober by behavior. What that means is that because I don’t let myself smoke and snort and swallow all the shit my body wants, the frantic impulse to consume spirals out somehow. We’ve already discussed my eating disorder and my roach-like garbage eating habits. Now let’s talk about the shit I compulsively buy. Like – a Bayside High off the shoulder Kelly Kapowski sweatshirt that was obviously too small and then I never returned it because Depression. Like lipstick I will never use because I look like a low rent poorly cared for drag queen or someone’s dad at a drunken neighborhood Halloween party when I wear almost any makeup. Like those shitty DVDs that cost five bucks in that weird end of aisle display at the grocery store – stuff I’ll never watch such as Bridget Jones Diary Two or Nights in Rodanthe.  Like notebooks I will never fill with the writing I’m too emotionally paralyzed to do. Sure, I could stop buying this stuff – in theory. But what else would go haywire with the added pressure of a self imposed moratorium on super soft throw blankets from the kids’ room section at Target to pile on my nest-like bed in the dark where I binge swallow episodes of The Office until four am? We don’t want to know. No one wants to know, lease of all me.

9). BE MORE ADVENTUROUS: Are you kidding me? What could this possibly mean? What could be good about this? So it’s what – camping? Sleep outdoors where there’s no electricity, no television, nowhere to charge your phone, no microwave to make frozen chicken crispers from the Target freezer aisle, no bed, just like some rocks and bugs and raccoons who want to steal your shit, and weather and wind and shit and a tent that I will definitely put together wrong so it will definitely fall over? No. Or maybe this is more like, take a pottery class. Fuck that too. A whole new area of life to fail in and feel inadequate about and also I’m paying for it and also I’m left with a shitty vase or something that looks like a mental patient or a third grader made it. I can’t think of anything good that could possibly come from the word “adventurous.” Miss me with this shit.

10). WATCH LESS TELEVISION: Once when my best friend from high school was in college she told a classmate that she was feeling depressed and lonely and the classmate, who was clearly an idiot, said, Why don’t you turn your television towards the wall and put a note on it that says Enemy? And she shot back, Or I could turn it back around and put a note on it that says Only Friend. Hero status. I love that exchange. Fuck that negative person who tried to shame her for loving television. She has great taste too – midget reality shows, for example. The idea of giving television up or even reducing it fills me with fear. The anesthesia it provides for my brain and my whole body. The way it eats up time. The ritual of watching the same things over and over. How it floods a dark room with safe light. What would be the purpose of giving it up, what would you do instead? Yeah I know – read. But see with reading, you have to feel something. I’m not into that. Feeling less, and in that trying to hang onto the thread of survival I have – that’s my 2017 mood.


Chelsea Laine Wells’s work has been published in Hobart, New South, Black Candies, The Other Stories, PANK, Change Seven, Corium, The Collapsar, The Butter, Third Point Press, wigleaf, and Heavy Feather Review, among others, and is forthcoming from Paper Darts. Winner of a 2015 Best of the Net award, Wells teaches high school creative writing and is managing and fiction editor for Hypertext Magazine,  founding editor of Hypernova Lit, and co-editor of (b)Oink Zine.