It’s Never Too Late to Tackle Ancient Resolutions

Revisiting my 2016 New Year’s to-do list.

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Photo: flickr

Last week, I wrote a forthcoming piece for Queerty on my resolutions for 2019. By now, I really should know better. I recently came across a list of old New Year’s resolutions I made when I was living in Sydney— 2016 #GOALS — and I couldn’t believe how few I’ve kept in the three years since I made them

I’ve met only two and a half of my 16 goals for 2016, and that doesn’t even include #7, a mini-travel bucket list. Considering that I’ve spent the past year and a half on the road, my failure to hit that particular goal makes my .156 batting average seem even sadder. Oh, well, there’s always 2019.

#GOALS: 16 things I wanted to do in 2016

Goal #1: Figure out the secret to getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Since I’ve never had coffee, I’d finally like to know what it feels like not to be continuously drowsy next year.

Did I hit it? Yaaaaawn. Well, there’s always next year.

Goal #2: Drive on the left side of the road. First stop: Hunter Valley, a wine region in the Australian state of New South Wales. Since it’s not coming to me, I’ll have to conquer my fear of turning into the wrong lane and drive like the wind to get there.

Did I hit it? Still, no. I did eventually make it to Hunter Valley, but I let somebody else drive.

Goal #3: Continue to explore Australia. Topping my to-go-to list: Tasmania, The Gold Coast, and Uluru.

Did I hit it? Yes. Sort of. I road-tripped to Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Blue Mountains, and Melbourne in 2016, plus I spent New Year’s Eve 2016 in Hobart, Tasmania, with my friend Nicholle.

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Newcastle Beach (Photo: Me)
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Tasmania, Take 1 (Photo: Me)
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Tasmania, Take 2 (Photo: Me)

Goal #4: Finish my second book, a collection of essays I wrote during my year in South Africa.

Did I hit it? Yes, but not until 2018.

Goal #5: Meet a reason to give up gay hook-up apps. If he happens to be from Asia or Eastern Europe, paydirt!

Did I hit it? I met my best bet yet earlier this month. Alas, he lives in Prague, where I’m spending most of December and January, and I don’t.

Goal #6: Get published in The New York Times.

Did I hit it? Not yet, but I haven’t given up the dream.

Goal #7: Cross at least one of these places off my travel bucket list: Seoul, Reykjavik, or the Great Wall of China.

Did I hit it? I crossed off Croatia in April of 2016, but all of the above remain on my list of future holiday destinations.

Goal #8: Dive into my better-late-than-never list of must-still-see-TV: Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Mad Men

Did I hit it? I doubt I’ll ever get to those three at this point, but I did manage to Netflix and chill with all four seasons of Grace and Frankie this month.

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Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie (Photo: Netflix)

Goal #9: Return to the scene of the crime for the first time in six years. Yes, I’m talking about New York City, where I lived from 1991 to 2006.

Did I hit it? I expect to slide into my former home base for the first time in nine years during the first quarter of 2019.

Goal #10: Stop feeling guilty about relationships that have fallen by the wayside. It takes two to make or break a friendship/kinship or keep one going.

Did I hit it? The guilt remains, depending on what day it is.

Goal #11: Skydive. Seriously. And I have Bridge of Spies on Qantas’s in-flight entertainment menu to thank for the most unexpected urge of 2015. Watching a CIA guy eject himself from a crashing plane only to land in hostile Russian territory during the 1950s Cold War actually sort of made me want to jump out of a plane myself… preferably one that’s not on fire.

Did I hit it? It took me three years, but I think I’ve given up this one for good.

Goal #12: Stop thinking about him. As James Taylor once sang, I’ve got to stop thinking about that.

Did I hit it? He still crosses my mind at least once a day, though no longer all day long.

Goal #13: Become a dad… or adopt a dog… or get a guinea pig.

Did I hit it? The closest I’ve come have been a few flirtations with dad bod.

Goal #14: Find a way to keep my readers up with the Kardashians without making the messengers seem as mindless as what they’re covering.

Did I hit it? I quit my job as editor of the Australian entertainment website TheFIX in 2017, without ever really figuring out how this one’s done.

Goal #15: Allow myself to be more vulnerable. I’m romantic, idealistic, and I feel more deeply than the average person, but only those in my innermost circle would ever know that there are so many layers underneath the steely facade. In the last few months, I’ve had two very good friends tell me it’s time to start dismantling the fortress around my heart… and I agree.

Did I hit it? The wall has cracked, but it still hasn’t fallen.

Goal #16: Succumb to my most superficial impulses and do another nude photo shoot (something a lot less low-budget than the one my first boyfriend Derek did on the roof of his apartment building in Hell’s Kitchen in 1993). I may look better now than I did at 24, but let’s face it: Gravity is only going to hold out for so much longer.

Did I hit it? I did two shirtless photo shoots (one for a female photographer in Belgrade, one for a male one in Bucharest) in 2018, but I kept my nether regions covered for both. I also posed for my aforementioned Czech love interest wearing nothing but thigh-high red boots while he sketched me, but a certain body part remained strategically hidden.

Maybe next year? Who am I kidding? Gravity is kicking my ass and making it sag. My days of posing nude are over, like my 40s will be in May. Happy New Year!

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Photo: Dan Niculescu

Written by

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa”

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