1. Gossip

Stop being rude. Stop asking people invasive questions and giving them unsolicited advice to their faces. Instead, go over there and gossip about them with your friends. Dissect their choices in life, theorize about their relationships (or lack thereof), make up stories about why they do not have children, and question how they make and spend their money. Be a good person and take it all to the group chat. There is so much mileage in gossip, you can keep going indefinitely, and allow your imagination to really run wild. Gossip is safe, entertaining, and polite. What’s not to like? We all do it. It’s basically a human right. 

  1. Catching Feelings

Are you not tired of being too cool to care? Is it not exhausting to pretend to be the chill person who is in no hurry to define a relationship or get upset that your friends forgot your birthday? What if you decided that you did, in fact, care? Nonchalance is boring and uninspired, try earnestness this year. I see your fear of rejection/disappointment and raise you the dreams of possibility. What if embracing your feelings and admitting you care leads you to actually getting the things you want? I don’t trust perpetually unbothered people, because me, I am always bothered. Being cool and detached will never score you that big romance you dream of, or gain you a community where you feel safe enough to catch and express all your messy messy feelings. To care is to be human, don’t live like a robot in 2023.

  1. Wet January… But With A Twist

The thing about attempting to quit drinking alcohol in January because you overindulged in December is that you have tried it before and failed and it will likely lead you to binge even worse when you eventually allow yourself to drink again. So how about, instead of going dry, stay wet, but do it a little differently. What if you opted for better quality drinking experiences instead? This means spending a little bit more money to drink better alcohol, less often. A good bottle of wine, an aged whisky, a bespoke gin. This way alcohol becomes an indulgence, a treat, an experience. You become a conscious drinker, the one who only springs for the good stuff, the one people ask for recommendations when they want to get a nice bottle for a special occasion. The good stuff costs money, so you can’t drink it daily. But when you eventually pop that bottle on Friday evening to wrap up a busy week, you’ll be like, man, this is the life. This philosophy goes for food as well. The less money you spend at your favourite fried chicken joint, the more money you have to splurge eating good food you’ll actually remember at that fancy restaurant you’ve been meaning to try.

  1. Living In A Fantasy World

Because what has reality done for you anyway? 

My favourite scene in Sarafina is at the beginning when Leleti Khumalo pretends to be Nelson Mandela, riding in open-top cars, waving at crowds, preening and posing at the cameras. 

“Come on, Nelson. Why can’t I be a star? What does a star do? Nothing. Look at the camera, flash! Smile at the camera, flash! Look at everybody, big eyes! Say nothing. Stars don’t do, stars just be…” she says.

Ah, the artistry.

Real life is tedious, boring and limiting. At its worst it can be downright painful. I strongly recommend delusion. Live this life like you’re the main character in your own melodrama, where you’re incapable of fucking up too badly to not recover.  When faced with tough decisions, ask yourself, what would an interesting protagonist do? Then do that. It will be fine, you will be fine. And if not it will be a heck of a story. You will discover some much-needed courage along the way, you will become interesting to yourself, you will live life.

  1. Personal Aesthetics

Imagine being a person with a good physical knowledge of yourself. You know what clothes you look good in, and what to do with your hands when someone is taking your picture. You know your angles, how to shape your eyebrows, and whether you look best in a beard or clean shaved. You can confidently wear lipstick without it going on your teeth, ever, and you know what shoes go best with those pants. You know your colours, your cuts, your scent. It’s a confidence thing. And it’s so damn sexy.

PS:

Whatever you are doing this year, I am aggressively rooting for you. You’ve got this!

Author

  • Jacqueline Kubania

    Jacqueline is an award-winning journalist and communications practitioner with a combined nine years’ experience in local and international newsrooms and the non-profit sector. She is a Chevening scholar and was the 2015 Kenyan winner of the David Astor Journalism Awards Trust. She has previously worked for Nation Media Group as a senior reporter, and has also reported for The Guardian in the UK and City Press in South Africa. She holds an MSc in Practising Sustainable Development from Royal Holloway, University of London. Jacqueline currently lives in Nairobi and works as a communications consultant and freelance journalist. Her favourite subject is people, in all their layers and complexities. She is a feminist and a supporter of social justice. She hopes to one day do a food tour of West Africa. Talk to her about books, cats, or travel.