Artwork by Racy Lim
Angely Mercado is a Queens native and writer whose work has appeared in Lenny Letter, NPR, Gothamist, DNAinfo and more. She’s obsessed with all things green, platanos, cartoons and binging apocalyptic movies. She covers NYC policy, local news, culture, Latinidad and intersectionality.
2018 was… interesting. A lot happened politically. We saw once again that women (and their pain) are oftentimes not taken seriously. After far too short reprieves, disgraced comedians and actors managed to make their comebacks despite not keeping it in their pants. The news cycle has taken so many turns that every week was summed up by the simple question, “WTF is even happening now?”
Luckily, many of us can choose to leave things behind that don’t detract from our positive energy. There’s no reason to take it with us and no reason to even entertain the idea of toxic things that don’t add any value to our lives. So here’s what we’re leaving behind in 2018:
Just why. They’re not even cute. And very few people don’t look potato-shaped in them. *Nothing’s wrong with potatoes. They’re delicious and versatile, but I want to eat them, not look like them.*
We can all still stan Migos- their music is good. But Offset needs to be way more considerate of Cardi B. People shouldn’t be surprised when their partners break up with them after infidelity. He interrupted her at work, had no regard for the fact that she was on stage, getting ready to do her thing, and publicly cornered her after their failed relationship ended, despite the fact that she has done her best to be thoughtful about everything online. She deserves more respect. That and her new music video, “Money,” just screams, “Respect Cardi…” She’s too cool for all of us. We def stan a (possibly) divorced hip-hop female legend.
Actually, any blouse where there are no shoulders
“Cold shoulder sweaters?” Again, why? Who said that was a good idea? If I’m paying full price, I want there to be a lot of cloth!
Gaslighting women when we say that we’ve been stalked, harassed, or abused
There are so many statistics that show what women go through on a regular basis around the world. Yet, when we try to report said crimes or speak out on any public platform, we’re inundated with DMs (most often by white men) informing us that it’s in our heads and that we’re “projecting personal insecurities onto everyone else.” Sharing trauma is often met by tons of criticism, wrongfully questioning “why we were at said location, why we were wearing our clothing, what choices we made right after the incident”- as if people make great choices when they’re stressed out/ essentially being hunted.
Buying any item of clothing at full price if you don’t need it right away or really love it
Thrifting is where it’s at! Save your bank account, save the environment- and look cute AF while doing it.
A lack of pay transparency
We should all try to tell each other what we make in order to be sure that we’re being paid our worth. Secrecy around our salaries makes it harder to close the wealth gap. How can underrepresented people know if they’re being paid fairly if no one shares their salary? So many Twitter threads at the end of 2018 showed me that I could have negotiated for more money when working on different projects. I want to keep that energy going in 2019.
Not representing women of color, low-income women, and queer women
WE EXIST. WE HAVE IDEAS. PLEASE LET US CONTRIBUTE THEM AND MAYBE, LIKE, HIRE US ON YOUR STAFF BECAUSE I’D LIKE PAID TIME OFF ONE DAY.
Being mean to ourselves
Some of us (myself included) talk to ourselves in ways we would never speak to our partners, family members, or friends. So why keep doing that to ourselves? This doesn’t mean not calling ourselves to task when we mess up… but we all make mistakes and need room to grow, so why not be patient every once in a while?
We all need to work hard to get far in life. This is especially true for Millennials and Generation Z. Our wages are stagnant. A lot of us are in debt due to student loans or medical expenses, and we have a lot on our plates. Our entire generation is burnt out, and that’s not ok. We shouldn’t normalize working ourselves to death. It’s so easy to get sucked into the whole “sleep is for the weak” or “I take no vacations” mindset. But newsflash: our brains need rest! Vacations or taking even just a few hours off a week to relax makes us better employees, co-workers, partners, family members, friends, and literally everything else, so we need to start doing our best to put our mental and physical health first before our entire generation crashes.
Look, realistically, there are tons of other things to leave behind in 2018, but these seem pretty crucial. Let’s hope that 2019 is a year filled with accountability, better sleeves, and transparency. A perfect year isn’t possible, but a better year than the one before is. Happy 2019!