Word of the year for 2024: Joy

Word of the year: joy

It feels audacious to say it aloud.
I’ve chosen “joy” for 2024.
Audacious and more than a bit of “have you just woken? Have you not been reading the room?”.
But that’s precisely it, isn’t it?
Twitter. Palestine. Ukraine. The CCP. Climate change. Famine. Extreme weather.
I could’ve chosen “ease” or “release” or “forgiveness (for myself)”, but in the end I decided to go with the valiance of choosing joy.
I prefer “joy” to “gratitude”.
Not because gratitude is bad, but because I’m tired of millionaires telling me I should be grateful they haven’t found a way to charge for oxygen yet.
I’m tired of misogynists telling me I should be grateful they find my tits hot even as they find my mind decidedly not.
I’m tired of all the ways in which privileged people weaponize “gratitude” against us, but I’m going to skip the tirade (for now) because this is about joy.
About choosing joy.
I recently discovered I was sunk deep in depression masquerading as optimism.
I was making do, living in a mess, awaiting a better tomorrow.
“I’ll buy the absolute right storage solutions when I move out and have my own place, so it will be perfect for both my chosen style of decor and the exact right size to fit in with every other thing that I will so carefully choose.”
“I’ll get back to daily yoga when I have room to myself again, when I have a place to put down my yoga mat.”
“I’ll forgive myself tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, some day when I’m somehow magically persuaded (by someone else, probably) that I’m worthy of love.”

All those terrible things I told myself, and more.

Enough of that.
It’s 2024.
We’re choosing joy.
Despite war.
Despite climate change.
Despite billionaires willfully wrecking the world just because they can.

Because capitalism doesn’t work without our misery.
Because joy is the first thing They want to take from us.
Because I find footholds and crags to hold onto, through joy.
Because I find joy in ease, in release, in all the other choices I could see.

May we walk forward, together, in joy, through joy, towards joy.

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