Here at ANTIGRAVITY, we’re living in the future. Because of the nature of our production schedule, we spend January focusing on February, February focusing on March, March on April, and so on. That means when everyone else is in the thick of their December malaise we are planning your New Year, New Me issue, meaning I have to put on my bettering-myself cap a couple weeks early. I’m getting organized, I’m not drinking, I’m cooking, and I’m cleaning.

I have also worked at a movie theater for more than a decade, which means my sense of time around the holidays is doubly fucked. While everyone else is planning breaks and traveling home I am working long, busy days—the busiest of which is always Christmas. Anyone who knows me knows how much I dislike this time of year; my disdain for the season seems unshakable, and I turn into the most irritable version of myself. It’s difficult not to when being so at odds with the world. I feel outside of time while also trapped inside of it, doing my best to put one foot in front of the other in a direction that keeps me tethered.

January, though—January I enjoy. This is when all the misfit and misplaced scraps of time and effort get gathered and repurposed towards new visions, or the same ones, like a quilt of last year’s lessons meant to keep us warm during the inevitable pitfalls of a fresh year. This is when people ask themselves: What is working? What is not? And reorient ourselves accordingly. These are not just important questions to ask, they are necessary, especially when the powers-that-be rely on our fogginess and fatigue. In January, people seem to remember that they have agency.

What is working? What is not? Jeff Landry will soon be governor, an ongoing American-backed genocide in Palestine shows little sign of ending, and the effects of a pandemic still wreak havoc on our bodies, minds, and survival. There is a lot to point to that is dysfunctional.

When I think about these things, it’s hard not to lose myself in a grim spiral, wondering if anything will ever be any more decent, or if it really will only get worse, forever. But this thinking is defeatist and petulant, and I can choose to not be those things.

I have agency, and so do you. We are not trapped in our patterns—and we can change them and fight them whenever we choose to. This arbitrary milestone is a good reminder, but the ability exists year-round. There will be some battles I will lose, that we will lose, but then we must pick up the scraps, sew together a new plan, and forge on. —Marisa Clogher

Illustration by Laura Frizzell

January 2024 cover by Sadie Wiese

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