Matt Roper’s New Year | An Open List of Resolutions

No more falling in love with strangers, no more carrying his bicycle onto the Subway – and no more feelings of guilt when he sees people jogging. Gorilla columnist and comedian Matt Roper goes public with his New Year’s Resolutions in an open letter to himself.

Spend less time online and more time offline. Without your phone in your hand. That means actually leaving the house from time to time without it. You tried it a few times already this year and you didn’t implode or have a breakdown. You actually noticed things around you and gave your imagination a chance to run wild all by itself. Eventually, your brain will thank you for the break.

Make more time to cook for yourself from fresh, as it is grounding for you. You live in a busy city with a heavy schedule and it’s so easy to eat on the go – and there is very little dignity to found in that no matter who you might think you are.

Other people go for a run in the morning because that is the way they are. That is how they are wired to function. You are different. You prefer coffee, toast and no conversation. Do not envy the runners nor feel guilt as they fly past you. You didn’t get where you are today by waking up and going for a run, nor by playing the game of life with a straight bat.

Stop falling in love with completely unavailable people.

You love your bicycle. Cycle more. Don’t cut corners by carrying it onto a packed Subway train with the excuse that it’s too cold to ride it. Especially during rush hour. That’s ridiculous.

Not everybody has to like you. Accept it.

Remind yourself that news headlines are, by nature, filled with negative stories. When was the last time you read about an aircraft landing safely, an act of human kindness or a healthy baby being born – unless it was a duchess who had given birth to it? Good news rarely makes the headlines. Remember that it is only the editors of newspapers and news channels who are telling you that things can only get worse. Whether you buy into that or not is the important thing and obviously that is up to you.

Go with vegetarianism. You’ve been wrestling with the idea of it for years. You know you don’t need meat to survive. Take the leap.

You don’t have to order the same thing every time you go out to eat. There are other things on the menu. Yes it’s your favourite meal but if you eat it every time you’ll end up hating it – like that Tom Waits song you downloaded last week and listened to over and over again until it lost its charm completely.

Human beings are inherently flawed. That is life. Stop idealizing people. Including yourself.

Be proud of your accomplishments. Be proud that you sewed that button back onto your trousers all by yourself even if it did take you over an hour to do it and twenty minutes of that was spent trying to thread the cotton through the eye of the needle. Your mother raised you well.

You have a deeply unhealthy obsession with death yet seem to walk willingly into situations which could lead to your own. For example: smoking too many cigarettes, laughing at joggers, staying out late in the company of complete strangers in places where the bar staff have fresh stitches in their heads, and so on. Be conscious of what you do, who you do it with and the environments you do these things in.

Write. Be disciplined. Be clean and sober. You know there is nothing worse than staring at a blank page for twenty minutes with a hangover. You woke up this morning with a bad back because you slept on top of your phone, your charger and a pile of loose change.

Remember that you’re only human.

Love as much as you can, give those worse off than yourself a leg up the ladder if you can, and treat everybody with kindness and respect – unless they prove themselves to be an a*sehole.

You earn a living doing the things you love to do and you get to travel around the world doing them. Now go forth and conquer.


Matt Roper is a British comedian based in New York City. His relationship with Lush goes back to 2011 when he performed for the muddy festival-goers of Lushfest, returning the following year to curate the line-up of the comedy stage. As he travels around the world, he shares his musings with us here in a series of writings – a sifting of thought from a restless but always seeking imagination.                        

Follow Matt on social media:                        

Twitter: @MrMattRoper
Instagram @MrMattRoper

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