We’re barreling into 2017 and all I can think is: It can’t be as bad as 2016, right? But isn’t that what we say every year?
To be fair, this past year was the absolute wildest I’ve ever borne witness to. We had Trump, the Dakota Access Pipeline standoff, Zika, Trump, the Olympics, Brexit, Trump, Tay Tay vs. Kimye, and Donald Trump was elected to be PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA MOSTLY BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE WANTED IT TO BE SO. On top of all that, a ton of beloved stars and role models passed away. And that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head! If 2017 is weirder or worse than 2016, we might need to become mole men or find a new planet.
The past year, I think, was challenging for everyone. For me, and a lot of people who lean toward similar ideals, it was a call to action. It was a reminder of the world we actually live in, and possibly more upsetting, of the people we share it with.
2017 will no doubt be challenging as well. Nothing that happened last year is going away anytime soon. But maybe we’re starting off with a thicker skin and steadier hands. It will take much more to sneak up on us this time around. That’s what I’m hoping for, anyways.
Strangely enough, 2016 was kind of a banner year as far as my personal life goes. I don’t think it was so much my Year of Realizing Things as it was a year of slow and steady growth. I didn’t make enough time to read or exercise regularly, but I managed to learn a whole lot, and I think I’ll be a better person for it.
In 2016, I learned that “better than I’ve ever been” isn’t synonymous with “peachy keen,” and that asking for outside help can be totally worth it. I learned what it feels like to be completely taken advantage of as an adult human woman in ‘the workplace.’ I learned what it feels like to be torn a new bootyhole (and then some) on the internet for trying to deliver information about feminism in a simple and fun way. I learned that certain battles aren’t worth fighting while others must be addressed immediately upon recognition. I learned that no matter how angry you are at someone you once cared about, even if your stomach churns at the mention of their name, you will still need to grieve their death and you probably won’t feel any better when you’re done. I also learned that ‘networking’ is no fucking joke and that the answer is “yes” a lot more often than you could ever imagine. I learned that you can be hella productive when you’re running on fumes as long as you love what you’re building and the Ladies by your side. I learned that working can be as good a form of self-care as napping. I learned that I really do believe in myself – like in the corny way people talk about in movies.
I am not foolish enough to believe that I am in any way ‘ready’ for what’s to come over the next twelve months, but I am eager to become whoever I will be by the end of it.