Reflections and Resolutions, 2016

Here it is, folks. 2017 is finally at our doorstep.

Many people are saying the usual thing people say at the start of a new year. “Wow, I can’t believe this year is already over!”

Allow me to counter anyone who is along this train of thought and say, “Already? This year has been one of the longest, most miserable years I have ever experienced. Of course I can believe this year is already over. It’s lasted far too long as it is.”

And I know the unfortunate events that happened this year aren’t related to the year itself. 2016 did not cause all of the unfathomable celebrity deaths, the shooting in Orlando, or one of the ugliest election seasons I have ever experienced. It did not elect possibly the worst president in the history of the United States, nor did it try to silence the righteous efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is easy to write this year off as simply a bad year, but there’s more to it.

2016 is merely a marker of time. There is nothing inherently special about going to sleep on December 31st and waking up on January 1st. No transformation automatically occurs. And so far, my December 31st has been proved itself to be unremarkable.

Here I sit in my childhood bedroom, typing away, slightly tipsy from the two glasses of pinot grigio I had at dinner, major food baby hanging out and I’m looking forward to drinking some cheap champagne come midnight. My nose is plugged up, I’ve blown my nose approximately 537 times today, and my feet are sore from working. The satirical part of my brain thinks, “What an appropriate ending to a year like 2016. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Even on a personal level, 2016 was mostly . . . crap. Emotional crap, financial crap, relationship crap. Lots of crap. I moved back in with my parents, not necessarily out of financial necessity but out of total confusion and fear of my unknown future. I don’t get to see my friends from college much anymore and that makes me sad. I’ve been turned down from too many jobs to count. I’ve gained weight.

Sucko year, 2016. Not going to lie.

But in the spirit of reflection, I’m forcing myself into a different mindset. I’m forcing myself to remember the good that 2016 brought me.

I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends.

I witnessed the first of my friends to get married.

I voted in my second presidential election.

I made a decision on grad school — I’m going. (The questions now are just when, where, and what the hell for).

I started blogging regularly, and love it.

I read a lot of good books.

None of these were bad things. And as I move forward into 2017 (thank god), I want to focus my energy on the things I can do to keep myself on a path towards happiness. I’ve got my resolutions in my back pocket, and they’ll still be there even if I forget about them until September or December.

Because tonight is really just like any other night. We didn’t have to wait for 2017 to give ourselves a fresh start. Tomorrow, we’ll wake up and another day will have passed, just like every night. The year on the calendar may differ, but it’s still a fresh start. Today and tonight might not seem particularly remarkable or momentous in the long run, but they still count.

And that’s the loftiest goal I have for 2017 — to make every single day count.

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