In 1348 the Black Death swept across Europe and killed a third of the population. In 1939, World War II would begin and last for 6 grueling years. In 2007, Britney Spears shaved her head and got a few illy contrived tattoos. These were all years that people deemed “the worst of our time.” Okay, I feel like I need to acknowledge the Britney Spears comment because obviously you can’t really compare the Bubonic Plague and genocide to a pop-star attacking a parked car with an umbrella unprovoked. That being said, I’ve heard a lot of people referencing 2016 and comparing it to a giant bag of dicks. I’ve also seen enough internet memes to effectively convince me it’s a thing. However despite a breakup, job transition, and other life stressors that have happened – I refused to put a pin in it and call this year crap.
The thing is – every year comes with immeasurable ups and downs. Yes, this year was less than favorable for many. We lost George Michael and Carrie Fisher within the span of several days and I agree completely that no one should ever have to experience that. How many times I’ve listened to ‘Careless Whisper’ in the dark or obsessively watched ‘Star Wars’ clips in the last few days? – I really cannot say. Our country elected a wrinkly half-deflated basketball with a tuft of hair as President. There was the Pulse shooting, Bastille Day Terrorist Attacks, Hurricane Matthew, and that damn Zika Virus that probably ruined thousands of people’s vacation plans. They saved all their PTO for that.
I am not trying to be spiteful or minimize anybody’s experience – if you know me, you know I am all about validating, honoring and respecting people’s feels to the max. But some good things happened too y’all. Did you know Panda’s came off the Endangered Species List? That we sent a spacecraft to fucking Jupiter? That a peaceful protest stopped the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline? To boot Beyoncé released Lemonade, furthering the fact that she is QueenB and America’s Bey. Personally I did a lot of things right this year, but I did a whole lot wrong too. In light of standing on the precipice of a new year, rather than make resolutions for myself – I’m merely going to make suggestions. That way, no pressure Tanya. YOU DO YOU (just try and do you slightly better, okay?)
Every year we grant ourselves the generosity of a new lease on life – we spend time in contemplation, consideration, and reflection. We beat ourselves up for the things we did and didn’t do – we make plans of grandeur. “This year will be different,” we say – and we promise to hold ourselves to it. All too often forgetting that every day we are offered that opportunity – to take inventory, develop and grow. So let 2017 be a fresh start, but also when you realized that time was all relative, and we are capable of progression without it having to be some calendar stamped time of year. If you don’t want to make resolutions right now? Don’t. If you want to resolve to drink a bottle of wine on the couch by yourself tonight? Do. Your life is about a lot of other people and things, but it’s mostly about you so go on and honor the shit out of yourself no matter where you’re at.
As far as things I am suggesting for myself? I want to evolve in everything that I do. I want to learn more. I actually miss the pressure of Graduate School. It forced me to read, write, and think critically. Not to say I don’t do those things anymore, but I certainly don’t do those things enough. Reading Buzzfeed articles entitled: “Tiny Kitten Takes First Bath” doesn’t exactly make my synapses fire in any intelligent way, although it does wonders for my dopamine and serotonin levels. Maybe this year I’ll start writing the book I’ve been talking about for the last decade of my life – you know, the one that follows the exact same rhetoric this blog does. A striking narrative of a girl whose been making questionable life decisions since 1985. Owner of a high-maintenance Chihuahua named Nora Jones who poops when she’s feeling emotional. Sometimes eats Spaghettio’s out of the can for dinner and has a special penchant for inserting herself into interesting situations.
Adversely, much like every other year, one of my resolutions is not to find “the one.” Despite the fact that it seems like that’s what everyone else wants for me, I’m not sure it’s my path and it’s certainly not my priority. I get it – being happy and being in relationship are synonymous for so many people. That may not be the case for me. At the end of the day I ask myself these questions: Do you feel safe? Do you feel loved? Is your heart happy? I figure if I can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, and confidently, then maybe I am in the right place. And if it looks different than I have been taught or told it would be – maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s more than okay. Maybe it’s great even.
I’m reminded as this year closes how strong I am, how fleeting things can be, and that everything shall pass even if it takes a bit. Was this year a train wreck? No. Was it phenomenal? No. Am I going to keep asking questions and answering myself in this blog entry? APPARENTLY. All I can do is chalk this year up to what it was, learn a few lessons, and live my life (Hey! Ay ay ay) Steady chasin’ that paper, just live my life! If this entry was a drinking game I’d make you drink every time I referenced pop music, or asked myself questions that I immediately answered. Pretend you didn’t get this far, grab a drink, and try this whole damn reading thing again. Maybe the second time around, and with booze, you’ll find me more charming and endearing. Despite the challenges I am grateful for every one who played a part in this year – whether you dropped everything you were doing to come hug me when I needed it, or we laughed over a cold beer together. I resolve to not only give that back in kind, but to exceed that expectation. I resolve to be good to others, but most importantly myself. Self-care people, I cannot say it enough or do it enough for myself although I admit 2016 was lacking at times.
Mostly I resolve to keep making mistakes, release the things that are no longer serving me, to love wholly, and never stop appreciating every single day I get to wake up. To make more memories, become better, and see the good in every year. To 2016 I say this: I hate you and I love you – Au Revoir. Actually I think that means “Until we meet again,” so let’s settle for a simple goodbye. Happy New Year.