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2016, We Need to Talk

January 6, 2017

2016, you coldblooded jerk.

We had an interesting run, 2016 – you were unsympathetic, callous, merciless, relentless. You shocked me, puzzled me and pushed me around. You were traumatizing. I thought I was strong but you desperately wanted to prove me wrong.

It’s easy to look back on you and shudder, since I spent the majority of the year cowering in fear at each of the surprises you would present to me. You were unforgiving in your challenges, barely allowing me time to overcome one as you served up another. Not just one other. Another two, another three, another ten. You tricked me. You promised certainty and you steered me into quicksand.

I opened the door on January 1 and damnit, you were a vision. You were bright, kind, sunny, sincere. You held up a mirror and my reflection was aglow. By July, it was rust. It was forlorn. You tricked me, 2016. You abandoned me.

But you’re lucky. You found a girl who cannot hold a grudge. No matter how big and mighty you wanted to be, I wanted to be bigger and mightier. You wanted to play a game of cat and mouse and I wanted to play Red Rover. And I just wasn’t going to let you push me over.

In fact, not only are you lucky to have challenged me and to have found me, I actually became fond of you. Many times, you had me in the fetal position, weak and tired. I get it now. You were also standing above me, encouraging me to get up. I see now, 2016. This was all tough love.

Sprinkled throughout your steadfast trials and tribulations were gleams of hope. Previews of what could happen if I just held on a little tighter, a little longer – if I just held my chin up and punched above my weight.

And it took every ounce of energy in me, but I did just that. And much to my surprise, you rewarded me.

You sent me on trips to my hometown. You sent me not only an amazing roommate, but a best friend. You sent me a caring and compassionate partner. You handed me my own radio show. You pushed me to fall back in love with this new city of mine. You reminded me that it is a new version of home.

By your conclusion, you revealed yourself in a better light. As you were leaving, you were taking my anxiety with you. You weren’t a bully, 2016 – you were the teacher. You weren’t a tyrant, 2016 – you were a mentor.

And I have to say, it was a little tough to leave you behind. You motioned me toward 2017 with a tougher skin, a softer heart, a wiser spirit and the intelligence and prowess to see what isn’t right for me. You force-fed me resilience and perseverance. You preserved (if not heightened) my creativity and added more stories to my trove.

You know what? Thank you. People are talking pretty poorly of you – but I’m a little sad you’re gone. I’m going to miss you, however I am at peace knowing that we’ll never be meeting again. I won’t ever forget you.

Gotta run – 2017 is calling.

PS – I’m sorry I called you a jerk.

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