We've all seen the memes, the gifs, the clever/cynical videos, and the Facebook rants about how horrible 2016 has been. At first, I really hated them, but recently, I've noticed myself buying into the hype a bit myself. But then I got to thinking...was 2016 really that bad? Were the lessons learned and the days spent really for naught?
The answer is no. 2016 may have had its ups and downs...and we might remember the downs a bit more than the ups. 2016 brought many surprises with it, whether we wanted it to or not. 2016 could have been better. However, that doesn't negate the fact that every day we are alive and breathing, we can find something positive to dwell on and learn something new.
So...as an exercise in being able to find good in all the things that Life throws at me (which is my New Years' resolution), I've decided to share a short list of things that 2016 taught me.
1. Family is the most important thing. Ever.
My family has had a tough year for a plethora of reasons and, if I'm being honest with myself, I know that my family isn't the only family who can say that. However, family (whatever that means for you) can often times be the superglue that can help us fit our broken pieces back together. 2016 taught me that I shouldn't take the incredible people that have somehow stumbled into my life for granted. I am lucky to have every one of them, even when they're being obnoxious, or uptight, or whatever adjective that might be applicable to family.
2. Change can be good. Scary, but good.
Alright, so I'm a bit of a control freak. I like knowing what is going to happen, when it is going to happen, and why it is going to happen. I like having a plan. However, (and I'm cringing while I type this) life doesn't work that way. Change is inevitable, and even good. J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, once said: "The most useless are those who never change through the years." I think we can all agree that 2016 brought a lot of changes. Politically, socially, personally...it's all experienced some sort of change. And, though the uncertainty of the future is something that can weigh on all of us, let's try to embrace change, or at least try to be instrumental in making the impact of the changes that are coming towards us a little bit softer.
3. You are never alone.
This is the most important lesson that I learned in 2016. We are never alone. There will be days when we feel like we are. There will be times when we will not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, just because you feel that way doesn't mean it's true. There is always someone out there who believes in you. You are making someone's life a little bit better with every breath you breathe, and while I know how hard that is to believe sometimes, it is absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, true. Please don't be afraid to open up to someone. There is someone who will listen, I promise you. You are never alone. You are never alone. You are never alone.
So, 2016…thank you. Thank you for the lessons, thank you for the laughs, thank you for the tears, and thank you for the moments that you brought to us. I am happy that you were a part of my life.
And 2017…bring it on.