A Reflection on 2017

If you had asked me how I felt about the year 2017 sometime in January through September, I would have just told you that I wanted it to be over. Period. I felt like I was on this roller coaster ride with more stomach-lurching declines than I could count. In fact, it seemed that the engineer of the ride had left out the high-inducing incline parts all together.       

2017 brought death, and it came more than once. I saw young people unexpectedly taken from my life and from the lives of my friends and family, and I kept wondering: Why would God do this? How could he do this? Nothing made sense, and these experiences instilled in me a deep fear of losing another loved one.

2017 destroyed my faith in democracy, and at the same time, my faith in the American people. It attacked my rights and my identity. It told me that as a woman, I am inferior; if I do not conform to heterosexuality, I am an outcast; and if I want birth control, then I might be shit out of luck.

2017 handed me rejection. It told me I was not good enough for the real world, that I should stay quiet and in my comfort zone where I belong. It made me question my abilities and my worth.

If you ask me how I feel about the year 2017 now, I would not say that I want it to end. I would say I wish it could last a little while longer. Retrospection is a funny thing. So let me start over.

2017 brought death, yes, but it also brought with it, new life. I have never held my loved ones so closely with this much intention before. Life is too short to spend time on things that don’t make you happy. Sometimes “want” needs to come before “should” to bring joy--new life.

2017 destroyed my faith in democracy and in the American people, but it also restored it. New Jersey and Virginia had a record number of Democratic women win elections because people showed up to vote. Roy Moore will not step foot in the Capitol, and women all over the country are coming forward and telling their #MeToo stories, many against powerful men. Guess what? Those men may be strong, but we are stronger.

2017 handed me rejection, but it also handed me opportunity. My experiences over the last year have allowed me to refocus my priorities and rethink my career path. 2017 has reminded me how important it is to stay in the present moment and have gratitude for the little joys I find there.

So to 2017, I say thank you. Thank you for your hardships, although I swore I would never say that, and thank you for your opportunities. Thank you for your pain, and thank you for your joy. Thank you for the ride.

Via Pexels

This article is dedicated to Caitlin Mary Nelson (May 3, 1996- April 2, 2017). The world misses you and your beautiful smile xoxo.