2017: A Year in Review

To 2017:

So, another year has come and gone. We are here yet again to face on the new year that lays before us. Within the next 24 hours, we are going to be in 2018 — and as social media says literally all the time, new year, new me, right? It’s the time of year where we make new resolutions better ourselves, and to take on the new year with a smile.

Though most of us give up on those resolutions anyway, we usually keep the serious ones around for the long run. But let’s not forget that the New Year isn’t always about making resolutions. It’s also about remembering what’s happened in the past 365 days.

2017 was a year to remember.

Now, I look back, with a bittersweet smile, just as I did last on 2016.

2017, you brought another year of pain on the world. Hurricane season ran amok this year, and not only did we have a Hurricane that hit close to home (Harvey in Texas), we had others hit in the Caribbean, and one of my other homes, Puerto Rico (Irma).

In 2017, you brought more mass shootings and disasters to the news than I had ever seen. The Las Vegas strip shooting, the shooting in Fort Lauderdale Airport, the shooting in a Texas church, the bombings at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. It all seemed, at one point, like we were having one disaster after another.

2017, you took away some great people. Chester Bennington, the beloved singer of Linkin Park, left this world too early. Tom Petty was taken from us. Mary Tyler Moore, a revolutionary for women on TV, was lost. So many amazing and inspiring people have died this past year. People we are never going to get back.

It pains me to say this, but 2017… you kind of sucked.

But as I said before, “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” And through all this pain, through the death and the terrorism and the natural disasters that have torn families and friends apart this past year, I found silver linings aplenty. And 2017 wasn’t as “suckish” as you might think.

In the world of 2017 sports, the Astros won the World Series of baseball, and brought life back into the devastated city of Houston after Hurricane Harvey. The Patriots made history with the best comeback in NFL football history (sorry, Falcons fans!). In 2017, the first ever Women’s March happened the day after President Trump’s inauguration, igniting the plight for protest.

And that isn’t all that 2017 brought.

Women lit up the #MeToo movement, spreading the word of sexual assault prevention, having more and more celebrities come forward and announce their stories as the Harvey Weinstein case grew. 2017 made this movement real and powerful. In 2017, although we saw disaster, we saw people risking their lives, every single day, to help others. Citizens would dive into the water, take boats, move furniture, save animals and more, just so others had a chance at living again after the horror was over. They did so with pride.

In 2017, we saw plenty of people find love and happiness, including a royal named Prince Harry, and a beautiful actress, Meghan Markle. Also, Kate Middleton is having a third baby. Those two things combined are going to make 2018 the best.

We had the most diverse group of winners at the Primetime Emmy’s and Academy Awards for the first time in history. One example is Sterling K. Brown, winning Best Leading Actor in a Drama, the first African American man in two decades to win such an award, for his roll in "This Is Us." 

Malala Yousafzai is in college at Oxford five years after she was shot for wanting to go to school.

Women took over in 2017, showing that we are here to stay, with many political wins in the real world — such as Danica Roem’s Virginia State Legislature Win over the Republican candidate, Bob Marshell (you know, the same guy who spearheaded the anti-transgender bathroom law and now lost to a trans-woman). In pop culture news, women dominated the media, with Wonder Women being one of the highest grossing movies of the year.

2017 — you had some amazing moments and some pretty bad ones as well. For now, it is a new year, and though we take our time to reflect and remember what made 2017 good and bad, we move onto a new year with a new start and smile. We start anew with a fire inside us, persistent in the belief that we will be whole again.

Nevertheless, we will persist towards happiness. To making 2018 great.

To 2017, thank you for a truly memorable year. For me, for everyone I love, my boyfriend, my friend, my family, everything. Thank you for what you have inspired me to be, for giving me great role models and great memories, as well as giving me the hard ones as well.

To 2017, thank you.

Here’s to 2018. Let’s make this year a good one.

 

Sincerely,

A Hopeful Civilian.