Dear 2017, You Weren't So Bad After All

Jumping into the new year, I’ve barely taken time to reflect on all that was brought with 2017. When I think back on the most memorable moments, my knee jerk reaction is to shudder, and send them away to the farthest corner of my mind. It’s easy to give in to the oh so popular “2017 kicked my ass! Good riddens” narrative, because so often the bad overshadows the good. But if I really push myself to sift through the happenings of the past year, the best way I can characterize 2017 is a period of transition. Both in my personal life and in the world around me, things seemed to be pivoting… and the dust hasn’t quite settled.  

2017 taught me that making progress is a tedious exchange, and it’s easy to get lost in the transition. But whether you grin and bear it or hide in the dark and shut out the world, it will continue. Change is scary, and messy, and you never know where it really begins or ends. But it is inevitable, and the biggest thing I learned this year is the more you push and resist, the more it fights to win you over. Not all change is pleasant or even useful, but the bad reminded me to look forward to the good. And even when it seemed like the unthinkable happened, the next day the world continued. We woke up, stood to meet the sun that still rose, and we moved forward. 2017 helped me understand that the only thing certain in life is change.

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Regardless of politics, 2017 tested us. It tested our compassion and our empathy. It tested our ignorance and ally-ship. Last year we were judged on our ability to support each other, our ability to turn around and help those falling behind. We were tested on our capacity to see ourselves in others, especially when the reflection shining back was a nasty one. And even if those tests revealed some ugly faces, they also shined a light on a community willing to hold each other up. A community that wants to take action, not wait for the other foot to fall. 2017 showed me that even when I feel like I can’t rely on those on top, the strongest support comes from those who make up the whole.

This year we endured. This year we learned and adapted. This year we fought. Our skin thickened and our brows hardened. This year we learned how to take blows without losing our stride. This year we changed.

 

Now the only question is… what will that change bring in 2018?

 

 

Sources: 1, 2