2016, a year we all came into with hopes and dreams and strong feelings of optimism. By the end of the year, most of us were left fairly battered and bruised, picking up the pieces of what can only be described as a war among ourselves, with our own selves, and against the world. I’d love to say that I had avoided the hype and sensationalism of the events that happened this year, and I wouldn’t hop aboard the bandwagon of people just pleading for this year to be over. Much to my dismay, not even I could escape the pleasantries this year had to offer. This year left me disenchanted in every sense, and made me question so many things that I once firmly believed in.
Much like my counterparts in this messed up extravaganza, I started my year off strong and determined, full of resolve. I had such a clear trajectory for what I hoped to accomplish, and I was completely determined to make it happen. I was doing great in almost every way. I was pretty financially stable, I was making new friends, and I was running consistently at the beginning of the year. I lived on the east coast, and it was so cool to visit places I had dreamed of seeing, like New York City.
I was set on making all of my projects come to fruition and had my eyes geared toward grad school. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the closest I’ve been to being a legitimate adult and making things happen. Summer was fun, albeit, for an accident that left my significant other in a lot of pain for the majority of it. I was just happy to be by his side, and help him recover. Also, my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of gall bladder cancer. She is such a strong lady, but of course that doesn’t mean I didn’t worry about her.
As summer was winding down, I felt a strange feeling in my gut, like something terrible was going to happen.
If you have been reading my blog, you know what comes next. I was dumped just short of our fourth year anniversary, seemingly out of the blue. We had been doing so well, and the experience was completely jarring that it took me quite a while to come to terms that my life was once again getting flipped upside-down.
Needless to say, it left me hurting and pondering what love even means. I went through some bouts of depression and anxiety in this time and that was stressful, of course. But I knew I had to keep going. I found a new place to live and got a job, and finally started getting back on my feet. With my newfound loneliness, I turned my focus to working on my web comic, charging through all of the work in front of me. I tried desperately not to fill my loneliness and hurt with opportunities for relationships, and instead tried to keep myself focused on my friends and family.
I won’t get too far into it, but of course there was the political scramble that permeated the entire year with an “us vs. them” mentality, and no matter what side of the isle you were on we all left with feelings of anger or betrayal at the hands of people we love and care for, friends and family alike. I attempted to stay rather neutral and impartial when topics were brought up, listening to conspiracy theories that friends, relatives, and colleagues spouted from unreliable and often times fake news stories they saw on their Facebook timelines. I watched with the rest of you, as opinion turned into fact, fact turned into fiction, and the truth was believed to be snippets from celebrity twitter posts. Let it be no secret, I am a progressive who believes we need to address pressing issues, climate change, international relations, human rights, realistic economic and infrastructural improvement, but I’ve learned that regardless what you believe, people won’t sway their views. So I stayed relatively quiet. The bottom line is, regardless of what you believe, the election brought out a lot of hate and malice for everyone, and divided us in a time when more than ever, we should be coming together.
There are numerous, awful things that happened this year- from the beloved celebrity deaths, to the injustices happening in our own country and all over the world. But as we move into this new year, It’s important to remember all of the good things that have happened, and all the good things that are to come. It’s the perfect time to reflect on all of those good things, and work toward more good next year.
This year came with a lot of good personally. My best friend and I did release our web comic (you can read the whole thing here: http://www.taleofstrun.com), and much to our delight it did smashing on release day. There is so much more we can do in order to make our viewership go up into the coming year, but overall it left us feeling excited for what is to come. My mom had surgery and she has bounced back with incredible speeds. I got to come back home to Montana and spend time with my friends and family, and it has been lovely to reconnect with everyone that I love. I’m looking to the future with new hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It’s been especially helpful having my best friend back in my life, I appreciate his love and support more that he could possibly fathom. I know in my heart this upcoming year will be so much greater than this year has ever been. It’s important for us all to be optimistic, informed, hopeful, and active in 2017.
So let us cheer to the New Year, and make 2017 an epic year for us all!