I believe it was lip kit mogul / Snapchat enthusiast Kylie Jenner that predicted 2016 would be the year of realizing things. As I reflect on these past 365 days, I would have to agree. There has been a lot of hate for this year and even claims that 2016 was the ‘worst year ever’ (Pretend I just shouted that dramatically). I mean with Trump’s looming presidency, legends dying monthly and the world swaying away from the political correctness that masked the hate that some thought vanished after anti-segregation laws and marriage equality rulings I can understand the bold statements, but isn’t every year pretty much trash?
We start each year with a fresh start and excitement for the possibilities of a blank canvas. Maybe you’ll join that gym and get that Instagram sought after body that most are spending money to attain. Or you’ve been alone for so long but this new year you’ll be able to change your Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’. But times flies and suddenly we’re at the middle of the year and those ambitious goals turn into crushed dreams that won’t be revisited until next year. I feel like sometimes I am constantly waiting for life to happen or get better without taking steps toward creating the life I envision for myself.
This time last year I had a couple months left in my senior year and the real world was waiting to bitch slap me in the face after I took an awkward walk across am extremely lit stage to receive my diploma. I knew that I didn’t want my life to slow down after college. The thought of moving back to my hometown while I looked for my first big boy job honestly made me dread the future until I remembered one important thing. I’m in control of my decisions (aside from the universe and god’s meddling). If I don’t like where I am I can move. If the people in my life aren’t adding any positive value than they don’t have to be there (no shade to my friends because they are some of the best, most supportive people on the world).
So I took control of my destiny, moved to a new city and through a ton of bullshit shook the last shreds of college kid ignorance I had in my body. Moving to New York seemed so attainable when I initially made the choice but when I look back at that newly graduated, naive, young man I wonder if someone slipped him something while he was planning his life out. The months it took to find a sense of stability in this crazy city is another story (that will be told soon) but as I sit in bed, contemplating my resolutions for 2017, I wouldn’t change any moment of this past year.
2016 gave me some crushing lows, difficult looks at myself and realizations of my future but it also gave me hope that you don’t have to live day to day solely for survival. You can fall in love with your surroundings, find and lose yourself constantly and gain some amazing relationships while keeping strong ties with old ones. 2016 set me up for the life I want to have and the hard work is just beginning.
I’m excited to see what this new year will bring and I hope that the haters of 2016 can find a few good moments of this year and figure out how they can make the next one even better. I may live in a country with people that think we need to make a place built on hate “great again” like it was ever great to begin with and I may be broke as fuck with a slight fear of wasting my life on things that don’t matter… but I also have optimism. And optimism my friends can get you through anything.
Take an extra shot for me and end this year with a bang (Don’t get too crazy though. No one should start the new year with a black out).
Lots of love,
P.S.: Why did I turn this into a letter at the end? Oh well, YOLO! Alright I’ve said too much… Goodbye!