I won’t be the first or the last person to tell you that 2016 was a hell of a year. Emphasis on the hell. For me, it was a roller coaster of incredible and horrific, from graduating college and writing the first draft of my book with the Snowy Range Wyoming mountains as my backdrop, to mourning the loss of some truly incredible artists and inspirations and witnessing Donald Trump’s ascent to presidency (emphasis on the hell).
Time is weird, because it’s not real, and nothing really changes between the time the clock strikes midnight and the moment you open your eyes on January 1st. Yet, it’s the proverbial reset button.
Here’s the bad news – 2017 doesn’t owe you anything, and it won’t be better than 2016 solely because you need it to be. A door doesn’t slam shut on New Year’s Day, barring all of the horrendous from following us in to January. Life doesn’t balance itself out that way. January 1st is just the day that follows December 31st – it isn’t the reset button we wish it was. Nor, should it be. 2016 has taught us too much to erase it from our memories.
The good news – each of us possess the ability to make 2017 a better year, and each year that follows for that matter. We have the ability to put our cellphones down and reach across the disconnect that’s been part of the 2016 plague. Each of us can volunteer more of our time, more of our hearts. We can spend more time doing the things that we love. Spend more time with the people that we love. Communicating with them. Creating stronger relationships. Fixing the broken ones.
We can fight for the people that need our voices. We can work on developing our empathy for the people that are different than us.
I’m ready to jump into 2017 figurative-guns blazing. I’m ready to fight injustice, loudly. I’m ready to try my hand at vulnerability in the pursuit of love. I’m ready to let what I love become who I am. I’m ready to watch my friends continue to do incredible things with their lives, and I’m very much ready for the next step in my own. I’m ready to care less about being likable and more about standing up for myself and the things that I believe in. I’m ready to finish my book and take on the arduous task of publication. I’m ready to shed this last layer of fear like baby fat and tuck jump my way into 2017 like a wrecking ball.
I don’t want to reset this past year. It’s a lit a fire under me that I need as motivation to propel me further. To prove to me that my time here is still important.
If 2016 has taught me anything, it is that life is so, so incredibly short. It’s faster than a wink, in the grand scheme of things. That realization has been both daunting and my greatest source of comfort. It goes by too quickly, and I won’t spend another second of it living inside of myself. 2017 is the year that we all need to live out loud.
Happy New Year’s, my friends. You matter. Make that count.