I don’t know what to say to put my feelings for 2016 properly into words.
We lost QUILTBAG+ icons and legendary voices, cherished authors and beloved actors. So many of my childhood heroes were mourned this year, and I feel the lack of them fiercely if I let myself think too hard about it. Adding insult to injury, a vocal minority in our country managed to elect the least qualified and most bigoted president in decades, one who’s already promising to attack many of the rights I hold dear as a queer woman. There were plane crashes and earthquakes and tsunamis and fires and killings and riots a host of other disasters that piled one on top of each other like a tragic mess that made it hard for me to stand to watch the news.
This past year was hard. So, so hard, and it’s one I think it’s going to take a lot of work to recover from in the coming year, and probably for several after that. It’s been a year of fear and anger and hate and so much sorrow, and I know I’m not alone in thinking so.
However, before you all think it was a complete disaster, let me say that there were good moments for me: I got engaged to a man who unfailingly supports me in everything from my writing career to my bisexuality to my occasionally tumultuous family; I finally replaced my dying 14-year-old car and was surprised to realized I’m finally financially stable enough that having a car payment for the first time doesn’t scare me; I started new business ventures with my freelance editing and starting a Patreon at the very end of the year; I had the opportunity to get a look at the other side of publishing as a literary agent intern; my writing group and I published another charity anthology; I was accepted into a paid anthology for the first time; I saw my first opera and ballet; I got the fun of seeing Pentatonix live. All of these things are just the few major events I can think of on the positive side of the scale. I know there were more moments, too: those small instances of a compliment from a stranger or a particularly awesome hair day or discovering a new favorite author or musician.
There WERE good times this past year, hidden in the midst of all the darker moments, shining out like a reminder that we can make it through this. We can move forward.
Optimism is harder to manage lately, but life hasn’t been all a wreck and no road trips. We’re going to keep moving forward on the road ahead. We are and we will.
2016 shall pass sooner rather than later, and I’m ready to see what challenges and triumphs 2017 has to offer instead.