2016, widely and dramatically referred to as the worst year in history, has died at the age of one.
2016 was known for the death of remarkable actors, musicians and a certain beloved celestial space princess; the transformation of exposed roots going from trashy to trendy; and the nonsensical election of an orange-hued, combed-over, foul-mouthed president who has the potential to make or break America…bigly. And that’s the short of it.
But that’s only what met the eye. The big picture, if you will.
For me, it was so much more.
Born on January 1st, 2016 had unbeknownst potential despite being in a time of personal turmoil. Let’s just say that New Year’s didn’t go exactly as planned. And that’s putting it nicely. We all have our own demons and struggles and I’m the first to admit and analyze the sh*t out of my own (and admittedly others’–yeah, I’m working on it), but in an effort to honor what was a very long year, perhaps now is not the time.
Back to potential. Isn’t it funny how when something isn’t going right, it can be so easy to neglect everything that is or could? 2016 was exceptionally good at that. Focusing on all the negativity as opposed to the small golden moments that made it all worth it, 2016 passed on with a legacy of atrocity that it will forever be known for. And while my own version of this infamous year certainly had many negatives with the potential to be dwelled upon, instead I choose to process like a photograph–exposing the negatives for illuminated positives. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words–and I just so happen to like to write.
2016, I will honor you for:
- Teaching me one or two–or seventeen million–things about love. Romantic. Familial. Friendships. Strangers on the street.
- Making me more thankful than ever for my big sister. Don’t know what I’d do without you, Sees. Lucky to know I’ll never have to find out.
- Providing me with the sincere pleasure of watching my nephews grow up. I finally understand why my mom always joked with me to take “Stay Little Pills” when I was a little kid. Lij, will you please? Bub–eh, it’s too late. Love you still. Always.
- Affording me the opportunity to begin freelancing for major magazines and websites–the first real step towards achieving my dream as a professional writer.
- Showing me just how fabulous high-end beauty products really are–and for keeping it real and reminding me that joke’s on me because if it ain’t free (in the form of press samples, come on y’all), I might as well say Boy Bye to that little La Mer addiction.
- Bringing Caro-fine into my life. What would I do without my fellow RVA-born, intern-turned-full-time, NYC-adventuring, coffee-sipping, yoga-bending, blog-writing, fitness-loving, Gladys-dreaming, level-headed, tell-it-to-you-straight bestie? Yeah…IDK.
- Exposing me to music that reaches me on a whole different level. Skizzy Mars, Hippie Sabotage, Glass Animals, and Maggie Rogers –I dig y’all like no other.
- Introducing me to Molly at Moonrise. And all the subsequent memories with her. Best night of my entire life. Girl, you are unfiltered magic.
- Getting me tickets to more events than I can count–most notably New York Fashion Week.
- Aligning with the stars to lead me to a bar where I would run into my DWP dream career idol, Andrea Sachs (AKA Annie AKA Anne Hathaway), in the bathroom and go on to have a conversation about dreams and climate change. She’s such a gem.
- Educating me on the difference between gold and those that are simply gold-plated. People, places and things. It’s not always as obvious as it seems or what everybody else thinks/says to be true.
- Emphasizing the importance of forgiveness. Whether it be through mending fallen bridges, accepting apologies that were never received, or simply being kind with myself.
- Repaying me for my dedication to my dreams with the offer and acceptance of a dream job as a Junior Beauty Editor for L’Oréal Paris. Still trying to figure out how this is real life.
- Keeping me g l u e d together even in the times I felt like I was falling apart.
- Helping me better understand myself: my intentions, my needs and–most importantly–my areas of and for improvement.
- Reminding me that nothing is forever. Appreciate everything to the absolute fullest while you can. Easier said than done. Oh, believe me, I know.
RIP, sweet year. While you’re honored for so much, you will forever be remembered for so much more.