I went through the photo gallery on my phone to get an idea for what 2016 looked like, and I was surprised by all I had done. I figured most of the photos would be forests, my cats, and food. While I was mostly right, there were a few pleasant surprises.
Last year started with some major hair changes. I went with bangs and long hair and ended up with an asymmetrical pixie. (That’s what it’s called… Right?) The haircut isn’t the important part, it’s the fact that I tried something drastically new with the idea of, “What the hell. It’s just hair.” Realizing that most things in life aren’t permanent was a big part of me trying new things this year.
I participated in three community plays and a small musical review for our theatre group. They’ve become a second family to me and I always look forward to the next one. While I’m not a bashful flower, I am definitely lacking at being fluently social. This group has helped me break out of that shell and find comfort in my own skin (even if it is in a seagull costume).
And 2016 was the first year that I really carved out time for myself and writing. It was the first time in years that I said no to activities at school so that I could have time to come home, write, and be with my husband. Except for Little Mermaid the Musical, my summer oscillated between quiet stillness and time with friends and family.
Most importantly, my year was filled with good food, lasting memories, and a million laughs with my husband. I could visit the most wonderful places on earth, eat the most decadent food money could buy, and binge watch all the TV shows the internet can give me, but it wouldn’t be worth it without someone to share it with. Food is more delicious when you can steal a bite from someone else. A joke on Parks and Recreation only gets better when your partner cackles until you have to pause. And sunsets only seem more meaningful when you get to hold someone’s hand and feel so small compared to the whole world.
While a hundred thousand terrible things happened in 2016, some really good things did too. Volunteers in India planted 50 million trees. More and more facilities around the globe are being powered with solar energy. Child mortality rate has been decreasing steadily. Medical strides are being made in too many areas to count. And I’m watching some beautiful people unite together for great causes.
So 2017, suit up. You got a hell of a job to do. I expect new, confident strides in foreign, unexplored directions. I demand overdue conversations with old friends and good food shared between even better friends.