2016 has been some year. It’s been a year of escalating conflicts, violent news, and a persistent shift toward the populist far right. A year where I’ve learned not to take for granted the course that history can take, and to appreciate what it will be like to fight hard for a better world.
2016 was the year where I first heard people use the phrase “the first Cold War” and one where the European Union, and liberal democracy, have been shaken to the core.
We’ve lost beloved artists and public figures, like Alan Rickman, who among many many other things, brought to life a heart-wrenching Severus Snape. We’ve also lost Carrie Fisher, an inspirational woman with sharp feminist wit, who stormed into our lives as The Princess – tough, independent, a leader, and grew up into The General – tough, independent, a leader.
But, like every year, 2016 has brought good things too.This year has also been a pretty good year for popular culture. Beyonce gave us Lemonade, Simone Biles kicked ass in Rio. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was adorable. Rogue One was amazing. We all got to see Stranger Things.
Ebola was eliminated in West Africa. Harriet Tubman is going to be on the $20 bill.We are less at risk of living in a world without tigers, manatees, giant pandas and humpback whales. We got a closer look at Jupiter. Italy finally recognized same-sex civil unions. We saw the first woman nominated as a presidential candidate in the United States of America, and we saw a historical number of women of color elected.
Alongside the many awful and amazing things that have been going on around the world, I’ve been lucky enough to have a pretty great year, filled, like any with challenges and successes.
I saw a lot of amazing places…
And spent time with exceptional human beings…
I’ve gotten stronger…
I had my first piece of fiction accepted for publication, I took a surfing lesson and I got to hang out in the business class lounge. I even got to see the pope.
So here’s to appreciating the good that came out of 2016, and to making 2017 a better year than the last.