I've seen a lot of articles circulating recently about how 2016 isn't sentient, it's not killing anyone, there is no cosmic destruction on some vast and infinite scale. And while that's obviously true, I don't think anyone will argue that the year didn't take on a life of its own. Much in the way that TV shows often claim that "New York is a character, not a setting," I think 2016 amassed so many you-can't-make-this-stuff-up moments, it's become a lot more than the linear passage of time.
As per usual, for anyone interested, here is a list of knowledge I found in the rubble. Because I am one of the people who had a full-on nightmare of a year, I'm going to try and keep this to the good parts that came from the bad. I think positivity is going to be really important in the year to come.
- We are all very different people with very different opinions and beliefs. With mindful speaking and respect, we can co-exist and that peace is important, but so is standing up for what's right. It's great if you don't want to get into a long, involved debate with Great Aunt So-and-so at Thanksgiving, but it's also fine to speak up if something being said doesn't sit well with you. Standing up for myself has never been a strong suit of mine and is definitely the most important thing I've worked on this year.
- I found a deep pride in facets of who and what I am (ex: Mexican woman) that I never would have explored as much if those parts of me hadn't been so threatened this year. As soon as my dad finishes his American citizenship journey (which will hopefully end January 10th!), I'll be proceeding with acquiring my Mexican dual citizenship.
- I finished school in May and found a job in my field in November. I didn't expect that to happen as quickly as it did and I'm so thankful for the lucky series of events that led up to both of those things happening. Taking the job also meant reconciling my hatred for LA, my depression towards having to give up my life and move home, and the abrupt change in all of my plans - none of which has been easy for me. Still not there yet, if we're being honest.
- I have become part robot. Thanks to my bionic legs, I have significantly less pain while walking (which says a lot because I still can't walk further than two blocks in one go). I can balance a little bit better than I could before. My legs look less deformed, since they are less deformed. The scars are weird and dark purple and less than ideal. I still can't bend my left leg past 90 degrees, but I suppose as far as side effects go, this isn't the worst one.
- After my surgery, I was incapable of doing anything for myself. From things as simple as getting a glass of water to really embarrassing stuff like being helped with any semblance of a bathroom or a shower, I needed help. I am not good at asking for help and I've been very independent for most of my life, so these were some huge, humbling, anxiety-inducing several months. I learned that it's okay to need help and the people that love you won't hold that over your head.
- Speaking of the people who love me, thankyouthankyouthankyou to those people who had to deal with me on a daily basis during my recovery. To my mom for washing my hair for me and letting me cry on you sometimes, my dad for physically carrying me around from bed to chair and back and for yelling at nurses when necessary, Jared for coming out for a month to keep me company, Jordan for providing much needed conversation and comic relief (and bringing Scarlet, the puppy who was the only thing that could consistently make me happy, into my life), and Alex, for being the best partner I could ever imagine despite me constantly having emotional breakdowns at you. Thank you to the friends that drove so far to visit me. Thank you to the friends who kept me virtual company (special shoutout to Kels for being literally the only person who understood exactly what I was going through).I love you all so much and I could not have done this without your support. And to those couple of you that decided me and my surgery were too much trouble for you to deal with, I guess I hope you had a better 2016 than I did.
We're leaving this year off on a scary, kind of ambiguous note and I'm not going to lie, I really don't want to find out what's going to happen next year but, that's life.
So it goes.