As 2016 comes to a close, I realize it was one of the saddest years that I can recall in a very long time. I’m not just talking about for me personally but for the world. So much darkness, vitriol, unrest, fear and loss.
There was the ugly rise of the alt-right, Brexit – causing catastrophic damage to the world economy, and the Zika Virus. Let’s not forget the genocide in Syria, the return of the Russian cold war and the insane terrorism – both homegrown and ISIS/ISIL. There also seemed to be a surge in old school racism. Is it just me or are cops killing more minorities than I can recall in recent history? There was an alarming rise in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiment – or maybe it was always there and I didn’t notice it before because I’m not Jewish or Muslim?
Sexism made a big comeback with the rise of rape culture (Brock Turner and others), which made me saddest of all. We need to stop teaching women to sexualize themselves because, by doing so, we teach men to objectify us. We teach society that our bodies are for their amusement. That makes me so angry and sad all at the same time. Yes, in 2016 the world was on a slippery slope.
The fall of the American Empire – Trump style – caught the attention of the world. Mr. Trump, like him or hate him, is a conduit for change. Only time will tell if that change is welcome.
The loss of sublimely talented artists who died this year was huge. So many music legends in one year. Actors, sporting greats, comics and political figures. I was particularly gobsmacked by the loss of Prince, George Michael, Muhammad Ali and Alan Thicke (who I met personally when I worked with him on a series 10 years ago).
For me, my personal situation seemed to mirror the world’s. I cried more days of this year that I had in the previous 15 altogether. I didn’t know I was capable of this much crying. I burst into tears at least every other day. Not just a single tear down my face but torrents. I would actually wake up during the night crying. Insane.
Michelle Obama’s speech on July 26th was probably the most impactful thing for me in 2016….
“(you) don’t stoop to their level. No. Our motto is when they go low, we go high.”
That’s what I’ve been trying to do. No matter how angry or hurt I am, I try to go high. Not get high. Go high. It is a STRUGGLE for sure. It’s hard when going high is often at your own expense.
I was also surrounded by people struggling. One of my best friends is still struggling with the loss of her mother. Another with the loss of his twin brother. Yet another with the loss of his wife. Several friends are battling with their families. One is dealing with the aftermath of a huge financial loss, steeped in betrayal. Two people I knew personally died this year within months of each other. Young men with their lives still ahead of them. Senseless. Gut wrenching. I still can’t quite comprehend the depth of it. It’s hard when anyone dies. It’s even harder when young people die.
I also had to cope with trying to forget and let go. My fucking attachment disorder is making it as tough as possible as always. I lost my right hand/other half at work. I became very disillusioned with my job as the last travel perk was taken away. I was forced to just accept that people I love are destroying their brains by getting high instead of aiming high. I dealt with my own inertia about my life. I had a really close friend decide that I’m just not worthy of his friendship. I lost my battle with my weight this year as I battled with myself and my old friend binge eating. By far the hardest thing was watching he who broke my heart move on in real time thanks to social media. It is seriously the scourge of the eviscerated heart. When you love someone, you want them to be happy above all else, so in keeping with ‘they go low, I go high’ I force myself to be happy for him.
2016 was year in which I was intermittently resilient. I wish I could feel things around me less deeply. Like a scratch instead of a stab wound. All my pain is heightened lately for some reason. Personal pain. Global pain. I wish I could let go and not dwell on all of this crap. I will regain control, of my life at least, in 2017. I have no choice but to believe that.