My famous last words from last New Year’s Eve were: Bring it, 2016. I don’t know why I felt the need to taunt this year and it’s precise blend of RAGE AGAINST ALL OF HUMANITY, but I do know that 2016 went ahead and BROUGHT THE NOISE as soon as I decided to raise my hand and ask for it (for so many of us, so I know I’m not alone in this). Convenient. Classy. Anyway, thank you!

After all, WHAT A YEAR this has been. I want to call it bad names and curse it or shame it, but I KNOW BETTER when it comes to 2016. That chic is a straight up beast with a bad attitude and a generally terrible disposition to boot. I’m not fighting her anymore (the more I fight her, the scrappier and dirtier she fights). I have learned, so nope. I’m doing something else, instead. I am doing a new thing!

I am saying THANK YOU. I am shaking her hand. I am giving her a solid nod and a wink and acknowledging that SHE HAD TO COME INTO MY LIFE. There was never any other way. Blessing, curse…what’s the difference anymore? Stick me with all good things or stick me with shit, but the question still remains:

What am I gonna do about it? In this case, I decided to learn.

Because, 2016, in her volatile, violent and disturbing way, taught me. And, before I can wave goodbye to that mangy, beady-eyed bitch for once and for all, I just know that I have to look back and reflect on the things she gave and the (many) things she took away. I’m not sorry she came and did her deed. I’m not sorry I had to struggle. I respect this cranky brat for who she is, and I AM ON HER TEAM. 2016 giveth, and 2016 taketh away.

So, without further ado. I write to you directly, 2016.  THANK YOU, you bloody something or other, THANKS. Because of you, I grieved and changed and grew and tapped in and tuned out and got back on track. I don’t know that I’m about to change the world, but I know I am changing somebody, and that somebody is MOI. Peace, sister. Because of you, this:

I remember myself
When you want to create change, there’s no better way to do it than to take a bat to the essential areas of one’s life, and 2016 bought her batting arm to mine. After shattering all the things that matter, 2016 left me to pick up the pieces and put them back together (BITCH). BUT. She didn’t leave me alone. She sent all the right people into my life to keep me company, so that I could speak and write and cry and hug my way through, telling the truth the WHOLE DAMN TIME. Somewhere, in that process, I remembered myself. I remembered my strength (it looks totally different now that I have put me back together). I remembered my courage, and I remembered my purpose: To connectTo tell the truth.

Needed that, so, thanks 2016.

I woke the F up about my impact in this world
I really thought that I was doing enough by being “aware” of issues that were obvious and in my line of vision (I know, I know). I thought that systemic racism wasn’t an URGENT problem for ALL OF MY COUNTRY, and I thought that patriarchy wasn’t actually RUINING IT for all of humanity (politics, women, families, everything). I thought that equality was closer than it was, I thought that I was evolved and a part of change and I thought I was doing enough (I was so not doing enough). 2016 said, WOMAN, YOU ARE ASLEEP. She lumbered into my room, grabbed my sleeping head and dunked it into a toilet filled with REALITY and URGENCY. She pulled me up for a quick breath of air, and she said one thing only: We need you. Now, wake the F up.

Needed that, too. So, thanks 2016.

She filled me with love
This one is tricky, because 2016 is an ass backward kind of gal, and she did not come at me with rose petals and tender love songs. 2016 operates on TOUGH LOVE ONLY, and she delivered like the soldier that she is. She hammered at me in my most vulnerable places. She discovered every hole in my sad story about not being ENOUGH of a mother, woman, wife, human, and she drove whole mack trucks through them (that hurt, 2016!). It was hard to hear and hard to accept and I fought her for a long time. I kept telling her to get off my back and leave me alone and stop riding my ass, but she is a relentless something or other, and she held on until I CRACKED. I cracked WIDE OPEN. And, when I did? She filled me right up. She brought a magic mirror and she held it in front of my face and I had to look (because, what else?) and when I looked: ENOUGH. A human shaped vessel filled to the brim with ENOUGH. Tiny, floating particles of ENOUGH just swirling and whirling around inside my now see-through skin, because underneath, 2016 said, YOU ARE LOVE.

Damn, 2016. REALLY NEEDED THAT ONE. Thanks, boo.

She gave me faith
When things fall apart, I don’t know what other people do, but I turned to just about everything first, before I turned to faith. I decided it was good to drink more wine at night, or be angry more, or spend more time on social media, or cut off relationships, or just generally rage in the direction of God. It took me a minute, but when I finally broke down and chose faith, I found the ground again. And, the ground felt good. I’m still at work here, because faith is a big part of my life’s journey. My relationship to God is always evolving, but this year, I remembered how IMPORTANT that relationship is, and how much value I place on my connection to God (the universe, the mother, spirit, whatever you call it). Faith tells me to PAY ATTENTION and to TRUST what lands in my path. Faith turns all circumstances into a process, an adventure, something meaningful and also simple work that must be done. It is bare bones. It is rainbow colored unicorn feathers. This year, faith reminded me to show up and tell the truth. As soon as I trusted that message, THE GROUND (exhale).

Thank you, 2016. I so needed that.

Girl, you’ve been an angry, old, itchy cat on a warpath, but you have been hard at work and up to big business, so I forgive you. In fact, I honor you. I bow to you. Please forgive me for being such an unruly and unfriendly pupil for so long. Smooches to you, you mean, old hornet.

Now, let’s do a new thing, and call it 2017. Pass the baton. Onward and upward. And most of all, thank you.