2016: A Year in Review

Dear Whoever is Reading My Blog,

First, thank you.

I have a lot of feelings about writing a lifestyle blog. 1) What a disgusting, self-serving thing to do, 2) but people have said the blog has been a good thing in their life even though 3) a lot of times I think it’s over-sharing 4) and condescending… so 5) whatever, I’m just gonna keep writing it.

Second, what a very long year it has been. I couldn’t have imagined in January all that would happen in this terrible year.

On the personal scale, I held five different jobs, moved across the country, traveled to Peru, finally let go of an ex who was being emotionally abusive, found out a different ex had sexually assaulted multiple people, and wrote twenty-some short stories, a ton of blogposts, and a novel.

On the public scale, we suffered through the continued shootings of unarmed black people, a massacre at the Pulse Night Club, the continued threat to Native American sovereignty, one of the nation’s worst fires to date, and, of course, the election of possibly the worst creature one could imagine in a position of power.

If there’s anything I’m holding onto as this shit-show of a year comes to an end, it’s the power and wonder of love.

To me, love has always been a verb, a revolutionary and powerful connection that binds people, strengthens the weak, and uplifts the poor. Love is about giving all of yourself without asking for anything in return.

Love is radical, is change, is hope, is action.

Love is what gets me out of bed in the morning, when it’s cold and I can’t think of good reasons to stay alive. Love is what gives me courage when I fear for my life and the lives of my friends and family.

And in 2017 it is my mission to show love to everybody.

I’ve written this before, but love is not about accepting people’s actions, it is believing that they can change.

I will never tolerate a registry for Muslims. I will never tolerate white nationalism or Nazism. I will never tolerate hate crimes against the LGBTQ community. I will never love racism or homophobia or sexism.

But I will always love people. Even those who hurt me. I will always believe that I can show them a better way. Maybe this makes me naive, but it also gives me the strength to continue fighting.

I will conquer my enemies through love.

I’ll leave you with a James Baldwin quote, because he changed my life and will never stop being relevant. “…that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality, and to begin to change it”.

2017. Bring it.