Wait, was 2016 actually crappy? Or was it really just a crappy last two months? Or am I just being brainwashed by everybody else’s crappy year? Right now, the worst part of my 2016 is not being able to figure out where my mind ends and my Facebook feed begins.

Uhhh, note to self: Less Facebook in 2017.

Sometimes New Year’s Eve irks me. You want to be different, completely changed without any effort at all at the stroke of midnight. You want so badly to be saved from everything that ever hurt you before this moment, and have the power to do anything you never could. But that isn’t how this works. Time is mostly an illusion, after all.

What if years and months had no names or numbers? Who would we choose to blame then? How would we decide that things were either good or bad, and couldn’t be changed until some arbitrary day sometime in the middle of winter? That would be crazy. But that is what we crazy humans do.

This year is going to go down as a lot of things, but the worst year ever? I just don’t know about that. The good thing is that whether the last year was good or bad, the end of the year always seems to give people hope that something better is in store. If it was the best year ever, we’re ready for it to get even better in 2017. If 2016 seemed not so good, we’re ready for a clean slate and a fresh start where we can leave all the bad stuff behind. Either way they’re the same thing.

I would never say it was the worst anything ever. I’ve learned that the hard way. The universe loves that trick.

“Oh, you think that was the worst? Hahahaha. I’ll show you the worst.” – The Universe

For sure, it was an interesting year with some challenging times, some tough losses, some major surprises, and plenty of fun. I was pulled and pushed and hugged and cracked open again and again by people, places, and things. I found myself confronting issues that I’ve either been avoiding OR trying to get to the bottom of for years. And damn, it hurt. I cried. I hid under the covers. I said the F word a lot. I felt things I’ve never felt before. But in the end?

I still think it’s just better.

And I learned so, so much.

Like taking a much needed break and slacking off are two completely different things. And if you let yourself get away with slacking for too long you’ll turn into someone you don’t want to be.

And that you shouldn’t think about something for too long, because you’ll go round and round in circles until you convince yourself that you’re right about anything.

And that small things make the biggest difference, and things can change faster than we can even comprehend. One book. One yes. One no. One hello. One kiss. One phone call or message that someone is pregnant, or moving, or sick, or dead. Everything changes. Just. Like. That.

And I learned that I should’ve asked more questions several years ago when my friend told me that the first time he met me, he thought that I’m selling myself short, because I think I’m finally starting to see what he meant.

And that nobody want to says that struggle is progress and progress is struggle. They’re the same goddamn thing.

And that you should never make a plan that relies too much on another person. No matter what they say, they might do something completely different.

And that one of the hardest things ever is being grateful for things you forget you didn’t always have, and being grateful for things coming that you don’t even know about yet.

And that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. And just because something feels good doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. And not wanting to do something? Well, a lot of times that means you should just be an adult and do that thing.

And I learned that sometimes it’s better to trust your head, but other times you have to trust your heart. Knowing when to do which will save you from a lot of pain. Sometimes there’s no way to know which one to trust until it’s too late.

And that life’s not fair, not ever. Nobody can win unless someone else loses. Even when it feels like life is being fair to you it’s being unfair to someone else.

And that I will never, ever punish myself again for my emotions to make someone else feel more comfortable. And being OK with not being OK sometimes is the only way I am absolutely, positively certain that I’m going to be OK.

And that I am open to any and all things, good or bad, that may come my way. Because if you commit to taking responsibility and commit to keep going no matter what, even when things are super shitty? You get to take all the credit when things get better than you ever thought they could be, too.

I don’t know what 2017 has in store. I just know that I’m ready for whatever it may be, and I owe plenty of thanks to everything we went through in 2016 for that.

So as for me? I ain’t mad at ya, 2016. I’m gonna love you just as much, if not more, than all the other years I’ve lived, because that’s the kind of woman you’ve shown me I can be. And I’m going to end this year and this post with my full moon forgiveness ritual declaration, because it never fails to free me when I’m ready to move on and let go.

Dear 2016,

I forgive you, I love you, I thank you for this experience.

I release this now. It’s gone.