I remember being happy to rid myself of 2015. I figured my mother had died that year, so any year after would be better because it wasn’t like my mom could re-die. The fact she was cremated meant in case of zombie apocalypse, I wouldn’t have to worry about running into her.
After almost two years, a ton of breakdowns, and too many empty bottles, I’ve finally reached a point where I feel somewhat healed. I will always miss my mother. The bad days will always come and go, but I can finally find laughter in all the morbidness. It reminds me of when I first moved from California to Connecticut. I would fight anyone at a moment’s notice if they said a ‘your momma’ joke to me. Over time I learned no matter how many people I knocked down, I was still losing the fight.
In hindsight, 2016 was a good year for me. I can rattle off the many fortuitous events of 2016 affecting me more than any celebrity death or presidential election. I mean, I got published in print this year. Moved to a bigger home with my family. When worrying about bills, a timely promotion came at work. I swallowed my anxiety (chasing it with sangria) and met a ton of strangers I had been writing with online.
I finally went and got myself a diagnosis for depression. Even with the year winding down, I would count taking antidepressants as one of the good things to come from 2016. I am somewhat proud, in fact, of myself for taking that step to get the help I needed after many years of ‘toughing it out’. As the drug attempts to balance my brain, I don’t feel guilty for doing what in reality was best for my family. It’s really hard to take care of others when you don’t take care of yourself.
I also got to spend an amazing amount of one on one time with my youngest son. As his brothers started preschool, it opened up this opportunity for me to get time with him I cherish because of how much it has strengthened our bond.
For what it’s worth, a lot of idols were taken in 2016. But, even in their passing, I found new fans popping up everywhere. It was nice to see people going out of their way to listen to Bowie or Prince. To blast ‘Last Christmas’, a song I personally love any time of year. From their deaths, new fans were born. There’s a certain beauty I think they might all enjoy from wherever they are rocking.
2016 wasn’t easy. There were plenty of stumbles through the year. Moments when I felt instead of crashing through a glass ceiling I was lying face down in a heap of self-despair. I survived those moments. Not because I thought I had it in me, but because I had to. I had to survive those moments. I had to pick myself up and keep moving forward. In those moments, I learned more about myself than ever before. We truly learn what we are made of when we push forward through adversity.
I am sure 2017 will have it’s ups and downs. There will be more moments to cherish, people to mourn, and events to shake our heads at. Every year does. But, for this guy, 2017 can’t kill my mom.
I enjoy New Years. It is refreshing to have these moments of reflection. If it takes the turning of a calendar year to get people to sit and think about their lives, then great. Sure, I strive every day to be a better person, yet I still need a concrete moment in time where I can sit and analyze my life to construct my future.
I probably won’t eat healthy in 2017. There will be no ‘New Year, New Me’ two-weeks of working out. Okay, there might be. But, beyond the silly, simple resolutions I make every year to quit my vices and get healthy, I try to take this moment to figure out how I, as a person, can be better.
In hindsight, I did a lot of growing in 2016. I want to continue to grow in 2017. As a parent. As a partner. As a friend. As a person.
I wish you all the best. I will cheer you through your resolutions. Force feed myself Kale in support of those looking for a healthier year if that is what you need. My resolution is to continue to seek growth emotionally. I will also spend two weeks or so trying to shrink growth horizontally.
To wellness. To prosperity. To relationships. To a new year.