The end of the calendar year is officially upon us.
Of course, anytime that one year comes to an end and another one is set to begin, we as humans naturally resort to nostalgic reflection, introspection, and prediction. We think about what went wrong in the last twelve months, what went right, and what we can do to make the next year an even better one (or, at bare minimum, a slightly less disastrous one). Every new year is chance to start again.
So, how does 2016 rate?
I think most Americans (and people in plenty of other countries) can agree that 2016 has been far from the brightest star in our collective sky. With notable celebrity deaths, global travesties, and a shit-show of a presidential election, I wouldn’t be surprised to find many people breathing a quiet sigh of relief when the clock strikes midnight and 2016 finally slips away for good.
Putting all that aside, though, 2016 hasn’t been a bad year for me personally. In fact, 2016 has been packed full of firsts and milestones, both good and less-than-good. In the past twelve months I:
- saw my first published academic/scholarly article in print
- started dating my coworker/classmate-turned-friend
- got into my first car accident
- bought a new-to-me car for the first time
- turned 24
- went to Seattle with two of my TA friends
- presented at an academic conference in Seattle with those TA friends
- presented at writing center conference
- graduated with my M.A. in English with a concentration in writing
- had an awesome Harry Potter themed graduation party
- got hired as an online writing tutor
- went on vacation to a place I had never visited
- celebrated 6 months with that coworker/classmate-turned-friend-turned-boyfriend
- witnessed more than one major parent-related health crisis (again)
- got hired to continue teaching at my home institution and to teach at the local community college
- taught a total of seven college composition courses
- had a final-round interview for one of my dream jobs
- celebrated the holidays with friends, family, and my boyfriend’s family
In total, 2016 has been nothing short of a hectic, stressful, rewarding, surprising year full of twists and turns. While not everything that occurred this year was ideal, I don’t really regret anything; good things always seem to come out of the negative ones. In a lot of ways, this year wasn’t so much about being perfect…it was about setting the stage for where I want to go and who I want to be. I’ve accomplished so much professionally since I graduated in May, and my love life is more fulfilling than it has ever been before. I have good friends, supportive family, and a job I love. I’m not quite where I want and need to be, but I’m definitely headed in the right direction. I’m on the cusp of something wonderful, and that’s what I think 2017 will bring.
So, friends, let’s say goodbye to 2016 and welcome the possibilities that 2017 holds. It’s going to be a great year.