I am sure I speak for everyone when I say, emphatically, from the top of my lungs as I ride down the streets of L.A. “Goodbye 2016!” This has been an incredible year and sadly, from my point of view (and I’m sure many others) it’s mostly been “WTF” moments. There have been few highlights to speak of and to put it plainly- the odds were ever NOT in our favor this year.
People say, “Oh it’s silly to blame things on a year” but damn it, I need something to make me feel better about the last 12 months. It’s pretty accurate to say that the stretch of time that is 2016 has been one of the worst 365 days of the new millennium. How else do I explain the deaths of icons like Prince, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, Alan Thicke, Maurice White, David Bowie, George Michael, Muhammad Ali, Florence Henderson and Phife Dawg. Sadly, the list goes on, but the loss of famous folks is just the tip of the iceberg of this depressing year.
It’s hard really to pinpoint the most devastating event. Don’t get me wrong, the loss of life is monumental, and I know too many people that died or lost someone. Death is life changing for a whole other set of reasons. Nonetheless, if I am really being honest here, the most devastating thing that happened, for me, is Donald Trump winning the presidency. We have to deal with the madness that is an elitist, bigot who wrote the book on misogyny and sexism for the next four years. I have a feeling that my year in review 2020 will read very similar to this one, or hell, maybe even worse. What can I say? I’m not a pessimist. I am a realist and the facts all point to a hellish ride in our future, courtesy of a Donald Trump administration. I just hope the country makes it out alive, intact and still the greatest piece of land on earth. Moving on.
There were a lot of scandals this year. Hillary Clinton’s emails, Trump’s “locker room talk,” Wells Fargo’s fake accounts, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s nasty divorce and Melania Trump’s speech plagiarism. But the most brutal, the most lethal and the pettiest was Kim Kardashian releasing the secret video of Taylor Swift cosigning Kanye’s Famous song. You know the song that she claimed was a total disgrace to her and extremely offensive? The video hurt Swift’s image so much that we didn’t hear anything from her for the rest of the year. She laid all the way low, which is exactly what you should do after being caught in a lie.
Yes, this year has given us a lot by way of, well, everything. It has also taught life lessons. My personal take aways from 2016 include the importance of loving people. We all know that things can change in an instant (life is precious), but 2016 really drove that point home. I also realized that protesting can change things. I’ve always questioned its validity and effectiveness, but thanks to Standing Rock a.k.a. the Dakata Access Pipeline situation, I know that protesting can make a difference. Going into 2017, my hope is that the same kind of resilience and action takes place for the ethical and better treatment of people of color all across this country. Finally, the saying, “There’s no time like the present” as never been more true.
With all of this, know that while I am a realist, equally, I am an optimist. I believe that when you see things and people for what they are, you are better equipped to move forward. As such, if we take what we learned this year and make wiser choices, individually and as a whole, 2017 will be much better; despite the factors already working against us… *cough* Trump.
Alas, of the good things 2016 gave me, including Beyoncé’s Formation Tour (life changing), her album Lemonade (excellent) Simone Biles (kicking ass at the 2016 Olympics) and David S. Pumpkins (classic), it gave me clarity. Just because you want something and may even be good at said something, you have to show and prove. Remember that going into 2017.
And now, here is my list of things to, please, for the love of God, leave in 2016:
– Any and all challenges. I’m over them.
– Ratched, ghetto and petty behavior by black women on TV. That is not how we are in real life.
– The denial of racism. It exists now let’s work to stop it.
– Celebrity “junk” pics. I’m good. No, really. I’m good.
– Amy Shumer. Was she, like, ever really funny?
– Hashtags that have no meaning #doyouevenknowwhathastagsareusedfor
– Hoverboards. I get that they were cool for like 15 minutes in 2015, but grown men on hoverboards in line at the grocery store is just not the business.
Here’s to a new year with a new set of opportunities and a new set of problems.
Happy 2017, and here’s hoping that we can work better at united as a country no matter how slowly it goes. Even if it’s moving slowly, at least it’s moving!