Oh 2016…what a year you turned out to be.
I had to summon up the courage to walk away from my abusive boss and my job with no where to go in the Spring. Yeah, I was unemployed for four months but I managed to find something more lucrative.
I did a lot of really intense professional development and have spent the last 10 months trying to pivot my career while studying and constantly applying for jobs putting myself through the application-interview-don’t call us/we won’t call you grist mill of self-promotion and epic rudeness.
Then there was the election which was less about the disappointment of not seeing the first woman President get elected and more about the abject fear of the slow slide into fascism picking up speed endangering me and my friends who diverge from Steve Bannon’s neo-Nazi ideal of the world.
After a certain amount of intellectualizing denial and lots of strategic research into gun ownership where I live, I found I could handle the election results. After all, I’m a Washington DC native; we’re used to living in occupied territory. I lived through the Reagan years and the Dubya years, how hard could the maybe 18 months of Donald Trump and the rest of the Pence administration be?
Uncharacteristically for me, I’ve been trying to look on the bright side. I’ve been making an effort to see opportunities in challenges, to learn from negative experiences, and to let things go and move on when things don’t turn out the way I want them to.
So, for the last several weeks, I’ve been looking for some clever way to skewer the dumpster fire, shitshow of a year 2016 turned out to be.
And then Carrie Fisher died.
Author, actress, mental health advocate, all around loud-mouth unafraid to speak the truth about herself no matter how socially unacceptable it might be. She was a fearless feminist who stood up to the internet trollery. She was Princess Leia the most kick-ass woman in space ever…that Carrie Fisher.
Yeah, my brain said, she’s been living on bonus time since 1985. After all, is there any other way to view the time after you recover from a drug overdose except as a gift? She made the most of moving between screen and page in a way that seemed effortless from outside but it was bonus time nonetheless.
But the rest of me reeled, gut punched.
Carrie fucking Fisher.
I want to write something clever about 2016 but the only thing I can come up with is inchoate rage and sadness. It sounds something like this:
The thing of it is I can’t sit paralyzed. If I sit by and keep letting life roll over me the bastards win.
Somewhere in the last four days I decided use 2016 as fuel, and oh was there so much fuel. So much rage, so much fear, so much shock.
If nothing else, Carrie Fisher dying is a kick in the ass for me. It made me realize I am tired of waiting for my life to start. I am tired of not doing things because I’m afraid of being judged.
2017 is probably just the beginning of the coming debacle (Hello, January 20th and beyond) but I plan on burning brightly this year. It won’t be easy but it’s the only thing I can think to do besides hide under my desk and stress eat chocolate.