As 2016 winds down to its last days, social media and conversation is abuzz with how this year has truly been THE annus horribilis, the year that everyone wants to see the back of. It seems like there were more tears in the collective fabric of humanity over the last 12 months than in other years in recent memory. From the deaths of some of our most celebrated artists and musicians to the seemingly relentless terror attacks on freedom and those who are fortunate enough to experience it, from the non-stop sensationalist media frenzy that helped elect he-who-shall-not-be-named to the office of POTUS, to the rising wave of intolerance and xenophobia, 2016 has definitely been chock full of shocks. But instead of looking at all these moments as contributing to a horrible year, I can give you all a few reasons as to why 2016 is one of the most important years in this lifetime of ours.
I’ve often heard it said that the older we get the more defensive armor we don to protect ourselves from the harshness of life. What I know from my experience is that when you’re a kid who’s not the jock or the popular one, that armor falls into place very early on in life. If you were ever teased, ridiculed, treated differently or ached to get the hell out of the environment you felt trapped in in your youth, then it’s safe to assume that you’ve gone through some pretty important spurts of personal evolution and growth.
About 12 years ago I lived in a massive apartment with my then-partner and our best friend. We three were always hanging out together, and we had decided that we might as well split rent three ways instead of rotating where we would hang out day after day…so we got this great place and each assumed our share of the (then-massive) rent. About a year after we moved, I walked into our living room (as one does) and noticed a pile of real estate listings with houses for sale, so I went to go speak to my friend to ask if he had any plans to move out in order to buy a house. He totally shrugged it off, saying he was just checking to see what was out there in the market but he wasn’t really looking. Cut to a few weeks later when he came home and proudly exclaimed that he had bought a house! So, trying to roll with the punches, I congratulated him and then asked him to give us his moving date as soon as he knew it because a) our rent was exorbitant and we needed to absorb his third of it, and b) our stove and fridge were his, and so I’d have to go buy new ones to replace his when he took them with him. Cut to a month later when I came home and saw the fridge being wheeled out the front door. Needless to say, our friendship pretty much ended there.