An Open Love Letter to 2016

Dear 2016,

Have you ever heard those adages, the ones that say love and hate are connected? That love can make you feel better than you’ve ever felt and worse than you ever imagined? True Love’s joy is only known when there is also deep pain? 

I don’t like platitudes so I don’t remember them exactly.  But you get the idea.  If those aphorisms are true, 2016, what we had was most certainly LOVE.

Here we are at your Winter Solstice – the darkest day you have - and the day that turns us toward more light.   It makes me think about the lessons I have learned from you, what I need to leave behind and what I need to turn toward to move forward.

With you, 2016, I have seen great beauty.  I had some of the most joyful and satisfying moments of my life.  You have touched my heart in ways I never knew.  I saw majestic places like Iceland, Maui, Canary Islands, and Paris (again).  I’ve deepened friendships with amazing people and listened to friends valiantly say their wedding vows.  You brought beautiful children in to the world – some long awaited miracles.  Wow, 2016, you have been so wonderful to me.

You have also revealed some of your ugliest; #BlackLivesMatter #Aleppo #BrockTurner.  Shame on you #EpiPen.  People I love are sick and suffering.  We have lost so many to violence, illness, and time, it makes my heart ache.  You have tried to hide your ugly in words like Alt-Right or under a dyed blond comb-over.  No loving relationship is perfect.  But, 2016, you have showed me more pain, fear, and horror than I could have imagined.

In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn “If you’re breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong”.  So, despite what you’ve hurled at me this year, 2016, I’m still breathing.

It’s time for me to go, 2016.  You see, there is a 2017 out there.  I’m grateful to you for so much.  I learned so many good lessons from you.  I might take some of your pain with me – but only to use as motivation and a compass to guide me in 2017.   

I know you loved me too, so I hope you’ll be happy and proud of me.  Because with 2017 I’ll be; kinder, smarter, slower, louder, quieter, and quicker.  I’ll listen more, run more, apologize more, practice more, rest more, breath more.  I’ll have more focus, more fight, more generosity, more forgiveness.  I have some dreaming, scheming, writing, sitting, and loving to do.   Or maybe I won’t – but that’s my choice.

I love you, 2016, but we must part.  Because when I wake up in 2017, I will start by breathing and if I’m breathing, there is more right than wrong.  

Love, Mindy