Every year, I look back at the previous year and think "wow I've grown up so much," but in all honesty, I will always say that at the end of the current year. I think that's how you know you are not at a standstill, because you are ever changing and growing. I don't get very personal on here, so you should be warned, I'm about to get REAL candid right now:
I've gone through a lot in 2016. Some good, some bad, but overall emotional (af!).
2016 was the year that racism was more normalized than any other time I've been alive. I am going to relate that to a presidential candidate leading the way of those actions.
2016 was the year the someone hurt me very personally by putting the love of my life in immediate danger.
2016 was the year I lost the woman who I owe a lot of my art influence and colorful heritage to, my grandmother (Grandad, I am so sorry you have lost your wife of 74 years, and if I could take all of your pain away, I would do it in a heartbeat. Mom, I am so sorry you lost the woman who taught you to be the strong badass mother that you are.).
2016 was the year I moved in with a man (this was interesting and fun; I broke all my cultural norms here. Sorry mom!).
2016 was the year belittling a woman became normalized (I cried a lot.... A LOT... and then some more... and then I sucked it up and became a Nasty Woman). Again, I am going to relate that to a presidential candidate leading the way of those actions.
2016 was the year I lived right in the center of a #BlackLivesMatter march/riot, and I learned so much from my fellow POC (your lives do matter).
2016 was the year I started paying my student loans and learned first hand that our educational system is based on the stress of a price.
2016 was the year I traveled to: NYC, Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Nashville, Mexico, and probably a handful of other places I can't think of right now.
2016 was the year I started so many great friendships, and I am so thankful for them.
These are all things my naive younger self wouldn't have been affected much by. I realized I have paid more attention, am more sensitive to situations that affect a larger group of people, am loudly supportive of others fighting for themselves and their rights, and want to be a part of bigger things. These are all details that I never realized "adults" were a part of.
2016, you were a big pill to swallow. 2017, I am now ready for the challenges. Bring it.