Reflections on 2016


January 1st of 2016 feels like it was a lifetime ago, doesn't it? 365 days ago I was buying my last physics textbook, working on my senior project, and applying to jobs in my spare time. I had never voted in a Presidential election[1]. I had never ordered a drink at a bar. I had never left the US. I had never celebrated a 1 year anniversary with an SO. Though most of us lovingly refer to 2016 as the Year of the Dumpster Fire, my life got so much better over the course of 2016. I graduated. I can go to 21+ concerts now, and spend all my money on wine (woops). I got to visit 3 beautiful countries and experience their culture. And I started working at a company I love with people who are smarter and kinder than I am, doing work that not only interests me but lets me to grow and learn everyday[2]. I don't have any great point to make, or words of wisdom as we hurtle inevitably into the future. But thinking about the last year, I can't help but be filled with gratitude. I'm grateful to be surrounded by family and community who love me, grateful for the opportunities I've been given, grateful that I am ok and that the people I love are ok, grateful that I am constantly given chances to be a better human.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not excited about 2017. My SO has to go back to university soon, and leave me sleeping alone again. We have a long and melancholy winter stretched before us, with short gray days and long cold nights as far as the eye can see. There are no fun trips planned, no graduations, no 21st birthdays, no weddings, no reunions. The thought of the next few months only makes me feel hollow. But...but there should a but here. But there is no but. It just is.

[1] And had never been devastated by the results of an election [2] For example, today I learned that some people don't think it's necessary to pin dependency versions. And that I do not like those people