Let’s all agree — 2017 fucking sucked.
- Donald Trump enacted a series of actions which caused chaotic downstream effects and revealed the horrible state of our country. In other words, we have work to do.
- Harvey Weinstein is a monster who deserves to be rung out for all of his heinous acts towards women.
- Many prominent male figures were *rightfully* outed for sexual harassment / rape / etc. Thank god.
- The GOP tax bill passed (we’ll see how this goes…).
- Erica Garner just died.
- Carrie Fisher died.
- The list goes on and on…
And these are all off the top of my head.
At the same time, there were many great things about 2017.
- Susan Fowler + Ellen Pao blew open the door on sexism and has provided a safer outlet for many other women who have experienced mistreatment.
- We have acknowledged that our country still needs to change, and have decided to speak up via Twitter / Facebook, many other platforms.
- Everybody stepped up to work together and volunteer for Hurricane Harvey.
- Mental illness is slowly becoming less stigmatized. With people recognizing it as an actual illness and problem, we are becoming better about speaking it.
So I’ll try my best to accept it. There’s work that needs to be done, but there’s much to be appreciated for. Anyways here’s a lot of things this year that I need to express my gratitude to:
- Suicide Hotline Volunteering — Meeting such an eclectic group of people who care so much about helping others has been wonderful. The first day I was so nervous about how I would handle volunteering here considering my personal affiliation with mental illness, but to my surprise, everyone has been so accepting and kind. The vulnerability that comes with the work here is emotionally taxing, but every second is worth it.
- Empathy — I’ve spent this year re-shaping how I think about the problems which my friends / peers / people face. I’d like to believe that I’ve learned a little bit better about how to step back and accept that I don’t know how to solve a problem rather than diving headfirst into someone else’s situation.
- Adobe Book Store — While walking down the Mission District one day, I managed to stumble into a random used book store which asked for volunteers / employees and next thing I knew, I was managing the front desk and closing shop! It’s been a wild ride here; I’ve met many new and interesting people and have read so many fascinating books.
- Friends — Hello friends! There are so many people that I have to be grateful for, so I won’t list them out, but you all know who you are. Thank you for being around and listening to me when I need it the most. Know that I’ll always do my best to be here for you, and that all of you are amazing.
- Co-workers — For being who you are and never holding back when it comes to discussions about a diverse and inclusive workspace. I’m grateful for the enlightening discussions that we have, and the respect that we all carry towards one another. Together we have accomplished having a 50/50 male:female engineer ratio and that is one thing to definitely be proud of!
- Books — A little overstated, but I’ve fallen back in love with books. After my long hiatus thanks to school, I picked up a book at the beginning of the year and experienced the thrill of reading that I used to feel during high school. Highlighting some amazing authors that I’ve read thus far: Kazuo Ishiguro, Cheryl Strayed, Albert Camus, James Baldwin, Emily Dickinson, David Foster Wallace, Ron Chernow, Anthony Doerr, etc.
- Running — For being there when I need it the most and helping me work with my anxiety, you have been so so so therapeutic.
People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But I don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree — Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Here’s to me planning to drunkenly whittle away 2017.
And here’s to everyone else. I hope whatever it is that y’all do, it’ll be whatever y’all love the most. Whether it’s friends, family, or simply being alone, please take some time to appreciate yourself for simply being here. Your presence is loved and you all belong in this world more than you may believe. So promise yourself that you’ll take 2018 by storm and flip everything upside down.