Sitting on a beach at 11:58pm last New Year’s Eve, I raised a hip flask of liquor to a better year ahead.
For me 2016 has been a year full of personal achievements and much happiness, while simultaneously the world at large seemed to continue being somewhat awful. It has been a discombobulating combination of global grief and of private celebration.
My partner and I finally achieved our goal of buying our first apartment, along with a whole bunch of our friends who ended up buying in the same week (many glasses were raised and much alcohol imbibed that week – it was also my birthday).
While we moved in to our new home a repressed, homophobic religious bigot decided to commit a mass shooting in a gay club in Orlando and I wrote about how Love Doesn’t Win. Britain decided to screw itself over royally with Brexit and my British passport suddenly became a lot less useful.
I had many great and exciting opportunities in my professional life this year, which gave me a gratifying sense of progress. I’ve been acting in a higher position at work which has given me a lot of fantastic experience, and Laura and I got our conference talk proposal accepted (woohoo!).
Australia elected not just Pauline Hanson, but a second and third One Nation Party member to the Senate. Good job, Australia.
… I discovered Hamilton.
The world watched with car-crash fascination as America seriously considered Trump as a candidate for the highest position in a country that calls itself the ‘leader of the free world’…
… And then they actually followed through with it and elected him. And what smug right-wingers don’t understand when they tell upset progressives to ‘get over it’ is that we’re not just mourning a race that has been lost, like some sort of sporting competition, but the disillusionment of realising that people – human beings – are maybe not the sort of creatures you thought they were, deep down inside. Maybe we have made a fundamental mistake in assuming that social progress is inevitable and humanity by its very nature will improve and make the world a better place as time goes on. That’s quite an upsetting realisation.
I started out earlier in the year geeking out about Kate Mckinnon in Ghostbusters:
And I ended up watching her in this, watching with the kind of ache in your throat that won’t go away for days:
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…
Well, two steps forward and one step back, I suppose.
You find things/people to love, get creative, and keep on going.
I ticked off a bucket list item a couple of weeks ago when we went surfing with dolphins in Byron Bay. We are snowballing towards that end-of-year freedom feeling when the air is hot and the sky is high and blue and wonderful.
Sometimes it’s the smallest of things (literally) that make life great. This is Taco:
He is our baby and he makes everything right with the world.