22: happy old year

Alright get ready for a cynical post. But also a positive one.

I already missed yesterday’s post due to my currently being in a location with pretty limited Internet connection this weekend – but I’ll do my best to stick to schedule.

I’m up in the Poconos for a few days in anticipation of the New Year, enjoying the weekend, the wilderness, and all the good food, beverages and human company that accompany the holiday.

I typically don’t get too pumped up about New Year’s Eve. I’m not a big partier, and it always just feels like just another day. If there’s any significant change happening during this transition, it’s too miniscule to detect.

The whole event is just pretty underwhelming.

But this year, people seem to be pretty pumped. Just scanning my Facebook feed, it seems like the majority opinion is that 2016 was the “worst year ever.”

Why? When did 2016 turn into a meme? Why are so many people expressing such agony over the way it turned out?

It seems to be largely a combination of the outcome of the election season combined with a rising celebrity death toll. A gorilla was shot and nominated for president. Violence and hate penetrate the media. There may be other factors, too.

Whatever the case, I hate seeing posts hating on poor 2016.

Because all this misery just doesn’t apply to me. My year was great.

Sure, yeah, I’ve been depressed, stressed, and fraught with all the uncertainty that comes along with standing on the cusp of “adulthood.

But I graduated from college, landed a couple rewarding job experiences, traveled all over the hemisphere to new states and countries, learned some new and valuable things about the world. Overall, as far as years go, this one has been pretty up there.

“But Nick, what about all the hate? All the violence?? Brexit???”

Meanwhile, human civilization continues to progress towards its most peaceful, prosperous period in history. We have self-driving cars! We can transplant entire real human hands onto other people! We’re moving rapidly towards an energy-efficient, self-sustaining future powered by renewables!

And yet, a singer or two who was popular in the 80s perishes in a fairly natural death due to health complications in their old age, and we think that 2016 has cursed us and is the worst year we can think of.

As an example, Carrie Fisher died a few days ago. And yeah, it’s a shame when people pass. But none of my friends knew her personally. Nobody gave her a second thought throughout most of their lives, and those who did only did so for a few minutes while they were thinking about Star Wars.

Her memory is not best honored in memes, emojis, and Buzzfeed articles.

I could rant all day, but this post is getting long and I want to return to my message of positivity. It’s New Year’s Eve. Billions are preparing to gather in celebration of the “worst year ever.”

My recommendation? Go into 2017 reflecting back on not only what went wrong, but also what went right for you personally.

I hope you’ll find that you were actually very fortunate, that your year is better than the memes are telling you it was. You must have accomplished something, be proud of something.

And 2017 will be even better.

Peace, all, and Happy New Year!

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