If you’ve scrolled through social media at all in the past two weeks, then you know it’s pretty clear: the general consensus is that 2016….went to pot.
People are lamenting how horrible 2016 was with funny memes, parody videos, cheeky songs…I’ve even seen some hyperbolic short films buzzing around the interwebs. All with the same message: 2016 sucked royally. Let’s put it behind us, forget about it, and move the “F” on to 2017 already!
And, ok I get it. Sure, there were a lot of things about 2016 that were tragic. There were difficult moments for our country and for the world at large. I mean, just lying in bed here, I can rattle off more tragedies that occurred in 2016 than I can state capitals.
But I’m going to be honest about something: I just can’t jump on board with the common feeling about throwing it all down the crapper and moving on.
Because no matter how you feel about 2016 — good or bad — we can learn from it.
I spent a long time – the first 3/4 of my recovery – we’re talking years, — trying to do just that. The time during my anorexia was a dark period of my life filled with pain and broken relationships and betrayal and … yeah, you get it. I’ll spare you the details. But once I was “better” and in recovery, I spent so long trying to just burn that period from my memory and erase it from my history.
I wanted a clean slate. A fresh start. Shoot, I even moved to NYC to escape any and all reminders and remnants of that dark past.
I was proclaiming with my life exactly what everyone on my Facebook feed is proclaiming about 2016: Get it the hell out of my life.
But here’s the thing: by trying so hard to erase it from my life, I was actually just giving it more power over me. I was striving and expending all this energy to pretend it never happened that I was hindering my growth and ability to move on.
It wasn’t until I looked my past head on, acknowledged it, and learned from it, that I was able to truly move on as a healed and whole person. It was only then that I was truly given freedom from it. And consequently, that timeline coincides with starting this blog.
The year 2016 – sure it had its ups and downs. But I can guarantee that no matter how you feel about it, there’s something to be learned from it.
Even in the darkest and most dire of circumstances, there is always something constructive to be taken from it. I’m currently living through this as we speak with my situation at home.
You can bet your bottom dollar that from this day forward I will never take another second for granted with loved ones. I will always say how I feel about someone. And never go to bed angry. That is something constructive that I can do.
But if we just flip 2016 “the bird” and screech off, then honestly, it will all have been for nothing.
After nearly a decade of trying to shove my history of anorexia into a tiny little box and shove it under the stairs, it wasn’t until only recently that I’ve been able to revisit it and learn. And here’s what I’ve come to find:
Nothing has power over you, unless you let it.
Not what another person says. Not your grades or your job titles. Not awards or degrees. Not what you own or wear. Not your weight or looks.
And definitely not the year 2016.
If you feel like 2016 sucked, well then, what are you going to do to change that?
What can you take away from it?
That’s called learning. That’s called changing the narrative. That’s reclaiming the past. And that’s just what I’m going to do.
Who’s with me!?
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