An Open Letter to 2016
We need to talk.
I realise these four words are never the beginning of something good but they seemed a little gentler than “fuck off, you dick”, so that’s what I’m rolling with. Before you tell me open letters are so 2015, you can shut your stupid, make-believe mouth hole and listen to what I have to say. You see, I’ve had some built up aggression towards you that I need to get off my chest and as your reign is coming to a close, I want to welcome 2017 with a fresh, positive mindset.
So what the hell man? You took so many great people from the world that were so young and too talented to die. Between Prince, David Bowie and George Michael, I now have a Spotify playlist I can cry to for 63 hours straight. Aside from their irrefutable success as musicians, these artists were examples for so many people who felt alone in the world and were not nearly ready, nor prepared to let them go.
You were the last hoorah for Zsa Zsa, a woman I can only admire for having 9 husbands and never hating any of them enough to give their diamonds back. Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, Muhammad Ali… the losses are far too melancholic to list.
Politically I think it’s fair to say you shit the bed on pretty much everything, resulting in a sudden Brexit from the EU and a fascist, sexist, xenophobic orangutan as the US President-elect. You had so much potential to choose unity over division, progression over discrimination, and yet here we are a year later, uncertain and genuinely scared about what the future holds. Maybe you think I’m overreacting but I find it ironic that most of the people who voted for these outcomes won’t be alive to deal with the resulting consequences.
2016 you have been so disturbingly apathetic about what is going on in the world and it’s rubbed off on me a little too much. How have you turned the first-world into callous robots, indifferent about the war in Syria but will simultaneously break the internet over a cat video? I hope 2017 prevails more empathetic and compassionate than you. Besides, cats are gross.
Maybe you didn’t set out to hurt everyone as bad as you did, maybe it’s not your fault and you were just born an asshole. I mean damn dude, you even broke Kanye! With TV shows like ‘Dance Moms’ still broadcasting and straight, white male designers trolling the Twitterverse, even Brangelina were like “fuck this shit” and dropped the mic. If love died between Brad and Ange, what hope do we mortals have? I’m really not sure.
The truth is, I’m not sure about a lot of things so writing this letter is more a therapy exercise for myself, rather than an attack on you. I’m the first person to admit when I’m feeling lost so I’d like to put my hand up straight and tall. At risk of giving you too much satisfaction, you’ve left me feeling very confused about this planet earth and the most useful role I can play on it. Now before you go off snarking about how you ruined me and most of humanity in a 12 month period, I’d like to tell you something you might not be expecting: Thank you.
Thank you for slowly revealing my discontent and forcing me to make changes, whether I realised that’s what was happening at the time or not. Thank you for making me challenge my own status-quo and question things a lot more than I used to. Thank you for all the INCREDIBLE people I have met, crossed paths and reunited with this year. My reputation for crying (happy and sad tears) in public remains untarnished.
Thank you 2016, because I travelled to 18 cities across 3 different continents, worked 85 days less than the average employee and still managed to make rent each month. I spent time with my family who are healthy and happy and my best friend met a boy who put a ring on it. I sent a newsletter every single week, majority of them written in the early hours of the morning but regardless all 52 went out. Yeah, that’s right! Tooting my own horn now instead of marching to your stupid drum.
Cheers for the bangers from Beyonce to Bon Iver, Solange to Frank Ocean, Drizzy to, well, Drake. No seriously, Drake Schön. And finally, thank you because although it’s a big, fat cliché, you did teach me a lot. That it’s okay to change my mind sometimes because literally everything is always changing with me. That I need to live more in the present because although great things are to come, it doesn’t mean I can’t also be happy now.
2017 is less than two days away, and it’s going to be fierce. Whether you like it or not old pal, your time is up. While aspects of you have dragged out more painfully than all 166 minutes of Boyhood (yep, I went there), you will be remembered for the good as well as the bad.
Auf Wiedersehen from Berlin! In other words: fuck off, you dick.