I hesitate to write this, with a few days still left in 2016, because who knows what the hell could go wrong between 2017 and now? But I want to send some hope out into the world.
2016 has been a soul-sucking, heartbreaking, shocking, disappointing year around the globe, and regardless of our own personal experiences, I think we can all agree it’ll be without sadness we bid this one good riddance.
But, if you know me, you know that I call myself a “silver-lining finder”, even in the darkest of times.
I want to believe there is still good in the world, despite the horrors. I want to believe there is still kindness, despite the cruelty. I want to believe there is something beyond the horizon that will be bright, and warm, and. . . I guess that it’ll just be ok. Maybe that’s naive, maybe people will think I’m stupid for keeping hope. But, like Dory, I will refuse to let them get me down.
So for 2017 I am channeling my inner Dory. I think she’s a genius, you know. She has given us all the life advice we really need, after all.
LOOK FOR THE BEST IN PEOPLE
Kindness can break down so many walls. Whether it’s big picture stuff or even on-the-schoolyard stuff, when you take the time to speak to someone new, someone different, you’ll learn so much. We need to connect with one another to build the empathy the world’s missing. It doesn’t mean you need to be walked on, but finding the best in a person, and nurturing that, can change everything.
LEARN NEW SKILLS
It’s easy to sit back and rely on what we’ve already learned to carry us through the rest of our days, but what kind of life would that really be? When we challenge ourselves, and learn new things, we broaden our horizons. It can be scary, sure. But you all know what I think about showing the world your bravery, right? It reminds us we’re strong, smart, and capable, and it can lead to so many new things. And it doesn’t have to be something huge. My goal for 2017 is simple: learn to knit, because man, I’d love a new scarf.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Look, the world is full of people who are going to let you believe you’re not enough, but they’re wrong. Just because someone says you can’t, doesn’t make them right. You’re limitless, and, if you’re following along here, just learning a new skill can make you feel like a million bucks. Shock the world with your potential, I have faith in you.
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
I think we spend a lot of time feeling unheard, walked over, and hard done by. Whether that’s reality or not, speaking up for yourself makes it clear that whatever your expectations are for the way people treat you, you’ve at least gotten them out in the open. Say what you want. Be brave. Stand tall. Advocate for yourself. And in turn, speak up for others when they need it. Be an ally.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
Yesterday may have been dark. Heck, today and tomorrow may be bleak, too, but if we get through, there are brighter days ahead. Whether you want to call it “keep on keepin’ on”, or “just keep swimming”, it’s all the same — get up, dust yourself off, and try again. One day, you’ll see the sunshine again.