One of my favorite poets is Tyler Knott Gregson. I can always seem to find myself in his words, and always find myself envious of the way he can capture the most simple things in a beautiful way.
His latest is a poem for New Years, and I wanted to share it with you all:
There was so much bad in this year. For so many people. So much going on all over the world. So many people suffering. So many people facing their own battles, and so many people facing battles they never asked to fight. But this isn’t a post about the bad. This is a post about the good. This is a post about the things that warmed my heart. A post about the light, not the dark.
This is about the “beautiful sentences hiding in all the literature we just endured.”
So here’s to 2016. Here’s to the nights we spent with friends. Going to movie premiers with friends, getting coffee and ice cream afterwards, and discussing what we just watched. Here’s to traveling across the world with one of the most amazing individuals this world has ever known. Here’s to host families that take you in, and remind you how easy it can be to find a home in people. Here’s to road trips with friends past and present. To watching an entire bar in Michigan lose their mind when the Cubs won the World Series. To see an entire nation rooting for the underdog. Here’s to nights at the Hookah lounge sharing your deepest darkest secrets. To taking on Sin City with the family that has loved you endlessly, even when you didn’t believe you deserved it. Here’s to going two tracking and watching the stars on crisp summer nights. Here’s to friends made in unexpected places and at unexpected times. Here’s to the people who saved your life. To everyone who did their best to give you a memory to look back on and smile.
People lost a lot this year. I know I’m certainly not the only one, because I have been surrounded by people who have struggled this year. Perhaps they have struggled greater than they ever have, than they ever thought possible.
Perhaps you had a lot of bad happen to you this year. Maybe you have struggled to find a silver lining. I know I certainly have.
But I’m trying, and I hope you do too. So let’s try this together. Let’s remember this year for the beauty in it. I know it’s easier said than done, but with a little help from one another I think we can do it. So when you or your loved ones are looking back on 2016, remind yourself and others to do the following:
- Focus on the good more than the bad. As simple as it sounds, it’s the hardest damn thing to do. Bad things naturally affect us more than the good. Someone flipping us off on the expressway has a much more drastic impact than someone smiling at us on the street. Fight that. Make a list of all the good, and don’t overlook the stranger that held the door open for you or the text out of the blue from an old friend asking how you’ve been.
- Forgive. Someone probably hurt you this year. Forgive them. Remember all those times you messed up; maybe you desperately wanted forgiveness and never got it, or maybe you got the second chance you didn’t deserve. Either way, forgive. It is too tiring to be bitter. We are all human, and we are destined to make disastrous mistakes. Forgive each other for those mistakes.
- Practice optimism. Don’t let this year dictate your vision of the future.
- Have a growth mindset. You have grown exponentially in the past year. Even if you have had setbacks. Even if you have made mistakes. You have grown. You will continue to grow. You are not stuck.
- Show yourself a little love. Perhaps you (pardon my language) fucked up exponentially this year. Perhaps you hurt others. Maybe you let yourself down. But I can guarantee you did good things too. I know damn well you were somebody’s light at some point this year. Remind yourself of those things before you constantly beat yourself down with the bad.
- Be proud. Listen, no matter what happened, you made it. You are here. You have held on. There is nothing more beautiful than humankind’s ability to endure. We are all so damn proud of you for enduring, and you should be too.
As for going forward, remember that you don’t need New Years to become a new you. We are constantly evolving as individuals. Every day we are given is an opportunity to become the person we’ve always wanted to be.
So here’s to you 2016, no matter how terrible you may have been, I am still thankful for those who have touched my life and the experiences that have shaped the person I am.
May your New Year’s Eve be filled with love and laughter.
Until next year everyone,