How do you measure a year?

In daylights? In sunsets? In cups of coffee? What about love? You’re welcome if you got “Seasons of Love” stuck in your head.

The time between mid-November to early January is one of my favourite times of the year. Like many, I reflect on how my year has been and I think about who I was as a person that year. On social media, there would be those collages where people pick their best nine moments of the year. People on Facebook are sharing their “year in review videos” as  you’re reading this. Right now, I’m doing the Night Eyes Countdown on Instagram to share a few photos and reflections on my year.

I decided to share my thoughts on social media depicting the past year because I feel like social media alone doesn’t cover it all.

If you limited my 2016 to just what you saw on social media, you would see pictures from comic cons, concerts, my graduation, my cousin’s wedding and times where my friends and I decided to be silly. Oh and my dog.

But let’s be real. I’m always posting about nerdy things, concerts, the silly things my friends and I do, and my dog. That is, if I’m not posting about writing and whatever book I’ve curled up on the couch with.

Like many on social media, there were also a lot of moments that I didn’t share online. A lot of it had to do with my personal life, which I like to keep as away from social media as much as I can, and a lot of insecurities about myself that I’ve dealt with since the end of 2015. Well, most of them I’ve dealt with forever, but certain circumstances lead me to feeling more insecure and anxious about my insecurities this year than I normally would be.

Also, there were just some moments that didn’t necessarily need a photo or a post to prove how significant it was for me, whether it was good or bad.

I’ve noticed that 2016 was a horrible year for many people, and while I acknowledge a lot of happy moments this year, I don’t blame these people for thinking that way. So many celebrities passed, there was a lot of political heat and a lot of shock from world events. Intense online fights started over people’s opinions on everything from Pokémon Go, the Harambe situation, “Suicide Squad”, to pineapple on pizza.

On a more serious note, with all of the world events and controversies, this year opened my eyes, and not in a good way. Granted, I’ve noticed negative and uncalled for comments on social media for years, and I’ve heard and read online comments the years before where I was totally away from the thought of me being on social media, but this year it seemed to explode. I was appalled when I saw hateful comments towards people from all walks of life, despite the fact it’s 2016 and that we’re better than that.

I sighed every time I saw someone saying on social media that “everyone is too sensitive these days” and that “SJWs (social justice warriors) need to go away” and anything else along these lines.

I was going to post a rant about how being “too sensitive” isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but instead, I’ll say that it’s a little ironic that I’m seeing way more people complain about sensitivity and social justice than posts reflecting actual sensitivity and social justice.

But that’s none of my business.

Anyway, back to the main subject!

So how do I measure a year? I measure it the way I do with any situation: look at both the good and the bad. Unfortunately, sometimes I find it’s easy to allow the negativity to outweigh the positivity. Often, I’ll remember the moments I faced as moments alone, rather than saying “This year was the best ever!” because of that one moment. Oddly enough, it’s easier for me to say if a year was bad if a lot of negative things happened.

Rather than mourn the year that just passed, however, I try my best to look at what’s ahead.

Right now, all I know is that 2017 will bring Green Day, Simple Plan, Mother Mother, and Against Me! to my hometown, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to see all of them live and that I’ll be able to photograph the shows. Oh, and that I’ll get a full-time writing job and that my future novel will get published and somehow become a New York Times bestseller with its own original Netflix series. That’s not too much to ask of 2017, right?

Okay, fine. I’m satisfied with an original Netflix series inspired by my novel in 2020.

I don’t think anyone can predict what will happen during the next 365 days after the big apple drops and we all raise our glasses towards the future, but all we can do is hope 2017 will be better, and that the debate over whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza will end sooner, rather than later.


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