I’ve thought quite a bit about what I wanted to write about to wrap up 2016, and even as I type away at this keyboard, the only thing I can come up with is that my relationship with 2016 has been complicated. I’m guessing I’m not alone with that sentiment.
We’ve seen the news stories of beloved icons who have passed away this year. The world appears to be burning, if you watch the news. And news outlets themselves are under fire for putting out every story that will garner high ratings even if it’s devoid of substance (not to mention facts). Speaking of substance, the world watched as the USA elected a “celebrity” to the office of President, the reasons given by many based upon things said during the campaign that were truly less-than-substantive. There is division across the board and across far too many areas to list.
Society appears to be eschewing intellect at an alarming rate. The STEM fields are begging for more people to enter them and for those who don’t to at least attempt some critical thinking. Labor jobs are begging for people, but so much of American society says we should all aim higher. The world, it seems, is often a representation of what goes on in our immediate sphere.
While the world lost icons, I lost my sister, a beloved great uncle who was more a grandfather to me than my own grandfather, who also passed away. I saw a lot of relationships between people fall apart because there was a lack of critical thinking and understanding. The beliefs that some held close were questioned by others, and vice versa.
These familial losses caused me to think about my relationships with the people in my life, and the relationships between all of those people with each other. I’ve had some good exchanges with my eldest nephew on the complications of living one’s own life and how I know things his mother did (or didn’t do) had an effect upon him. They affected everyone, really.
The job that I’m leaving today has given me a great deal of knowledge about how the mind works, particularly when it comes to family and society. Plus, a lot of inside knowledge into why people behave the way they do. And how our interactions and experiences all impact us in some way, for better or for worse.
I see that far more clearly now than I did when I started here nearly 4 years ago. Who we become as we get older is set on a track very early in our lives. We develop tendencies, mannerisms, habits, good and bad. I have opted to give my foibles a nod. I acknowledge their existence but also know that they are not set in stone if I choose to work on changing them.
But, I also know that I can only do what I can do. Sometimes, it takes work on the part of others, and they may not be willing to do it. I accept that, too. Part of that acceptance also means that down the road, things will get messy as the “it’s complicated” makes it’s way to the surface once again.
However, rather than focus on all of those complications and leaving this final post of 2016 as a somber reflection of events, let me instead focus on some positives.
- There are good people in the world – in fact, I believe most people are good.
- Kindness never goes out of style.
- Daring is a gift: continue to be daring and step outside of your comfort zone if you already are. If you aren’t, try it – more often than not, you’ll learn from, and be better for, it.
- Intelligence and capability are not gender-specific: encouraging girls to do “boy” things, and boys to do “girl” things builds smart, capable people.
- Minds are like parachutes, they don’t work if they don’t open.
- Own your “weird”.
I wish you all the happiest of new years. I also want to thank everyone who reads this blog for hanging in there and sticking with it (and me), through good writing and bad. I appreciate it.
2017, here we come!
PS – If you haven’t watched the movie, “It’s Complicated“, I recommend it.