I’ve noticed that when people on social media are excited about some wise meme, I usually think (and sometimes say) “It’s not that great.” And when they are fuming about something, I usually think, “It’s not that big of a deal.”
That is, until the election. I was one of the people saying that while in the big picture everything is okay “because God,” for our nation right now things are absolutely the worst. Not because God can’t save us, but because more people voted for racism and sexism than I wanted to believe.
When my friends who voted for Trump said that everything would be okay, I wanted to unfriend them, hard, across the face. “It’s not that big of a deal,” they said as I had once said about Starbucks cups.
And I’m still planning to speak out and wear this shirt,
but I think it’s also important to note that, despite losing Harper Lee and Richard Adams and David Bowie and Carrie Fisher (sorry if I left your favorite off my list—it could go on forever) 2016 does not need to be categorically denounced.
I had some unbelievably blessed moments, and so did you. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge them now. I’ll go first.
In the spring, I got to chaperone my husband’s high school band on their field trip to Disneyland, and our kid is in the band. My new job helped us pay for it. I saw Shakespeare performed live. I went to a San Francisco Giants game. My kid had a great birthday party. I started a jazz band for high school girls.
In the summer, I went to my niece’s high school graduation and we spent a wonderful day at the ocean paddleboarding and evening playing games. I got to read parts of Anaheim Tales with other authors at our local bookstore. My kid chose to get baptized. I went to a rally at the state capitol, and the governor signed the bill to end the statute of limitations for rape.
In the fall, I performed in my first musical. I am cowardly lion! Hear me roar! I had an actual, real, birthday party.
I watched my kid perform music all year. I got to go to the best music hall in the western United States. I grew closer with my spouse. I got to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and go to the beach whenever I wanted. I was healthy.
2016, I will not tell you to kiss my a– or whatever everyone is saying. Certain moments that you gave us brought me to tears, and Carrie Fisher and Richard Adams on the tails of the election seemed especially cruel, but thank you for the beauty. Thank you for the music. Thank you for the place I live and the family and friends I’ve shared this place with for one more year.