Dec. 31st, 2016

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It's been a wild year.
If we listed the litany of Job-esque sufferings we endured, we could compare scars until Spring.
Sometimes, Fate tests our will, but this year, he was a bully in a cosmic game of dodgeball.

At first, like most of you, I thought it was just me.
I strive to live an interesting story, but I was battered by more misfortune in the past twelve months than I have experienced over the past twelve years.

But that can't be true, can it? That seems so dramatic, so unrealistic.
Well, Samantha, I don't remember an ER doctor referring to you as "spectacular," before.
I don't remember any of the things we endured this year ever happening before, and they seemed to happen in a ceaseless, unforgiving, almost every-day rhythm.
Never experienced the nightmare of ___? Well, step right up, kid.

Worse, unfortunate events seemed to strike all of us.
I watched everyone suffer in unprecedented amounts and in new and terrible ways. I felt powerless, as if the city that we love was beset by the army of some unseen adversary. Towers toppled and familiar things vanished overnight, never to be restored. Nothing and no one was safe.

By the end of the year, we were literally asking the Powers That Be to stop killing our idols.
In my twenty years on the internet, I don't remember that happening ever before.

This cosmic battering shook people to their cores, but there is a silver lining.
People that I remembered to be great heroes had become soft and preoccupied with emotional dalliances. Writers had stopped writing. Artists had stopped creating. The voice of my community had become a whisper.

That is, until this year laid siege to their home.
As if in defiance, voices that had grown meek became strong again.
As if to spite the oppressor, my friends returned to their creative spirits.
Fires that had once illuminated my night, that had wearied and grown dim, responded to the cosmos' attempt to snuff them out by burning brighter than ever before.
People who decided that they had lost too much dug their heels into the sand and stood as their strongest, best, and truest selves.

I am witness to a creative resurgence that thrills me beyond words.
It is unfortunate that it took such a threat to shake us to our feet, but if I am grateful for anything, I am grateful that, in the wake of this terrible year, the world is beginning to make sense to me again as it has not in a very long time.

I wish for you love and happiness, but most of all, I wish for you to be inspired.
If it is the fire that forges us to greatness, then so be it.


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