The Thank You Letter

Dear 2016,

When January 1st sent me straight to the doctor with a nasty virus, I should have known I was in for a wild ride. You were chock full of surprises, 2016. And to be honest, it’s easy to look back at you and feel a little cynical. There were urgent care visits and heartbroken friends and ended relationships. There were horrific stories on the news and sleepless nights and expensive veterinary bills. There were painful days, more than I was prepared for. 2016, you challenged me in every way I can think of.  

But this isn’t a year-in-review letter. More than anything, this is a thank you letter. 

You brought me coffee and naps and free food in the office kitchen. You brought me friends who walked Gracie when I was on bed rest and who wrote me love letters when I felt alone. You brought me summer night visits to the beach and deep conversations with people I only met a year ago. You brought me random High School Musical sing-alongs with a roommate who cuddles with my dog as much as I do. You brought me the bravery to sing at an open mic night and the exhilaration of facing my fears. You brought me friends who convinced me to try running and let me tell them every day how much I hated it until, just as they predicted, I fell in love with it. You brought me professors who know me and encourage me and will sit with me for an extra hour going over confusing statistical concepts and who remind us to take care of each other. You brought me reminders that my family is unceasingly supportive and always down to watch an inappropriate movie (on a side note, if my mother is reading this, I agree that we should’ve skipped Bad Santa 2). You brought me laughter, and love, and togetherness. Even through your rough parts, you brought me community.

2016, you were tough. But where there’s darkness, there is also light. And I’ll keep choosing to focus on that light.

Sincerely,

Gillian