Why It’s OK to Say 2017 Was a Good Year

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Over the past couple of weeks, Taylor Swift got rather skewered on social media for saying she had a great 2017. This isn’t going to be an anti or pro Taylor Swift PSA but what I will say is that I think it’s totally unfair to rip someone apart for a) having a good year and b) saying they had a good year. I know Taylor Swift is a rich, white, famous singer so of course she probably had a good year, but I myself posted a similar thing on Facebook around the same time.

There’s no doubt 2017 has been super shitty in a lot of ways. Our country has never been more divided. Hatred and ignorance have been given a giant platform. A bunch of old, entitled, white men are trying to determine the future of an entire nation according to what suits them (and their pockets) the best. There are things I am sure I can’t possibly even comprehend the awfulness and injustice of.

But 2017 was also a year where the reaction to the above has been massive. I’ve never been more proud to see such a resistance rise up from people. People who are refusing to let us become divided. Women are speaking out about the abuses and violation they’ve experienced at the hands of men and for what feels like the first time…society is finally starting to listen and do something about it. My own community has been at the forefront of a lot of this resistance. Disabled people across the country are protesting decisions that will have a detrimental affect on their livelihood and quality of life…risking being dragged out of their wheelchairs, injured, and forcibly removed.

Out of so much pain and unrest, I’ve seen profound acts of love and compassion. People who barely have anything themselves reaching out to help their fellow person in need. In a lot of ways, I think the refusal to accept divisiveness is what’s brought so many of us together.

Even for me personally, 2017 wasn’t all a bed of roses. I had some of the most challenging and disappointing professional experiences. I didn’t get back to Ireland like I wanted to. My family suffered a great loss. I got run into for the third time.  I had two of the worst falls I’ve ever had, ones I still have the scars from. But out of the challenge and disappointment, I also ended up in the best professional situation of my life. I didn’t get back to Ireland but I ended up seeing part of my own country that was amazing and gave me some awesome memories. I got run into for the third time but I also paid off my car shortly thereafter. I fell but I also witnessed the kindness of strangers I never have when I’ve fallen before.

The point is, there was no doubt a lot of bad this year, but there was also a hell of a lot of good. Even if this year had been 100% bad, it’s still ridiculous to shame each other for expressing gratitude for the good things that might have happened. It’s perfectly OK (and probably even healthy) to try and find some positive things during a stormy time.

So Taylor Swift, I am glad you had a good 2017 because I had a pretty damn good one too and I feel no shame in saying so.

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