As the year concludes, I see a lot on how 2016 was shit. No doubt we witnessed what appears to be an increase in the number of deaths, tragedies, and overall bad news. It feels like we lost a lot of lives this year, those of the nameless & countless in Syria and other parts of the world, as well as many iconic celebrities and public figures. It definitely sucks that Trump got elected, but I also believe 2016 is how you perceive it. Blame social media, our innate negativity bias, or whatever you want, but this year challenged our ability to keep perspective on both an individual and collective level. 

For me personally, this year has been one of the toughest best years of my life. I graduated with my Masters and started working at my big girl job doing what I love, providing therapy & counseling to those in need. Hazim graduated law school, and while Bar prep was brutal, he passed successfuly and started his big boy job. We got married, found a badass little place together, and our entire lives changed. Was 2016 easy? No not at all, it’s never easy juggling grad school, counseling work, wedding planning, a business and a blog, maintaining a transitioning relationship, and finding time for yourself, but I can’t feel anything less than pure gratitude for how my year compared to others. 

So yes, it feels like we are constantly bombarded with bad news, but there’s a lot of good that doesn’t trend. And yes we’ve lost a lot of lives, but I’ve also witnessed so many beautiful births this year (and I read that infant mortality is down, yay!). And Trump is a piece of shit, but we also experienced a Presidency of an admirable man who has changed the course of history. We undoubtedly could have done more for Syria, but it’s not too late to make sure we never reach this point again. 

This year may have been really tough, but among the countless forces beyond our will, our perspective is in our control and if there’s anything 2016 can teach us, it is to look back in gratitude and to look forward in hope. 

Photography by Sarah Khan (@sarahk.han)


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