2016 was a beast. It was feral and uncompromising, taking everything but rarely giving back. It was a year I knew would be hard. I rang it in with my dearest friends, but also with the person I knew would no longer be called spouse. I couldn't foresee all it would do, though. It visited horrors upon me and everyone I loved. Things nobody could ever imagine happening came to pass, but we weathered them. No sooner would we catch our breath than another blow would land. Death, illness, injury, financial strain, sadness deeper than many of us had ever confronted.
2016 taught me resilience. It taught me transcendence and the power of anger. 2016 showed me that civility and the tucking away of dirty corners have no place in the world. I'd rather be honest and trustworthy than have everyone like me. I learned what my body can bear and, above that, my soul. I tore everything down, examined it closely, decided what was worth keeping. I peeled back beautiful veneer and exposed the rot beneath. I refused to allow it to be pretty again, but also refused to become ugly myself by calling it by its name. I walked away.