In 2016 I learned more about my limits, my true strengths, and my affinities. I learned to say no to people more often and more effectively. I learned when to slow down and stop, work wise, and how that actually makes me a better person in all ways, including work ones. I learned that I can be emotionally supportive to someone without being subsumed. I learned some friendships are way better off ended. I learned that if a friendship makes you feel nothing but guilt and dread it’s not worth having.

I learned to speak from my diaphragm. I learned what my actual voice sounds like. I revitalized my wardrobe. I realized that I do not get drained by spending upwards of five hours a day with people working on something. I realized I need a mix of solitary and group activity every single day to stay happy. I acted in a play. I went to protests. I called representatives. I sang in front of an audience (with lots of other people). I burned a flag in a bar.

I was interviewed for a ton of media outlets. I appeared on TV. I learned how to memorize lines. I was on a panel about witches in pop culture and rediscovered my ideal debate team goth aesthetic. I ran a 5k for the first time. I started eating intuitively for real. I stopped feeling bad about my body. I found a way to feel comfortable every day in my clothing and corporeal form. I dyed my hair purple. I got to play a game I’ve been waiting 10 years to see unveiled.

I got a tattoo of great and deeply held symbolic meaning to me. I came out to my partner. I got a promotion. I came out to my students. I made new friends. I deepened existing friendships. I recognized myself and accepted what I saw. I got over a really bad depression. Then I finally figured out why and how. I negotiated the tricky territory of having a partner who works nights and weekends a lot, and the hurt and jealousy and loneliness that sometimes comes with that, and we both came out the other side of it feeling better and understanding one another more. I learned how to feel energized by awful events, galvanized to maintain productive hope.

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