Take a deep breath. It’s over. You’ve made it.
2017 was a supremely terrible year for reasons too numerous to list, but they say when you’re going through hell, you just have to keep going. And if you’re reading this you’ve made it into 2018. And it’s going to get better.
After the trauma of the previous year, it’s natural to look for someone or something to blame for the hardships we’ve all experienced. Should we lay it at the feet of lying politicians or abusive celebrities? Perhaps we should blame religion, or capitalism, or society as a whole? Maybe we should even blame ourselves for participating in such a soul-sucking farce?
No. Search your heart, and you’ll soon see that it’s not people or political structures or our increasing ambivalence to inequality that is at fault; it was the year itself.
It was 2017 that was to blame, and though we promised ourselves in 2016 that the next year would be better, how could we have known that such a bastard of a year was waiting in the wings?
Just look at the 317 mass shootings that took place in the US in 2017. Some might place the blame on lax gun laws due to the powerful lobbying —and seemingly bottomless pockets—of the NRA. We could blame the gun manufacturers and sellers. The action movies that glorify their use. We could even blame the guns themselves, since they have no purpose outside of killing as many things as possible, as quickly as possible.
But that blame would be misguided. It was 2017 that was responsible. 2017 put the money in the pockets of those politicians. It put the guns in the hands of the killers. And it put the bullets in the bodies of the hundreds murdered by these weapons.
And we were powerless to stop it. It was as natural as the ever-increasing worldwide weather catastrophes. As natural as the melting ice-caps, or polluted drinking water, or powerful men unwilling to take “no” for an answer. So we, rightfully, gave up and let nature take its course, knowing that we simply had to wait until the clock struck midnight on December 31. 2017 held all the cards, but that’s all behind us now.
So, put a little faith in 2018. A quick glance might suggest little has changed, and it might even look a little worse, but that’s just the last desperate influence of 2017 bleeding through.
2018 is bound to be an improvement. And while we all may have said the same thing about 2017 a year ago, that was just misplaced optimism. Who could have foreseen Nazis making a comeback, or Trump being a horrible, racist, sexist asshole, or the release of The Emoji Movie?
No, this time we’ve hit bottom. If things can’t possibly get any worse, then they inevitably have to get better. That’s just science.
Here’s to 2018. It’s going to be a great year. It has to be.