I honestly can’t remember last New Year’s Eve. I don’t think it’s because I physically can’t remember it (though I wouldn’t be surprised—I drank more than was good for me this year); I just don’t.
*Pause while I scroll through Instagram.
I went to a party. I came home relatively early. It was uneventful.
In so many ways, 2016 went anything but the way it began.
The opposite of the word “build” (the word I have selected for 2017) is “destroy.”
To destroy means “to put an end to the existence of (something) by damaging or attacking it.” The more I reflect on 2016, I just don’t think that is what actually happened.
This past year was, instead, a deconstruction.
To deconstruct means “to analyze (a text or a linguistic or conceptual system) by deconstruction, typically in order to expose its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity” or “to reduce (something) to its constituent parts in order to reinterpret it.”
This past year, things broke down.
I sat in a tangled mess—of bottles of wine I regretted, conversations I should have had, faith lost, a family history of addiction, health I wouldn’t own, men I’ve loved, and skin that no longer felt my own—for most of 2016.
But I found things there.
Things that I never would have known without this year.
Most notably, myself.
Or at least the foundation of the woman I want to be.
It’s funny—my sister used an Elizabeth Gilbert quote in her post, and I can promise the fact that I will use one too (accompanied by an entire letter) was unplanned. But it’s fitting—because we are sisters, and because both of the words we have selected for 2017 speak to this idea of creation: the action or process of bringing something into existence.
I think we both buy into the fact that, as Elizabeth Gilbert put it, “Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”
So, in 2017, I intend to take that road and BUILD upon what I found in 2016, because, as she put it, “This dark place is where you must decide whether to die or live.”