end of the year

It is January and you are saying goodbye to something even though you love it. Knowing it’s for the best doesn’t make it any easier. You have been looking backwards for too long and so you’re trying something new.
It is February and you take a trip for no reason other than the fact that it feels good to drink with your friends and laugh around a fire. It’s Valentine’s Day and the man you love makes chocolate-covered strawberries and lights candles and opens wine and you laugh because you never knew life could be this good.
It is March and the rejection letters are piling up on your nightstand. In your mind, each one says: give up. You consider it while getting blind drunk and throwing up on the side of the street.
It is April and you go to a concert just to feel young. You fall asleep in the back of your car with the seats pulled down and wake up with the sun. You hold hands with the person you love and wish you could go back to the year before, if only to tell yourself to hold on.
It is May and it is your birthday and it is time to take a road trip to Los Angeles to drop your boyfriend off for the whole summer. The first night, you eat Chinese food and drink wine with your sister and brother-in-law and feel so grown up in the candlelight with this perfect person you love by your side. The day you leave and he stays, you cry in the airport and fall asleep the second get on the plane.
It is June and you get a new job which involves the emergency room and 12-hour shifts. On your first day, you see a woman die. She has the same birthday as your mother and something about that leaves you crying in the bathroom.
It is July and you are sick. There are always painkillers in your pockets and you’re ashamed and a little scared of how often you have to swallow them just to look your day in the eye but you’re sick of things getting in your way, even if it’s your own body so you keep going.
It is August and you go back to Los Angeles to bring your boyfriend home. You take a trip down the coast and watch him try to fish in the afternoon sun. Two little kids help him bait his line and you all laugh. You hold hands the whole drive home.
It is September and you’re getting sicker but you don’t want to talk about it. The constant fight with your body has you tired in a way you didn’t know you could be. Instead of thinking about it, you write a new book and pour everything you know into it. When you’re finished, you think it’s beautiful.
It is October and you’re spending most of your time convincing yourself not to give up. You’re angry and sad and you don’t know where that leaves you. You’re scared of the old version of yourself that was this angry. You’re scared you’re going to become her again.
It is November and the old love who smashed your heart apart comes back. When you see his name flash on your phone screen, you have a visceral reaction and have to pull over on the side of the road to scream. He says he’s sorry and you cry. He says you became everything he knew you would and you cry. He says things shouldn’t have been that way and you cry. Two days later, you gather your courage and block his number again. It feels more like relief than you thought it would.
It is December and a surgeon is taking a scalpel to your neck. You’re trying to be brave because they say it’ll give you your life back and these days, that’s all you want so you make jokes with your siblings and cry in your mother’s lap and then you breathe in the anesthesia and wake up with a piece of your body missing. You run your fingers over the scar and smile. Now it is time to heal, any way you know how.
—  Fortesa Latifi - 2015

I am not a great maker of lists. Unless pressed, I will make exactly one each year, and this is it.

This is a list of 50 of the wonderful things that wandered through my field of vision in 2014. It is not a definitive list of the best things. It is not merely subjective but sublimely subjective. It leans away from (but doesn’t entirely avoid) what’s been most highly praised and what seems to have been most rewarded.

Also: It is cultural things, not all wonderful things. (Whenever I make this list, someone says something like, “How about a walk in the woods, huh? How about that?” Yes. I like the woods. This is not that list.)

Without further ado, and with gratitude to all of you for reading this year and all of these great folks (and lots of other great folks) for making such good stuff, let’s get on with it.

Linda Holmes’ 50 Wonderful Things From 2014

Above: Jenny Slate and Jake Lacy in ‘Obvious Child’. Photo credit: Courtesy of A24

2015 - A Year in Review

- Gay Rights
- One Direction loses Zayn
- Bruce and Caitlyn battle in the lives of the Kardashian/Jenner family
- Netflix and Chill
- The Whip
- Leonardo DeCaprio still has no Oscar
- The Dress
- Star Wars
- Everyone on YouTube is is coming out
- Shia LeBeouf
- Taylor Swift now has 4516541 songs that play on the radio constantly
- Paris attacks
- What are THOSE
- So many ISIS jokes
- Twenty One Pilots
- I still have no life


Answer the following questions:

  1. What is the single best thing that happened in the past year?
  2. What is the most challenging thing that happened to you in 2015?
  3. What thing did you learn the most from this year?
  4. What is the kindest thing you did this year?
  5. Did you lose anyone close family member this year?
  6. Pick three words to describe 2015.
  7. What did you do in 2015 that you never did before?
  8. Did you keep last year’s resolutions? What were they?
  9. Did you travel to any interesting places in 2015?
  10. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
  11. Do you even believe in new year’s resolutions? Why or why not?
  12. Do you believe that 2015 had an occurring theme for you? If so, which theme and why?
  13. Do you feel like 2015 went by too fast?
  14. Did you fall in love with any new artists during the year 2015? List them.
  15. Brag about two of your accomplishments in 2015.
  16. What is the best book you read this past year?
  17. What was your favorite movie this year?
  18. Fill in the blank: In 2016 I will ____________.
  19. If you could fly anywhere in the world in 2016, where would you go?
  20. What was your biggest regret of 2015?
  21. Do you think you’ll be having a better 2016 than 2015?
  22. Did you make any new friends this year? Lose any friends?
  23. What was the biggest adventure of last year?
  24. Did you get cake on your birthday? Presents? What you wanted?
  25. How much did you change this year? What’s different about you?

Bold the statements that are true.

In the year 2015 I confess that I….

Kissed someone I never kissed before.
Did something I regret.
Painted a picture.
Dyed my hair.
Got a new haircut I thought I’d never get before.
Wrote a poem.
Graduated from High School.
Graduated from College.
Applied for Graduate School.
Ran a mile.
Ate much healthier.
Ended toxic friendships.
Gained a new friend.
Gained a new best friend.
Visited a foreign country.
Had a fight with my parents.
Had a secret/kept a secret.
Realized my homosexuality.
Realized my bisexuality.
Realized my pansexuality.
Realized my asexuality.
Broke a promise.
Slept under the stars.
Stayed up until sunrise.
Pushed someone away.
Got in a fight.
Slept with someone other than my significant other.
Finally allowed myself to let go of my first love.
Actually allowed myself to fall in love.
Attended a party.
Got dumped.
Got a new piercing/tattoo.
Learned that I wasn’t cis gender.
Drank underage/used illegal substances.
Attended a concert.
Attended a musical.
Traveled to another city.
Broke someone’s heart.
Hiding something from someone.
Made someone’s day.
Cheated on a test/homework.
Physically cheated on my significant other.
Emotionally cheated on my significant other.
Found love.
Quit a job.
Got a new job.
Learned to hate someone I thought I never would.
Learned to be more patient. 
Saw the supermoon.
Saw the meteor shower.