An Open Letter to the World from 2016

Hello people,

It has recently come to my attention that a lot of you have many bones to pick with yours truly, and I'd like to take this opportunity to address and respond to some of your concerns and problems.

First of all, I apologize if you think I've let you down. Like most Januarys before, the first month held lots of promise. It was a fresh start. But then, a lot of shit happened.

Like, a lot.

Suddenly, it looked as if my reign was going to be a rough one. (And before you bring it up, yes, I've seen your many memes about me, the ones where you show what you looked like at the beginning and at the end of these tumultuous 365 days.) But did I really do that to you?

Many of you have blamed me on social media for inundating your feeds with headlines about innocent lives lost to gun violence, about the senseless acts of terrorism across the globe, about the dire situation of refugees, about the harsh treatment of those who simply wish to protect their homeland from being ripped apart, about the deaths of beloved figures from film, television, and music...and about the results (and fallout) of one of the most frustratingly divisive presidential elections in U.S. history. (Sidenote: I'd like to go on the record to say that I absolutely love Purple Rain and Postcards from the Edge.)

But guess what? Most of that was your own doing. You can't entirely blame a year for anything bad that has happened to you or how bad you felt about those bad things. That's just plain illogical. I understand that I inevitably and unfortunately will be labeled as your Least Favorite Year in recent memory, but trust me, there have been worse...

As I recall, 1350 was the height of that little thing called The Black Death. 1812 did a quite a number on America -- it even got a war named after it. 1941 was a cruel bitch -- Auschwitz was open for business, Britain got bombed like no other (not to mention poor Malta), and two words: Pearl Harbor. And most recently, 2001 got forever stained by the horror that occurred on a beautiful day in September.

I may not be your favorite year because a lot of negative memories will be attached to me for the rest of your lives. I get that. I really do.

However, moving forward, what really matters is how you will react to the next sad and depressing headline that will unavoidably start trending all over the place. You have the power to control what happens next. You have the power to change your outlook on life for the better. Because, let's face it, January 1 is just another day. Sure, you may be turning a new page -- literally -- on that cute new kitten calendar you bought for your office, but remember: the Earth is still rotating around the Sun, your wi-fi is still working, and you're still here.

I do hope that you remember the good times we had during my time with you. After all, your sons and daughters were born. You married the love of your life. You enjoyed another birthday, no matter how big or small you celebrated. The Summer Olympics were something, weren't they? And I'm proud of Beyonce for releasing Lemonade on my watch. And hey, you guys even got those promotions along with a new season of Black Mirror and La La Land!

See? It's all about perspective.

Before I go, I do have one favor to ask: Would you please go easy on 2017? He's already stressed out as it is with the enormous amount of pressure to make up for all of the crap I supposedly dumped on you. He's fragile. Be gentle. And patient.

Sincerely,

2016

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