i have not spent nearly enough time in 2016 reading or writing.

or so i think. a friend of mine recently asked me for book recommendations for 2017 and i truly struggled because i’ve bought a lot of novels, but i definitely haven’t read most of them. that’s not to say that i don’t enjoy novels and had no interest in reading them. i just didn’t have the brainspace to.

as an english major and as someone who loves the written word, i feel ashamed for letting something i love fade into the background of my life. it’s hard to admit that something i use to love doing so much is nothing more than a pastime.

that being said, i also haven’t forgone reading entirely. i’ve spent a lot of time this year reading the newspaper and poetry. it’s an interesting combination, one that makes me feel more like an old woman rather than someone in her early twenties. part of it is due to the nature of the material. with the election this year, i slowly became more engrossed with political and social issues. the easiest way to find information was to read the news. and then, as if to balance out the sheer slew of information i was processing every day, i found poetry.

i say i “found” poetry, like it was lost to me before. it wasn’t.
i have always loved poetry, even before i truly understood it.
i say “understood it” like it always needs to be twisted and turned for some deeper interpretation.
it doesn’t always have to be.

i may not have read a lot of novels this year but if there was one thing to be proud of from 2016,it was rediscovering a love of and appreciation for poetry. my youtube history is littered with music covers and spoken word poets. i went to see more poetry performances this year than broadway shows. i have spent time getting to know new poets and buying their first collections of poems. i’ve gotten books signed by poets who have, in  many ways, changed my life and given me a new perspective on abstract and potent complexities like love, race and sacrifice. poetry is this magnificent trimming of words that suckerpunches me in the heart, soul and spine.

2016 was unpredictable and impossible for me. i have never experienced this kind of hurt and loss before. and yet.
and yet, there was good. there is always good. it’s easy for me to look back on 2016 and pull all the darker moments to the forefront, if only because those moments were the hardest for me to get through. but that doesn’t mean there was no happiness.

i rarely have expectations for new years. i think it’s kind of pointless in the way that giving thanks on thanksgiving is pointless. one should always be striving to be better and to make positive changes in and for oneself in the same manner that one should alway be grateful for waking up in the morning. i like to think that a new year is just another chance– at what, i’m not sure. whatever you need it to be.

i’ve been feeling pretty aimless when it comes to thinking about what it is i want another chance at in this coming year. but my manager left a card on my chair, thanking me for all my hard work. and he reminded me, that despite not knowing our goals, we must still go on.

so, onwards i go.



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