by Ashley Anderson
Well, here we are, standing on the last day of what has been quite a tumultuous year. Politically, socially, emotionally, financially, physically, sexually— and lots of the other -ally words as well.
Some of us lost our icons. We lost a piece of our Stardust, our favorite actor/ least favorite Potions professor, and we all felt it as the purplest of rains evaporated into the heavens.
The Thrilla in Manilla, and the man who helped us all to Meet the Beatles are both now laying in wait to become fossil fuels. And not long ago at all, in a galaxy so close we inhabit it, we reflected on the personal strength of an actress who brought to life, the story of a woman who was every bit a Princess, and every bit a freedom-fighter, and a statesman.
For me, 2016 will always be synonymous with the word “endurance.” A 75-year-old senator motivated an entire crop of neo-socialists, political rally-goers to stand, steadfast, in the face of all that is wrong, hateful, and corrupt about our world. A woman, cracked the POTUS glass-ceiling, and reminded us again and again that while we cloak ourselves in the satisfaction of progress made for gender equality, it is absolutely essential that we keep pushing for more, keep insisting for better, and remain forever-nasty-women.
Just as we have cheered for what we will support and endure, we have just as loudly and fervently elicited that we will not endure the social climate that has systemically beaten down lives that have often mattered less. We will not endure legislation that continues to allow vile, phobic, hatred to barge into the door of our public restrooms.
We will not endure a nation that refuses to acknowledge the trespasses of our ancestors, and we will not endure the rights of our indigenous brothers and sisters to be blanketed by greed. We have come so far, and will endure much more as we head into the next few years…
I am hopeful. For every disgusting, abhorrent display of hatred, I have seen something equally as beautiful and uplifting to counter it. Good and beauty endure, they must.
My friends, I wish you nothing but goodness in the year ahead. I wish for you strength, compassion, empathy, love and growth. To 2016, I thank you for your lessons and bid you an exuberant farewell. ❤
Forged in the fire of 27 muggy Philly summers, Ashley Anderson is as blunt as she is kind. She is a devoted cat mom, a feminist, a humanist, a Trekkie, and after a few drinks does a mean rendition of anything by Carole King.