Dumpster Fires Aren’t Entirely Bad? 

2016 is a dumpster fire. You know it, I know it, it goes without saying. This year has plummeted faster face first onto the pavement than my own drunk ass did a month ago when I first came home. And 2016 looks about as good as my forehead did right after.  
2016 has also brought me such immense goodness. Such immense good and joy. I’ve never been luckier than I am right now.  
I wonder if I’m allowed to have so much good. If it’s wrong to name it, to claim it, and relish it as it comes, intertwined with the confusion and the terror and the changes. And it isn’t. It isn’t wrong. It can’t be. We have to know when our body shakes with excitement and we can’t hardly focus we’re so happy. We have to allow ourselves the naming of it. How else will we remember it? How else will we tuck it away for later? For when times are not as good?
I know trauma. I know being unable to get out of bed for the crushing weight of something you had no agency over. I know the deep desire to end your life because whatever came after that certainly must feel better than this. PTSD takes, it continues to takes from you after so much of you has already been taken. PTSD is the thief that cannot get enough of your goods, of your belongings, of you. 
So when I’m happy, you’re goddamn right I’m going to claim it. I know what else could come. I know how tenuous life is. 
I know, any day now, we might have to break out our black turtlenecks and our finest Weather Underground spirit and defend our beautiful country for who she is.  
I’m scared of 2017. I’m scared of her, and for her. She’s got quite an act to follow. But I think she can do it. 
We can find the good. We can make the good. I believe the we here is not a relativist or a humanist-feelsy we. It’s us, even the diametrically opposed amongst us, who are willing to meet each other where we are. There are things that are evil. There are people and ideas that are dangerous and devastating and we can name them just as we name our joy. 
I want a life that can hold all the parts. This year has expanded each part of me, stretched me, as I asked, as I asked at the beginning of this trip (little did I know the whole year was a trip—right?! LIFE, it’s WILD!). So here I am, writing to you, you beautiful clementine, with your laptop on your bed and your sweet hands on your heart. I’m writing to tell you I want this life, with all the parts. The parts that are uncomfortable, that are scary, that are ugly, that are still pulsing and changing and might have weird tentacles and might be a Cthulhu but here we are and this is just as real as the joy and the talks at coffee shops and the chatting with a stranger on the bus. 
I want to be willing to be uncomfortable. I won’t accept comfort over the truth, over the change, over the good. 

I’m talking about a willingness to meet someone where they are. To see their mess, and show them yours. 
I’m talking to myself as much as you because I so desperately want to do this, and I keep getting chances to, and I’ll kick my own ass if I don’t start taking them. 
I’ll kick my own ass if I don’t keep taking all that life is throwing at me. 
I’ll kick my own ass because you’re too far to do it for me. 
I’ll kick my own ass because 2016 is a dumpster fire and if we don’t get ourselves in gear it will have been a wasted burn. 
I love you. I miss you. I’m so fucking glad to know you. 


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