We survived another year of insufferable reality shows, questionable trends, salacious scandals, and watched as some said goodbye to the Oxford comma (never gonna give you up), but what did we learn from 2011?
2011 is going down for me as the most memorable year of my life thus far, and not just because it's the freshest in my mind. No, 2011 was, if nothing, a year of growth for mankind and a year of set backs the likes of which I have never seen, nor wish to see again.
We sat through the elegance of the Royal Wedding, and shook our heads every time a reporter referred to the Kardashians as the Royal Family of America, we fist pumped (whether we are proud to admit it or not) and we watched with heavy hearts as a generation of magic came to an end.
Wall Street was occupied and being awkward became the new black, and it seemed like there was a new wave of tolerance and love for those who were different and outcasted. Suicide rates were the lowest they had been in forty years, and for the first time, I personally felt that as a whole, the world was learning to love again.
On one hand, we had passion and outrage, real causes being fought for and real, raw emotions, rarely seen these days, were pouring through our televisions and computer screens, but on the other hand, we watched as little girls were objectified and paraded around like a form of income and not the precious gifts that they are. We watched as people lied and maliciously tried to ruin the good name of others for personal gain. We said goodbye to innovators, heroes, and dictators, watching as nations took back their rights to be people and fought for the same freedom that most of us take for granted every single day.
For all of the reasons to feel hopeless about the future, all the mindless dribble that can be expected to be forced upon us in the new year, I have hope. For every show-mom living vicariously through their daughter, there will be loving couples anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new baby who they will let be a child and follow the path of their choice. For every school-yard bully who picks on someone for being different, there will be someone who loves the very same kid being teased, for their differences, whether they know it or not. For every Mary-Sue character shoving unrealistic ideologies about relationships down young girls' throats, somewhere, someone is writing a book about a strong young woman whose prince charming needs her just as much as she needs him and hopefully more young ladies will see that they don't need a boyfriend to have worth or be special.
Sure, 2011 made me scratch my head and question the sanity of the general population, but we are moving forward, even if we are taking baby steps and stumbling over our own feet. We are moving slowly, but we are making progress, and I can't ask for much else in a world where people are famous for being famous and deplorable, obnoxious behavior is a sure fire way to get your own television show.
And so, it is with a fond farewell that I bid adieu to 2011, and I welcome 2012 all the hope in my heart that we make it memorable as the year we learn to truly accept and love one another, a year of understanding, growth, learning, and a year of happiness.