A Goodbye Letter To 2016, From Liz Lemon

Humbly inspired by Leslie Knope’s letter to America in the aftermath of the election.
30 Rock
30 Rock

Dear 2016,

Yesterday I paid a visit to my gynecologist. I accidentally missed several appointments in a row due to not wanting to go, so this time around, I had to get everything done at once. I’m talking pap smear, boob exam, psychological assessment, pelvic checkup, my doctor not believing that I’m sexually active, etc.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because compared to you, 2016, that gynecologist visit felt like a delightful walk in the park – complete with chirping birds, beautiful flowers, and a gentle breeze that disguises the scent of sidewalk urine. I hope this comparison helps you to understand how much you are truly the worst.

Seriously, 2016, you are (and have been throughout your existence) the epitome of blerg. The end of every year is supposed to come with peace, and reflection time, where we make resolutions that we never intend to keep and we congratulate ourselves on all of the good things we did last January and February before we gave up for the year.

But instead of looking back at this year with lazy satisfaction, I’ve been up every night, unable to sleep and forced to ingest lots of night cheese in the hopes that it would rock me into a gentle food coma, until I had to wake up in the morning and remember once again that you really, actually happened.

I thought you were going to be good for us, 2016. I thought we were moving in the right direction. We had our first female presidential nominee. We were making moves to begin protecting the environment from our gas-guzzling selves. We were finally paying attention to the conversation around race and all of the injustices that still exist for people of color (even though ‘talking’ about racial injustices barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done).

But instead, it’s like the Earth put all of the worst things that have ever existed into a blender, and then chugged it way too quickly, and you are what came out the other end. It was a margarita concoction of racism and police brutality and a vitriolic election and beloved celebrity deaths and sexism and the refugee crisis and Brock Turner and mass shootings and the Brexit, and you threw it up all over us.

So, understandably, we all want you to be over, 2016. You’re just like one giant puddle of the Earth’s diarrhea and we want to flush you and then never think about you again.

But as awful as you were, 2016, here’s the good thing about you: you reminded me that there are still a lot of good people in the world, too, no matter how awful things get. People like Malala Yousafzai and the protesters of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline and Barack Obama and his even more incredible half, Michelle. People like the two bicyclists that came to the rescue of the unconscious woman being attacked by Brock Turner, and the woman herself, who courageously and eloquently used her words to shed light on the terrible injustices that women still face in our country every day. Through the horrible events and murders and violence you bestowed upon us this year, at least there emerged inspirational and admirable heroes. People who remind us why we still need to wake up every morning and climb out of the giant foam cushion where we eat our meals (or, what some people call a ‘bed’) to keep living and keep fighting.

So, 2016, although I just want to smack you in the face over and over again while screaming “WHAT THE WHAT,” I also will remember that some good things happened during your existence. We elected Catherine Cortez Masto and Tammy Duckworth to the Senate and Stephanie Murphy and Pramila Jayapal to the House of Representatives. The United States Army started offering 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. Certain states eradicated their tampon tax (note to self: learn how to use tampons). Over 80,000 donations were made to Planned Parenthood in the name of Mike Pence. So, not everything was completely the worst.

But don’t get all pleased with yourself, 2016. For the love of all that is Oprah, I still hope you dissolve faster that the Cheetoh dust that has currently settled on my fingertips. But in the meantime, just know that we’ve put up with enough of your shenanigans. It’s time for us to put on our Big Girl Snuggies and start giving a crap. You had your moment, and almost everything about it sucked. But we’re done sitting idly by. Because there are too many good people still left out there, and it would be a dishonor to them if we chose to give up. So we’re going to go into 2017 carrying a hunger for change, with all the passion and fire of a Liz Lemon party. Why? Because a Liz Lemon party is MANDATORY. And so is a better world.


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I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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