Dearest 2015,

You crazy motherf*cker, you.

I guess not much has changed from the letter I wrote to your predecessor, 2014…

Just kidding…everything has.

Twelve months ago, I posted a declaration enclosed with my word of focus for the year. A published oath to consciousness; becoming, living and staying woke to everything around me for the next 365 days. As I sit here, sipping my literal and figurative tea on the 364th day of my journey, I want to express my gratitude.


Thank you for taking notice of my pledge of awareness. I wanted to keep my eyes peeled, my heart guarded and my brain connected, so you did what the universe does best - test me.

a letter to 2015

Did I pass? Sometimes I strutted away from blazing embers on my Angela Basset sh*t, and sometimes the fires charred me. Maybe it took me a few days to rise from my own ashes each time, but still, I rose. If I’ve learned anything by now it’s that it’s better to be beaten and scarred than defeated. An ugly scar is as it sounds, but you’ve taught me to appreciate it as a beautiful symbol of healing.

Thank you for conspiring to push me to continuously share my story. From Weekly Wisdoms to cultural literary leaps, and panel appearances to spoken word performances, I’ve been able to reach thousands of people in over one hundred countries. Sure, worth is not measured in numbers, but the fact that there’s a number “6” next to the word “continents” on my Google Analytics page makes me laugh at the fear of expression that still fixes itself to plague me.

Last year I thanked 2014 for the growth of emotional maturity that allowed me to accept life’s lemons and freshly squeeze them into optimistic treats, but this year, I’m going to cut the bullsh*t and direct my gratitude honestly.

Thank you for the growth of emotional maturity that granted me the choice to wedge life’s lemons on cold glasses of whiskey and sip them while I went through the motions. Besides learning that it’s okay to be happy one day without feeling guilty about drowning myself in my own tears the next, I realized that less effort is exerted by allowing emotions to spin through their cycles than attempting to stop them.

Constant reminders that positivity and optimism are the keys won’t open the doors that repress your grief. This year I decided that it was healthier to let feelings age and wither away as opposed to carrying them eternally. In turn, letting emotions run their course has been refreshing. The prickling of anxiety, the numbing of sadness, and the buoyancy of joy have all paved parts of my human experience.

Finally, thank you for having continued to shape me. Getting a lot less sleep in the last 52 weeks only meant being awake for more of what you had to offer; and keeping consciousness on the forefront meant making every waking moment count for something.

As I sit here, bright and still rough around all of my edges, I wait for 2016 to come and polish me. I hope you’re not put off by my anticipation for the following 365 days, I just know it’s finally my time to shine.

I don’t want to forgive myself for all the things I didn’t accomplish in my letter to 2016. I want to rejoice in the mind, body and spirit of a woman who held every day by the reigns and shone through.

In 2016, I want to not walk, but sashay both into the fulfillment of goals and past anything that doesn’t serve my growth. I vow to hold my head high, not in deliberate contrast, but to uphold the crown I had forgotten I was born with. Let these words stand as a proclamation of my emancipation from fear and loathing. In 2016 I don’t just want to flash my light into darkness, I want to be unapologetically luminous in all that I do, with everything that I am.

With worth, my new word of focus for the next 52 weeks, I sign out from what’s been an  incredible ride and prepare myself to embark on a new one.

Primed for my glow up,


Melanie SantosComment