16 Things That Happened In 2017 That Actually Brought Us Joy

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With 2018 around the corner, it's easy to think about all the awful things that happened in 2017. From natural disasters to terror attacks to the slow but steady irreversibility of global warming, it's been a bleak year in a lot of ways. It wasn't all bad, but it's not exactly surprising if you don't look back on 2017 with fondness. I'm a glass-half-full kind of person, but even I feel like this year was a mess from start to finish. Thankfully, there were some actual good things that happened in 2017, even though it may be difficult to remember anything wholesome in this year's news cycle.

It's important to acknowledge the bad things that happened, especially the events that led to human suffering — more than one-third of Puerto Rico is still without power. But it's also essential and even necessary to reflect on the good things we experienced, and once you start looking for good news, you'll probably get overwhelmed by just how many positive things happened this year. I was pretty pessimistic when I started my search for good things that happened in the year that blew 2016's record for terribleness out of the water, but I'm reminded of the memes, laughs, and redeeming stories we gained this year. While this list is by no means comprehensive, here are a few of my faves.

1. Fiona the Hippo Was Born

We were all rooting for Fiona the Hippo when she was born six weeks premature. Naturally, she eventually became an internet sensation. She is a goddess, and she just celebrated her first Christmas.

Beyoncé Had Twins

Where were you when you found out Beyoncé was pregnant with twins? I remember seeing this picture on Instagram and throwing my phone across the room. Thank you, Queen B.

Prince Harry Got Engaged

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You probably haven't forgotten about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement, but let me remind you again: TRUE LOVE STILL EXISTS, OK?

We Got To See A Solar Eclipse

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I can sometimes be as cynical as the next person, but if I'm being honest with myself, the solar eclipse was pretty cool. If you missed it, you'll have another chance in 2024, but it was a pretty amazing experience.

Trump's Twitter Was (Briefly) Deleted

For 11 beautiful minutes in November, Trump's Twitter account was gone. The employee responsible for the deletion later said it was a mistake, but for many it was a mistake that doubled as a highlight.

We Found Out Aliens Might Exist

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On Dec. 16, The New York Times revealed that the Pentagon had secretly studied UFOs (unidentified flying objects) for years. Based on their findings, it's not exactly unreasonable to think aliens might be out there. Totally casual — and kind of awesome.

Confederate Statues Came Down

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On Dec. 21, Memphis lawmakers took down the city's Confederate statues, joining a long list of cities and towns that decided to take down these monuments even as they faced opposition from Republican lawmakers.

Athletes Refused To Stop Kneeling

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After Trump said "get that son of a b*tch off the field" in reference to Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who knelt during the national anthem, athletes responded by staging even more kneeling protests to let the president know they would not back down.

Honeybees Numbers Went Up

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Honeybees are an essential part of our ecosystem because they pollinate 90 percent of our crops. Their numbers rose in 2017 after being on the decline, which is amazing news for the environment.

Virginia Elected Its First Openly Trans Lawmaker

When Virginia elected openly trans lawmaker Danica Roem, the victory was meaningful not just because it was historic, but also because Roem beat the anti-LGBTQ incumbent. She'll take office on Jan. 8.

A Dad Had His BBC Interview Interrupted By His Very Cute Kids

Live interviews with political analysis are usually serious affairs, but the little girl who interrupted her dad's live BBC interview in March brought us all some much-needed levity.

Saudi Arabia Is Allowing Women To Drive

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Saudi Arabia's leader King Salman announced in September that women would be allowed to get driver's licenses starting in June 2018 in a huge win for women's rights worldwide.

Students In Florida Started A Club To Make Sure No One Ate Lunch Alone

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As a kid, I often worried I wouldn't have anyone to sit with in the cafeteria, which is why this story warms my heart so much. A group of high school students in Florida started a club to make sure no one would ever have to eat lunch alone.

Australia Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

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On Dec. 7, Australia voted to legalize same-sex marriage, overcoming years of opposition from conservative lawmakers and allowing LGBTQ couples to finally have their marriages recognized.

The Internet Banded Together To Help A Chicken Nugget Lover

When Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy's how many retweets he needed for a year of free nuggets, it told him 18 million. He didn't reach his goal, but more than three million people helped his tweet become the most-retweeted post of all time (and he still got a year of free nuggets).

Trash Dove

Trash Dove is probably the most 2017 thing that could've happened to us. I mean, look at how frantic the pigeon looks. Can't you relate? I'm hoping that 2018 will bring too many good things to keep track of, but even if it's awful, we know we can survive it after getting through 2017.