Proof That 2016 Wasn't Total Garbage

by Kaitlyn Wylde
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The year 2016 has been rough, to say the least. But, as we look forward to the New Year, let's try to leave the negativity behind and step into 2017 with a good attitude — or the best attitude we can muster. Because, while it might seem like this past year was a year of Murphy's Law, it wasn't actually all bad. Really, not everything went wrong.

There are few things that occurred during the year 2016 that can and should give us hope for the new year, 2017. Trust me: If we gave the positive things in life nearly as much screen time and brain space as we do the negative things, we'd all feel a lot different about this past year. Instead of holding on to the pain, shift your attention and the good stuff will come into focus. In case you can't possibly fathom this to be true, I've put together a list of moments from 2016 that really should give you hope for the future. A lot of these were born from negative happenings, proving us humans have an innate ability and instinct to turn lemons into lemonade. Never forget that.

Here they are:

Hillary Clinton Became The First Female Presidential Nominee

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Regardless of the outcome, Clinton was in the race and more than half of the country was rooting for her. Hopefully, Clinton's strides continue to inspire women around the world in the new year, and years to come.

General Lori Robinson Became The First Woman To Lead Military Combatant Command


As Robinson became the highest ranking female general in history, she showed other women and little girls that there's really nothing we can't do and no history we can't turn around.

Harriet Tubman Slated To Take Over The $20 Bill

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It was announced that Andrew Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill to make room for Harriet Tubman, who will take over the front — and she will be the first black woman to appear on a U.S. bank note in history.

Strides Were Made With The Anti-Tampon Tax


While other countries like France and Canada have already decided to cut the tax on tampons, the U.S. has been slow to warm to the idea. However, in the last year with the help of petitions and a lot of poignant journalism, it looks like we're taking some steps towards cutting the tax in the U.S., starting with New York and Connecticut. Additionally, New York has already passed a bill that will provide free tampons to women in jail or shelters.

No-Retouching Body Positivity Campaigns Became A Thing

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After a decade of high-end digital retouching in the editorial world, brands have begun to step forward as body positive and offer natural advertisements to the public. Underwear brands like Aerie are empowering the natural woman in their new ad campaign and celebrities like Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke posed for Lonely Girls in lingerie with no retouching as well. Even better, Barbie got a make-over to look like the average American woman, and change the way little girls regard their bodies.

The Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Helped

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The social media campaign ended up funding research that became a game-changer in the fight to cure ALS. In the study, scientists were able to pinpoint the gene that contributes to the disease and might be able to use that information to develop therapies.

Victory At Standing Rock

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After endless peaceful protests, pleas, petitions and after much destruction and pain delivered by local authorities, construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline was officially suspended at Standing Rock in North Dakota, preserving safe drinking water, sacred burial sights and the hearts and spirits of all the tribes on the reservation.

The Wage Gap Between Genders Will Start To Close

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In 2016, many stopped being polite about finances and started being real about gender inequality and the wage gap in the workplace. When powerful businesswomen and celebrities stepped forward to stand against their wage discrimination, they sparked a motion of action that will, hopefully, continue to unfold well into 2017.

Children Are Still The Future

When an adorable four-year-old girl named Norah yelled "hi old person!" at an 82-year-old man at the local grocery store, a unsuspected friendship was born. A recent widower, Dan Peterson smiled for the first time since his wife's passing after meeting Norah. Because Norah is apparently an angel on Earth, she asked her mother to bring her to see Dan, and now the two of them hang out in a sort of honorary/magical/heartwarming grandfather/granddaughter way. Hopefully there are more Norah's out there to enrich the future.

It's all uphill from here.

Want to have an awesome 2017? Then check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for tips on how to have the most empowering year yet.