This has been a weird year where it’s felt like we’ve had to fight constantly to stop from sliding backwards.

On the bright side, my hometown finally got rid of our confederate monument, something I don’t think any of us really thought would happen. It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things but I think it gave people hope that the entrenched problems here might be changeable. That whole thing was surreal because our downtown looked like it was prepared for a war and white nationalists showed up from other states. I’m proud of how we forced the community to stop the historical forgetting and actually grapple with our history even if just for a moment.

This year I went viral twice on Twitter, first for tweeting about white nationalism in Christian textbooks and then again for tweeting about how evangelicals don’t really have a problem with adult men pursuing teen girls like Roy Moore did. My Roy Moore thread turned in to an op-ed in the LA Times and a follow-up piece for Religion News Service. Going viral turned into more interviews than I can count, including the front page of my local paper, which is surreal because normally what I do online is separate from my life here.

It’s weird because after talking about all of this for so long, because of what’s happening in American politics, people are finally listening. I’m glad that I’ve got the combination of institutional knowledge and education that allows me to answer some of the questions people are asking about how we got to this point, but it’s so surreal to see so many parts of my past life becoming relevant.

Edited to add, this year has been so weird that I totally forgot about getting hit by a hurricane even though it was a big, stressful event. The day before Irma hit, we were staring down the possibility of a direct by a Category 5 storm and my parents and I were like, “are we doing the right thing not getting out of town?” and fully expecting to be without power for a month. It’s a dodged bullet that things weren’t nearly as bad as they could have been, but we can’t close out the year and forget that Puerto Rico is still living through their worst case hurricane scenario and it’s been compounded by federal government neglect and incompetence.

Here’s hoping that 2018 is boring and uneventful.

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Published by Kathryn Brightbill

I was born at a very young age.

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