Husna Miskander/Unsplash

Just after Christmas, my future sister-in-law sent me a message that contained the following phrase:

"Hopefully we've all met our quota for bad sh*t and the good sh*t begins."

Obviously, the universe took that as a challenge and snatched Betty White (gee thanks, sis!) so that didn't quite work out ... but she was onto something with the thought.

I spent 2021 writing about 2021 stuff ... which, let's be honest, was pretty intense.

From a news and current events standpoint, the year was like... like if a flaming dumpster was somehow swept up in a flash flood. Then that flash flood deposited the aforementioned dumpster into a toxic waste dump.

Dumpster-flames then ignited the dump itself; so now it's a whooooole site full of nuclear flames and toxic runoff - which triggers a swarm of murder-butterflies who use their wings to give you little papercuts in the webbing between your fingers.

Intense. 2021 was intense - but it wasn't ALL BAD.

We met our negativity quota, so let's start the year with an article that takes a different angle on things.

Reddit user UKnowWhat_UrAwesome asked:

"What is the most positive thing that happened to you this year?"

Cheers to these folks. And To Betty, who was always a positive thing happening to people.

To Health!

In Love Reaction GIF Giphy

"Lost 107 pounds through diet, got my heart condition mostly under control, got only mild COVID."

"I have a genetic heart condition that really needed to be controlled. I was going through old pictures and was shocked."

"I started counting calories and going to the gym 3 days a week to lift weights with a personal trainer. I went from 290 down to 183."

- PoetBakerSlut

"This makes my cardiac nurse heart happy! Best wishes on continuing with your healthy lifestyle!"

- proximitysensor


propose the mindy project GIF by HULU Giphy

"Asked my girlfriend's dad for permission to marry his daughter."

"He not only said yes; he said he could not imagine a man who could be better suited to marry his daughter, and to be called his son."

"He's a wood worker, and made the most beautiful ring box for us."

"Asking him was stressful, but for me asking her brother for permission to ask her out, was scarier than asking her dad for permission to marry her."

"So background, me and her brother are good friends, so I wanted to make sure he was okay with it. His words left me about speechless too 'Yeah, go for it, I've been waiting for a gentleman to take interest in her.' "

"It's been incredibly humbling how her family treats me, to them I was never the boyfriend or fiancée. To them I'm already part of the family, even the extended family treats me like kin."

- CaptnRiggen

Getting Out

Sad Alyssa GIF by Big Brother Giphy

"I got out of a relationship that was destroying my mental health."

"If I had stayed I can 100% say for certain that I would not be here today. I hate saying that because you shouldn’t blame suicidal thoughts on anyone - but my ex was emotionally manipulative and I’m still figuring out everything he did to me."

"It's the way that they make you think that everything happening is your fault somehow. I don’t understand why people feel the need to mentally destroy others."

"Honestly I think a lot of his issues stem from not getting enough attention from his mom as a child as well as major health problems. So dependency issues were a major problem for sure."

"I was in that relationship for 4.5 years and didn’t realize what he was doing to me until the last year and a half. By the time I was finally able to leave him I was a shell of who I was."

"I do hope he gets whatever help he needs, but I couldn't keep being his whipping post. I had to free me."

"I’m definitely getting counseling. I signed up for therapy legit right before I left my ex."

- Cheeserblaster

"As someone who is trying to walk away from an emotionally abusive person, I know that it’s not easy to leave. I’m glad you found the strength within yourself to save yourself."

- the_catw0man

Silver Linings

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"A tree crushed my car, but I had insurance and I got a nicer car out of it."

- staggere

"And that’s big 2021 energy!"

- ifindmyselfinthepast

"Silver linings!"

"Love it - and love your outlook! Always best to focus on the positive side"

- UKnowWhat_UrAwesome

"Did you get a new tree though?"

- PoetBakerSlut

"I have two trees and that's about all I have room for, apparently."

- staggere

Like A Recent Parolee

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"I got fired from my job 2 weeks ago. For sending a resume’ to another restaurant."

"It was so toxic. I’m pretty broke but I feel like I’m a recent parolee!!"

"The whole thing was really sh*tty."

"The restaurant I worked at was sold. I’ve been there for over two years. The new manager didn’t like me and stop seating me tables. So my money dropped in half."

"It was a great place till this lady took over. Of course I was struggling gleefully having to jump on board with her insane ideas. So she wanted me gone."

"After a few weeks of this I could no longer sustain myself. I was forced into sending a résumé."

"The owner of that restaurant called up the owner of my restaurant and they called me up and fired me together."

"I relish kicking back now and reading all the terrible reviews about the place. LOL"

- palmveach1972

You need to contact a lawyer."

"You can’t be fired for sending out CVs and anything that is on a CV is with discretion so that other prick that rang your boss needs to be nailed to a f*cking tree, the scumbag!"

- The-Angry-Paddy

"Check with a lawyer; that may be grounds for unjust termination."

"Even if it's an 'at will' state. 'At will' doesn't mean you can be fired at any time for any reason; it just means it's easier for the employer to fire you."

"There's still (sh*tty) labor laws that restrict what you can be fired for."

- EmeraldN

This Amazing Adventure

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"I started a business with a few co-workers from my previous job."

"2020 was horrible. We had to take awful jobs and clients and still were in debt."

"2021 we landed our first big client. Not only were we in the green, but all the partners have salary and profit dist. that was above what we were making at our old job!"

"Our last meeting before the holiday break were spent talking about hiring employees, medical and benefits, etc. It's like I'm on this amazing adventure."

- shaka_sulu

A Real Hero

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"I am a single mother of 3, with a full time job, no child support or alimony."

"I bought a house on my own."

"It's not the most modern or upgraded home, but it's clean, safe, and has plenty of room for us. It's all mine."

"I bought the house with my own money and didn't need a cosigner."

- cinnamonbagel82

"That is awesome!"

- fire_fairy_

"You're a real life hero!"

- [Reddit]



"I was trying to immigrate when the pandemic hit, so I got stuck in a different country away from my wife and kids for over a year."

"After a very long wait with almost no updates, the consulate opened back up and I was able to get my visa and cross the border as a landed immigrant!"

"We sold our old house and now have a bigger house with no mortgage."

"I also lost 60 lbs."

- Ljudet-Innan

"Fantastic news! I’m happy things are looking up for you & your family!"

- anna_bananas56

25 Again

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"Had spine surgery to correct the injuries from a car crash back in 2017."

"For the past 4 years my legs and bladder would give out randomly. However, since I didn't have the terrible back pain the rest of the world is obsessed with no 'expert' or surgeon would even bother trying to help me."

"Finally found a surgeon who had seen my symptomology before and he said he could help me. Wow was he right lol!"

"Now my legs work again and so does 'everything else' haha!"

"I'll be 40 in Feb and I feel like my gift is feeling 25 again!"

- madg0dsrage0n

Alien Lizard Upgrades

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"My kid was born at the end of 2020."

"I thought my kid looked normal when she was born, but old pictures make me realize it was mom hormones and she actually looked like an alien, so 2021 has been all about watching her grow from alien lizard to a walking talking toddler."

"The birth was super extra traumatic for me because she did gymnastics in the womb and got tied up in the umbilical cord and couldn't come out. They had to cut her out (after 36 hours of labor), and the doctor said it was like fighting Cthulu because she had got her arms, feet, torso and everything wrapped up in the cord."

"So 2021 was me healing from all the trauma. I could barely walk for two weeks after the birth, and now I'm finally back to exercising. I used to get panic attacks from the nurse taking my blood pressure, and now I'm back to normal."

"Also I read a book that made me rethink my approach to work and life, and found a new therapist for my adhd, and things have been a lot better!"

- sensitiveinfomax

Actual Possibilities

Happy Brandy Norwood GIF by Disney+ Giphy

"I started anti-depressants!"

"I didn't think they were working until I realized I wasn't just sitting around staring at the wall every day like I used to. I have hobbies again, and my thoughts aren't constantly about self harm!"

"It's been an incredible change, and even though I know I now have to make other changes in my life, it all actually feels possible now."

- Sea-Biscotti

Bringing Life Back

House Reaction GIF by MOODMAN Giphy

​"We (fiancé and I, 32m and 30m) moved into our forever house on top of the hill in our village."

"It had been empty for 2 years and not shown much sign of life for a few years before that."

"Together we brought the house back to life and everyone we've spoken to in the village has been so excited to see the house lived in!"

- Consistent_Welcome_6

Now that we know what went right for Reddit, it's your turn at the mic. Tell us what went right for you in 2021 so we can celebrate your wins.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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