If you haven't walked past a calendar recently, you might not know that it is the end of the year. If you haven't been on the internet recently, you also might not know that 2016 has been a bit of a shit year for a lot of people. Now for me, personally, it hasn't been terrible, there have been some rough patches, but there have been some pretty awesome ones too. Taking a step back from me [because you know, its not all about me all the time] looking at the world around me, I get it. We have lost people, we have seen a changing political landscape, the environment has changed around us right before our very eyes. There has been war, and death, and senseless violence. Its been a big year. I have drunk a lot of wine this year. But hey, any excuse for champagne right?
And yet, here I am. Reflecting as I move into a new phase, and I am choosing, whether naively or not, to focus on the good that has come out of 2016. It means putting on the blinkers a little bit, to reflect on my personal journey over the last year, but you know, I'm okay with that. This year has been a year of ups and downs. But over the course of the rollercoaster, it has taught me to be thankful for the ups, because they have the ability to define the time around us, and its pretty magical.
2016 has been a year where I started a new job, doing something I am truly passionate about. It has been a year where I have been challenged by people, by situations, and by ideologies, but those challenges have meant that I have become even stronger in my convictions of who I am and what I believe in. I
It was a year that saw me buy my first bikini as an adult and rock the hell out of it on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii. It was the year of Champagne and whiskey [okay, so most years are whiskey years... but it was the year of expensive and delicious whiskey]. I stopped blogging, I started blogging. I took a break from writing and it reminded me that I fucking love to write, and that I should be doing it because it brings me joy. I joined a gym that I love, I felt the addiction coming back, and then I stopped. It was a timely lesson that I shouldn't be scared of the gym, or fitness, or feeling the endorphins that come from exercise. Its something that I enjoy, and I love pushing myself, so that is going to continue into the new year without a doubt.
I saw amazing bands play amazing music. I photographed special moments when people confessed their love for one another. I planned a wedding, I got married to the love of my life, I gained another family. I got the biggest surprise of my life when my best friend and mum arrived in Melbourne without telling me. I learnt that people care deeply for me, and the ones that do are worth so much more than the ones that feel obliged to be there. It has been a year that has allowed me to strengthen existing friendships and build new ones with amazing people that have kind and generous hearts. Its also shown me that friends can change, that people can change, and that sometimes its better to say goodbye than to have your heart broken repeatedly. Its made me realise that I no longer have the time, energy, or frankly the motivation to continue on with one sided friendships. Life is to short to give myself to people who only have time for me when they need something. It sounds like a shitty lesson to learn, but it was a fucking important one.
At times, I made mistakes, but fuck it, I learnt from most of them. The mistakes led me to where I am right now. They taught me things, even if my heart wasn't open to the lessons. I found a skincare routine that I love, and that I have actually stuck too. Lord have mercy! I started a gratitude practice and it served me well. I ate brunch with friends, I ate brunch alone. I saw new parts of this country and of other countries. I jumped of the side of a hill and ziplined through a valley, something I thought I never would do in a hundred years. I opened my eyes to the possibility of something beautiful happening, and even when it didn't present itself to me, I went out of my way to find the beauty. Because sometimes you just have to change the direction of your gaze to find it.
Reflecting is always a good exercise. It's humbling, and it put things in perspective. Despite the year that was, I am honestly looking forward to closing the book on 2016. It has been a big year. But a new year brings new opportunity, and new changes that might scare the crap out of me, but will challenge me, develop me and strengthen me. I never make resolutions. They aren't really my style, because I tend to just flake off around February like the rest of the population. But you know, I have plans, and some goals. I like to think of them as 365 targets, because they vary within the long and short term, and everything in between really. But thats for later...