We all know that 2016 wasn’t exactly the best but whilst the papers continue to bombard us with pessimistic headlines about what’s to come, I feel oddly positive. Is the country’s economy heading for the shitter? Maybe. Is the most influential country in this world really going to be led by a tangerine-coloured buffoon? Unfortunately, yes. What will a post-EU Britain look like? God knows and at this point we’re all questioning if it’s even going to happen at all. Will the world implode? Probably not.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts on here, you’ll know that on a personal level, 2016 was pretty rocky but sitting here on the 1st January 2017, it’s dawned on me that I have grown in more ways than I ever have before and have learnt a huge amount about myself, the world and what I want from life and the strength that comes from that, has filled me with optimism about whatever’s next.
So what have I learnt?
Let’s start with the heavy stuff.
Admitting you need support is not a weakness
If you’ve read this post then you’ll understand why this one came about. I rarely ask for help, whether it be from friends, family or colleagues, mainly because I often feel like I’m burdening others when I do and I’m fiercely independent when it comes to achieving things. Really it boils down to the fact that I try to avoid ever having to rely on other people, probably to avoid being let down. 2016 taught me that it’s ok to put your hands up every now and then and admit that to get over a hurdle, you need some cheerleaders on the side to get you there.
My Dad will never change
The biggest turning point in my life this year was when I posted this about my experiences with my dad. As he does every year, he dumped a box of presents on the doorstep without knocking on the door and sent my sister and I a text after he had left to say they were there. For a man who claims to be so very desperate to see his kids, this behaviour baffles me every year. Presents don’t fix deeply embedded pain – something he has yet to realise. The icing on the cake really happened on New Year’s Eve when my sister received a charming email from him that said if we continue to “choose” not to have contact with him, he’ll consider writing us out his will – his great parenting skills shining through once again. Nice one, Dad! 2016 was the first year I properly dealt with what went on in my family life and 2017 will be the first year that I really try to let it go and find a way for it to stop defining my adult life.
And we can now put the violins away.
Now for the lightish stuff.
I know exactly what I want from friendships
As I get older, the quality over quantity thing becomes more and more apparent. I spent a considerable amount of time with new people in 2016 and by doing so, came to realise exactly who I wanted to spend my time with and developed a strong understanding of the qualities I want in the people I choose to surround myself with. I’ve said this before but going through hardships really highlights who’s really there for you and this past year has highlighted the friends that I know are in it for the long run, whether they like it or not!
I’m insanely proud of my career
I was dating someone in 2016 who claimed that every girl in London seems to work in marketing and surely anyone can do it. Sigh. I would love to offer to do a job swap with him for a day because it made me realise that I have really found my niche with my career and whilst there may well be a large pool of marketing workers in the city (after all the marketing umbrella is huge as there are so many different avenues of the industry), there are few people who could do my specific job as well as me. I’ve worked really hard to build the career I have and fundamentally LOVE what I do, especially for the brand that I am blessed to work for. 2017 is going to bring lots of new challenges my way career wise and I can’t wait to grab the bull by the horns and run with it.
Taking photos makes me really happy
I have used my big camera more in the past year than I have since I got it on my 21st birthday and have absolutely loved using it more. I’m still very amateur but it’s something I want to do a lot more of in 2017. I’m on a one woman mission to learn to use the manual settings more.
The fluffy stuff…
Ditching make up wipes was the best thing I did in 2016
Ok so admittedly I do still use them on the few occasions that I’ve been too inebriated to do a full on face wash BUT 2016 was the year that I nailed my skincare routine. My pal Kate (from the awesome blog Kate La Vie) introduced me to OSKIA earlier this year and gave me a bottle of their Renaissance Cleansing Gel to try. Total. Game. Changer. Shortly after, my friend Dani invited me to a Dermalogica event at Liberty to launch their new Phyto Replenish Oil. Whilst it cost a small fortune, every single time I use it, I get comments about how glowy my skin looks. Between those products and my faithful Origins collection, my skin is happy.
Turning off the blue ticks on Whatsapp is genius
Ever sent a message and blankly stared at the 2 little grey ticks for them to turn blue? Well I have. And when they do and you don’t get a reply, it can be excruciating. Stupid, I know but that’s what modern technology has led us to. A friend of mine turned off his ticks and online status and claimed it was the best thing he had done. I said I’d try it for a day but felt sure that it would drive me more nuts. He’ll love it that I said this, but he was so right. I no longer feel a pressure to reply as soon as I’ve read a message just because I know that they know I’ve read it. So pathetic but social media has created enough pressure for us all so we should make life simpler where we can.
Exercise really does wonders
My sports teachers from school will attest to the fact that me making this statement is nothing short of a miracle but at the beginning of 2016 (and in fact late 2015), I got really fit…and, wait for it, I enjoyed doing it. Whilst I let my gym visits lapse a bit later in the year, I’m all set to get back on it in 2017. My sister and I did a Body Pump class on Christmas Eve to kick it off, which almost killed us both but it reminded me how I felt last year and I am now signed up to a ton of classes for the duration of January. Clear mind. Strong bod. Bloody healthy. I’m on it.
Podcasts are awesome
Late to the party, I know, but over the past few months I have become addicted to listening to various podcasts. I’ve included a list of some of my new favourites below but would LOVE suggestions as to what else to listen to!
- Girl Boss with Sophia Amoruso
- Adulthood Made Easy by Real Simple
- 99% Invisible by Roman Mars
- Why Oh Why by Andrea Silenzi
- Stuff You Should Know
- Undone by Gimlet
- Gilmore Guys
The phrase Carpe Diem should never be disregarded as just a cliché
I often shrug off seize the day-esque saying as being too cheesy to take seriously but this year, especially after the bout of shock celebrity deaths that plagued 2016, I started to think more seriously about it. This year is going to be about experiencing things. Spontaneous trips, spending my time with people I really want to be with, learning new things, looking after my health and doing more for me.
Happy New Year to you all. It’s going to be a good one.