Because if it’s not real, what’s the point?!
It was the year dubbed the worst year ever, with Brexit, Trump and Honey G taking the media by storm. Though, with an end to 2016 and the start of a New Year, it seems apt to reflect on the last twelve months and what 2016 has meant to me.
I began 2016 in quite a sad state, though, lovely setting in Gran Canaria with Adam enjoying a nice chilled holiday.
Though, our hearts weren’t quite in it, having lost our cat of ten years, Frisky (whom we treated like our own child) a little while before Christmas. The holiday was more of an escape; an altered environment from our somewhat empty home, than a well planned holiday.
On the flight out to Gran Canaria, Adam and I got chatting to the guy sitting next to us and spoke about lots of random things. It transpired, our flight buddy, Simon Pearce was a former west end star, pals with the likes of Liza Minnelli (he didn’t tell us that on the flight – I Googled him after). Simon told us how his life got turned upside down due to family tragedy and being diagnosed with ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), though, his positive outlook on life got him through it. Simon’s words of wisdom made me reflect on my own life and stuck with me throughout the holiday. Talking to someone as inspirational and real as him couldn’t have come at a better time.
Holidays sure work wonders and I came back stronger, ready to throw myself into my work and find some focus. I took on tasks in my day job that fell outside my normal role, even worked on them during evenings and weekends. I was determined to improve my area of work, in which I have oversight on a panel of surveying firms and worked hard to interact with these firms more than ever before to increase audit performance, despite increasing my own workload.
With more of a professional outlook to mask the emotional roller-coaster that my life had been in 2015, not only losing my cat but witnessing my longest best friend (since lower school) battle breast cancer and kick it’s ass (I must add!), work and my work colleagues became central to my life. Work mates became work family and were there to offer emotional support when I needed it and banter, nights out when I wanted to let my hair down.
Spending eight hours a day, five days a week at work, more time than I spend at home, it was refreshing to spend time with people that not only appreciate my crude, sarcastic sense of humour but love nothing more than dancing the night away on a night out.
Known for my sarcastic humour and love for a good-time, my work family as they became were probably not so aware of my vulnerable side. In fact even my closest friends, rarely see that as I’m quite introverted and can often work through things on my own (typical Virgo worrier, spending my life mulling things over in my head.)
With a very small family of my own, it made me realise that it’s often those you least expect that are there during tough times. Inspiration can also come from places you least expect, like my flight to Gran Canaria and working my ass off outside normal working hours to distract and motivate myself.
*Quote Credit – Albus Dumbledore*
From a personal perspective, 2016 became a reflective year and made me realise having some focus on things I enjoy doing can get me through the toughest of times.
It also made me rediscover my love of writing and combined with my desire to get myself out of slumber and feeling sorry for myself, I finally began exploring the blog login details I’d initially created the year before. I’ve always loved writing, it goes without saying from this post I’m no J.K Rowling, though, I’ve always found it easier to express myself in writing. After writing reviews on TripAdvisor for years (something I love), I had never before had the confidence to write on my own website as I’d always worried about what others would think (she’s showing off, too old for a blog etc.) But, I can honestly say I love it! I’ve self taught my way through it all, learning lots of new things such as HTML coding and even managed to add snowflakes to make my blog page to make it look a bit more Christmassy!
Not that I’m sure how to remove the snowflakes, now Christmas is over…!!!
Blogging has presented so many new opportunities for me to attend events, try new products and make some lovely blogging friends.
It’s given me a new lease of life and I only wish I’d started it sooner. Prior to this year, one of the only places I went on my own was to the gym, therefore to have the confidence to attend blogging events on my own in London is something I never thought I’d be able to do. To see my social media stats increase and more interaction with my blog over the last few months has been incredible. Though, my blog page does not quite look how I want it to and I’m in the process of sorting out a new look page for the new year, I am incredibly proud of all I have achieved this year.
Of course none of this would have been possible without the support of my ever patient boyfriend Adam. Our home life got back to normal in the summer, when I surprised Adam with two baby bunnies, which we called Buzz & Woody. We weren’t ready for another cat after Frisky and we weren’t sure how affectionate the bunnies would be, though, they wowed us with their personalities and have cuddles in front of the TV with us every evening.
The bunnies, new found confidence in myself and starting my blog page have not been the only highlights for me in 2016. Adam and I had a fabulous holiday in San Francisco using our flying miles; somewhere we had always wanted to go *read about it here.*
One of our favourite pastimes together is sunny days bike riding with the wind in our hair and stopping for cider breaks! This featured heavily in our summer evening schedule!
Reconnecting with old friends as if you’d never been apart (including my bestie Kunks, who lives out in Barcelona), as well as random days out remains to be one of my favourite pastimes. I love days out and treating my nearest and dearest. Together we’ve enjoyed gigs, afternoon teas, meals out and fun days in London.
There’s no doubt the last couple of years, not just 2016 has been tough for either myself or those around me and boy have we lost so many icons this year: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince and George Michael to name a few.
Life can be cruel, but it can also be kind and sometimes you just have to find the strength within yourself to lift yourself back up.
As Jareth, played by the late and great David Bowie sings in Labyrinth:
“It’s only forever, not long at all…life can be easy, it’s not always swell”
In all honesty, for me 2016 has been a year of reflection of the hardships and lessons learned in 2015 – i.e. be thankful for every day and truly love those closest to you, including yourself. As a friend I am always there for my nearest and dearest during hard times, though this year I have been able to focus on my own happiness. Not only that, 2016 has been a year of growth in a number of aspects of my life: improving my confidence, career prospects, working on my blog and I am hopeful for the future (or at the very least a little stronger and more prepared than I was entering 2016…!)
Next year I’m going to be rocking out to my idols Guns n Roses with my mother! I can’t wait to see Guns n Roses live and never thought I’d get the opportunity to see them – bring on 2017!
I am spending New Year’s Eve with my work family and given they have been a huge part of my 2016, it will be great to toast 2017 in with them and Adam of course!
Thanks for reading (or skimming) my 2016 recap and for sharing 2016 with me 🙂 …! Below is my 2016 in pictures…
What are your plans for NYE? However you plan to see in the new year, I wish you a happy one!
Happy New Year!!!