Saturday, 31 December 2016
There's no doubt that 2016 has been a defining year for everyone. We've seen a tumultuous rift in politics and grieved heavily for many talented icons. It's been a year of uncertainty, confusion, and a rise in the demand for change.
I can honestly say that, despite all the hard times the world has seen this year, my own personal bubble of 2016 hasn't been bad at all. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's been one of the best years yet. The past twelve months have absolutely flown past, but here's some of the things I've enjoyed in 2016:
My job - I've learnt over the past year that finding a job you can tolerate is entirely different than finding a job that you genuinely enjoy, and the simple concept of liking your job is actually a well sought-after luxury indeed. I'm very happy to admit that I love my job. I don't get Sunday night anxiety and I don't shy away from talking about my work. I think I've achieved a lot in my first twelve months with the company and I am excited to see what happens this year.
Live music - This year I completed one of my goals which was to see more bands perform live. I've always liked music but sometimes have struggled to actually make any plans around it. This year I've been to a few festivals, including Icebreaker, Common People, IOW, Victorious and Southsea Fest. I've seen some awesome bands including Blossoms, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Queen, The Who, Primal Scream and Noel Gallagher, as well as countless local bands.
I've come to realise this year that spending a Friday night in a sticky pub watching a local band I've never heard of is actually one of my favourite things to do, and I plan to do even more of it in 2017.
Writing - This one is a tricky one. At the beginning of 2016 I had big ambitions to develop my online presence and start creating content for my blog on a much more regular basis. That totally didn't work out (oops). Instead, I started writing for a local company, Strong Island, and I've never really looked back.
Being a part of a creative team that focuses on all things local to Portsmouth and Southsea has been a great source of inspiration for me this year. I've met some beautiful people, been involved in some fun projects, and generally had a blast writing for them. This year I'm going to try and up my game and contribute a little more.
(If you're interested, you can read my contributions here.)
Saving money - Not the most exciting to some I imagine, but for my this is one of the things I'm most proud of this year. I spent most of 2015 juggling internships, unpaid work experience, and badly paid retail jobs. This year has been the first year since graduating university that I've had a steady income and I really did try and make the most of it. I didn't want to limit myself from having a good time, but I also had a goal in mind of how much I wanted to save.
Lots of people shy away from talking about money as it's such a taboo subject. This year I discovered The Financial Diet - a website dedicated to personal finance and living better (without being boring). It's full of advice from real people who are dedicated to shaking off the 'money taboo' and I think it's really awesome.
Travelling - 2016 saw me travel to some great places and start to really tick things off my bucket list. I swam in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. I Instagrammed my heart out in Lisbon. I wandered the Christmas markets of Bath, Winchester, and London. I drank wine and ate ice cream by the beautiful Cornish seaside.
Each year I say I'd like to explore more of the UK, and I really do mean it. It's been mentioned once or twice that I need to leave my southern bubble and venture a little further north of England. Hopefully 2017 will be the year it finally happens.
So that's a little snapshot of my year. I'm not making any hard and fast new year's resolutions this time. I have a couple of things in mind that I'd quite like to achieve this year, but I'm not going to beat myself up if they don't happen. I'm just happy in the knowledge that I worked hard and played hard this year, and I will probably continue to do so in the years to come.
So after all that, 2016, you really weren't so bad.
Happy new year everyone.