Everyone talks about how awful 2016 has been and though in the world lots of terrible things have happened I have actually had a pretty wonderful year. That's not to say my heart doesn't hurt over events this year and events which will carry on into 2017, the politics of 2016 have been atrocious and I feel for all of those affected by terrorism and war this year. But I feel like I have reflected enough on these things and will go into 2017 trying harder to make a difference where I can.
On a personal standpoint thought 2016 has been an adventure and a pretty amazing one at that.
It's been a year of ridiculous growth, a mountains of growth which started in September 2015 and is just keeping on going. I've learnt and unlearnt so many things about myself and done more than I can even comprehend right now. Things I thought would be challenging I took in my stride and things that I thought would be easy I nearly didn't get through.
Right now, writing this post around Christmas my mind has been all over the place but I do know that I am grateful for thankful for everything 2016 had brought me; good or bad. And despite the last few months of this year being very challenging and me letting myself get back into old bad habits and create brand new ones I'm going into 2017 determined to enjoy it and to be the better person I know I can be.
|gloomy day sunshine|
February was a month of stress, excitement and more stress all rolled into one. I was getting my last minute preparations done for my first big trip. I was a little bit terrified and worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong. I quit my job to get everything finally ready and spent a lot of time making lists and double checking everything. But beyond anything else I was ridiculously excited.
|Sloths, sloths, sloths|
I was in Costa Rica and I was in a Animal Rescue centre looking after sloths. Dreams do come true. Honestly I've never felt like I was meant to be anywhere more and I can happily say that if I could sustain a life just looking after animals I would give up everything. It wasn't plain sailing, lots of people came and went and spending 24/7 surrounded by people wasn't always the easiest for little introvert me but it taught me a lot and I met some pretty awesome people who made me realise a life of travel was one I could sustain.
yoga retreat. Here I was on my own and it was a stark contrast. An emotional roller-coaster is one way I'd describe it but I was in a little piece of paradise.
India and it was exactly what I expected it to be, except I didn't expect to like it quite as much as I did. An experience is one way to describe it and one I would definitely experience again. The food was beyond amazing. The scenery was beautiful. The places I went were awe inspiring. And there were some less pleasant experiences but ones I wouldn't change, like the sleeper train and trying to use a squat toilet on a moving train at 5am.
|Treks in Nepal|
And that's just over half way through the year.
|Cat sitting (video)|
That was until my Birthday which I spent with family, and with a few friends watching Troll Hunter and playing stardew valley (it was a very funny evening and I was very happy).
Reflecting on this year has made me realised how much growth has happened, it's easy to just look back at a small snipped and say "I'm going backwards things are getting worse I'm not improving" but in reality you're just having a small blip. I've come a long way in this last year (it would'e been hard not to) and though the last few months I don't feel like I've been self I can definitely go into 2017 ready for more. I've had a blip and looking back has put together a lot of things that make me truly happy and truly grateful for being alive and having my life, which is why I always like making these post.
There was also so much more I could've talked about, stories to tell, more photos I wanted to re edit. But hey can't do everything at once this is only one post and I'm sure if the stories are meant to be told I'll find an opportunity to one day.
And to end the year, as while writing this I found out about Carrie Fisher and Vera Rubin's deaths, have some quotes. These two women who have been a huge inspiration through my life I will end on some quotes from them.
"Science is competitive, aggressive, demanding. It is also imaginative, inspiring, uplifting." - Vera Rubin.
A quote that I feel definitely fits my first term at uni.
"I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I'm still surviving it, but bring it on" - Carrie Fisher.
This just fits a lot of my year and I can quite honestly say I'm not ashamed of that any more and I'm not afraid to talk about it either.
I hope your 2016 has been wonderful. and if it hasn't I hope that in the very least you have learnt a lot, smiled a lot and met some great people. If it has been none of these things then I hope 2017 brings you more.