Goodbye, 2016! Nationally and internationally, presidential and brexi(t)stential politics dominated the media spotlight for the better part of a year and legendary musicians have laid down on their death beds (even Fidel Castro has waved goodbye!); it’s safe to say- it has been cataclysmic. Constant memes, videos and images on Facebook suggest that 2016 hasn’t been the best. Despite everything, 2016 has been one of my favourite years thus far. Here are some of its highlights:
- Moving into my new house in Exeter with people who make me smile everyday
- Travelling to 8 different countries (Spain*5, Cuba, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Denmark)
- Fulfilling my goals of work experience and actual work
- Generally, being HAPPIER
- Finding my love for yoga
- Being alongside my boyfriend whilst he APPLIED and WAS ACCEPTED into Pilot school!
- Becoming Features Editor for Exeposé and writing for so many other publications
- Winning the Telegraph travel writing competition
- Beginning my TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages) Trinity certificate and discovering my love for teaching
- Staying Veggie
- Being in a concert
- Getting Braids!
- Meeting new friends and staying in touch with old ones
- Reading my poetry at the poetry place in Covent Garden
- Taking part in the Basket Brigade and helping the homeless
- Being positive about the present and all that the future has to bring…
A note to my readers…
As we approach 2017 maybe you forgot how blissfully calming that first sip of tea in the chilly mornings could be. Or how perfectly cozy you felt curled up and sleepy under your soft, warm quilt. Or the smell of old books, new books, BOOKS. Your cat snuggling in your lap and falling asleep soft happy purrs comforting your soul. Your mom’s cooking, a whiff you catch on your way past the kitchen. Your mom’s smile. The excitement waiting for the delivery man and that rush in your happy heart when the doorbell finally rings.
Long telephone conversations with your boyfriend/ girlfriend or best friend who’s miles away, the joy in telling every little detail about the changes in your life. Candid pictures capturing genuine, heartfelt smiles. Old photographs. Walking by the tall bookshelves in an old library that has forever, its romantic charm. Walks under the moonlit sky in your favourite jumper, rubbing your palms to keep your cold fingers warm. The smell of the earth that follows the first rains. Dew falling off young, green leaves. Waking up to the sunrise. Falling asleep to soft music.
Pampering yourself, indulging in yourself, splurging on yourself. Brunch with your friends. That genuine, elated smile on your friend’s face on opening a carefully, thoughtfully planned birthday gift.
Finding good new music. Finding an old favorite song. Finding an old birthday gift that you’d kept away in a secret place to come across later. New, pretty notebooks you vow to write all your wild thoughts and record all your favorite new memories in.
Creating memories. Traveling to a new place that excites you and your every sense. Taking risks, the exhilaration that accompanies it. Realizing how absolutely lucky and fortunate you are for just being alive and healthy.
And you thought being happy is difficult.
Make yourself the center of your world and care for yourself the way you care about the people you love. Go the extra mile you’ve gone for so many other people in your life, but this time go the distance for yourself.
Good luck everyone, make this year count.
Student Journalist, Creative Writer, Poet, Traveller, Eco Warrior