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Thursday, 15 December 2016

What I've Learnt From 2016

Untitled At the end of every year before that midnight countdown to the New Year, my best friend always sums up the year. Usually she'll say it's been a bad one that she wants to forget - the next year will be the year. And just yesterday a colleague said the same. When I questioned it, she remarked how it had been a bad year - politically mainly mixed in with a plethora of other bad moments. Whilst I'm not disputing that at all, heck the general election back in May did dent my soul a little, I don't like to dwell on the negatives. So whilst 2016, you haven't been perfect, so what, neither am I. Yet again, despite everything, I've had the best year.

2016's taught me balance.

I remember in years previously, I'd let my job consume me. Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I've been here over four years now so something must be right. But, it was mainly all I thought about. Whereas 2016 has showed me to take a step back come clocking off. To let it leave my mind come the weekend and really enjoy that precious time with the ones I love. To not let any stresses from the previous week affect me or them. And to really work my arse off when it comes to the 9-5. Do I think I have the balance 100% right yet? Definitely not. Whilst I've figured out the work side of things, whilst I hate to take a downturn, I need to invest more time in my life I've neglected. Manchester can be a little bubble sometimes that I regretfully overlook certain aspects of my life. So that's one resolution to make...

It's taught me how to let go.

Something I always used to do, but there's a famous saying somewhere that by holding on to something damaging it actually does you more harm than the person or situation inflicting it. It's like grasping a hot coal, you'll just get burned. Now, 99% of things don't faze me anymore. I feel like you get to a point in your life where you've been through enough sh** to really be able to put things into perspective and deal with every upcoming situation with a calm mind. Always ask yourself if it matters? Should I be worrying about this? Where will it get me? Can I change the situation? I'm not the queen of cool just yet but my PMA is something I get told I have on the daily and something I won't be stopping anytime soon.

And how to let my walls down.

Whilst every now and then people joke, and I hope they're joking, when they say I'm an 'ice queen', I like to think I know how to let my walls down. I never used to, for a while I felt nothing. But luckily I have enough strong and loving characters in my life to never allow that. Now I'll spend hours and hours with people talking about life with someone or go round to someone's house because either I need some needy time or vice versa. I'll more frequently text someone the world's longest compliment or write someone an emotional card and yeah, being 'in touch with your emotions' is a risk, but as Demi Lovato once said: "I'd rather feel every emotion in the world than nothing at all."

It's taught me strength and teamwork.

From emotional to physical, the saying 'mind over matter' has been a go-to source of inspiration for me. When we signed up to do the 10K or the Three Peaks Challenge, from the training to execution, I only got through it with my sidekicks. Whilst I'd manage to train for the run 70% solo, when it came to the big day and I didn't think I could finish it, my friends kept me going. Just like when we approached the final mountain in Yorkshire. It looked unclimbable and when I said yes, I had no idea this 'walk' would actually involve us scaling such a hill but despite everything we did it. And actually smashed most of our targets.

And to never give up.

Earlier this year I got promoted. I wanted it for a while. My boss cried when she told me and it was such a relief. I'd always been vocal about not wanting to leave so being able to stay and get my teeth stuck into the next level was the dream. It was also right before my birthday which always makes for a great month.

It's taught me to say yes to every opportunity.

In school I was the shy girl. The one that never put her hand up or was vocal about anything. I'd say not to most things. I have no idea who that person is now. My life has completely 180-D. Now I've tried and will try most things. And it's opened my eyes to a more vivid world.

It's taught me loyalty.

As a Cancer star sign, we're notoriously loyal. I'd like to think aside from my birth date, I'd still be that but it's an attribute I stand by. And something this year that others have always showed me. I have a few people in my life that in my eyes I don't frankly deserve, yet they continue to stand by me and it bemuses me. Obviously I don't take it for granted, I'm writing about it right now but 2016 has definitely showed me that despite having a catalogue of friends, I know who my call at 3am, turn up at their house and be there through anything guys and girls are. And I'm pretty lucky for that.

But most of all it's taught me how to have a bloody good time.

I can't recall many nights of 2016 I've stayed in. I used to love staying in. But because my life is so active now, juggling my work, social and personal life, the minute I don't have plans it does make me feel a little off. Which I know I need to work on, but this year I have not stopped. I've said yes to everything, met some amazing people, achieved a lot, partied my arse off, drank probably way too much and laughed uncontrollably every single day. My phone's full of too many photos, videos, messages and memories. I've had zero hangovers which I'm not sure how I've got away with but the late nights, the drunken stories, the sore feet, and the tired eyes were worth every second. I'm very blessed to be surrounded by amazing people and be given great opportunities. So despite all of the sh** you've brought my way 2016, you didn't break me. Here's to another 365 days of laughter, love and everything else in between.

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