I think we can all agree 2016 was a strange kind of year. Although good and bad things have happened, at times it’s been tempting for all of us to let the negatives outweigh the positives. But sometimes it’s nice to reflect on the moments that bring us joy, happiness and self-discovery. Especially when it seems like a lot of bad things have happened. So, although I’m quite happy to wave goodbye to last year I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the best things that happened to me in 2016…
At the start of 2016 I decided to pick a word for the year, rather than set resolutions. I am not a detailed goal setting kind of person so the idea of picking a word seemed perfect. I liked that I could come back to my word when I needed inspiration but I also wasn’t going to fall off the resolution band-wagon mid January. So it had a built in positivity filter too.
I picked the word ‘explore’ because I felt like I could take it literally i.e. exploring through travel. But I also liked the idea that I could use it to encourage myself to explore myself a little better too. And when I started to think about the best things to happen to me in 2016 I realised ‘explore’ was the perfect word in so many ways.
I travelled to some amazing places
The year kicked off with a determination to travel more and it paid off. I visited so many fantastic cities last year, both in the UK and further afield. What I love about travelling is how it challenges you. Being in countries where you don’t speak the language makes you think differently and definitely makes you more confident. Plus, getting the chance to see what it’s like to live, try new food and soak up the atmosphere in different places is so much fun. Equally exploring my local area more gave me the chance to discover new places I can’t wait to go back to. Everywhere I visited deserves a mention, but some highlights were definitely my road trip through France, my friend’s wedding in Ireland, and the Christmas Markets in Belgium. I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes me.
I realised I have the best family and friends
This isn’t exactly a new thing. But in 2016, I definitely found myself thinking about how lucky I am to have such a wonderful set of family and friends. I made some amazing new friends this year and also had the opportunity to reunite with some old friends. Most of us have friends scattered across the world so, I am extra grateful for the opportunities I have had to spend time with my multi-national friends this year. I have always known that I had a great family and wonderful friends but 2016 reminded me that wherever I go, and whatever I do I always have their love and support. Thank you all, you mean the world to me, I couldn’t do it without you.
I kept blogging
Blogging has not always been the most natural thing for me to do. In fact, when I first started this blog it was often a struggle for me to keep going. There were numerous times I almost gave up for good. I felt uncomfortable with sharing the things that are important to me and I also resisted promoting my content because I didn’t want to seem pushy.
But despite that I have always had a vision of where I wanted The Female Scriblerian to go. I want this to be a positive place where I can share the things that inspire me, and hopefully you. And always, just when I needed it most, one of you would pop up and say that you enjoyed a book I recommended or had decided to give something I’d written about a try. And that renewed my sense of purpose. I’m so grateful that I have this opportunity to share what I enjoy with you all . I want to thank everyone who has kept reading the blog and given me such wonderful feedback. It means a lot.
I pushed myself out of my comfort zone
You’re familiar with the phrase ‘adventure starts at the end of your comfort zone’, right? Well that phrase always sounded ridiculous to me. The idea of actively trying to do things that make yourself uncomfortable seems nuts. But one of the best things that happened to me in 2016 was that I started to challenge my comfort zone. It started with the idea of saying yes to more things. I am a naturally nervous person. But this year I learned that when I don’t second guess myself I usually end up achieving, experiencing or doing something great. Saying yes meant I got to travel more, make new friends and discover new interests. And (the big one) it gave me the courage to take a really huge leap in 2017. Which brings us to the next point…
I chased a dream, and achieved it
For the longest time I have wanted to move to a new city. But for a whole host of reasons, including fear, I have never done it. In 2016 I finally ran out of reasons not to chase my dream of moving. So, I decided to finally take the plunge and move to Belfast! I am moving in the first week of January and so I should really be packing right now, instead of typing these words! I am so excited. Not only to take the next step in my career but to explore everything that Belfast has to offer. By taking baby steps and pushing myself out of my comfort zone I finally achieved one of my biggest goals!
All in all, despite some pitfalls along the way, last year was pretty great! Thank you for that 2016.