Twenty Bloody Sixteen.
What a year eh?
I know so many people have been lamenting about 2016 being the worst thing ever and you dont even have to question me on the fact theres been so many awful things happening this year that I wouldn’t even know where to start writing them down. Sometimes I dread opening my Twitter in the morning just to see whats going on and I’ve had more dead celebrity news notifications I’ve become pretty numb to it all.
We all had a good chuckle when Kylie Jenner said 2016 was about realising stuff, but damn even though it sounds dumb as hell for me it really was about... realising... stuff.
I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the year that this year was about me, sorting myself out and working on myself on a emotional level. I was allowed to choose my own path, I was allowed to do my own thing and I was allowed to not be so hard on myself. I’d been through some pretty traumatic years leading up to this point and it was about time I let myself feel the feelings that I was avoiding so much up to this point and just you know… let myself deal with them.
Selfishness is a very common theme in my life, and its something I’d like to work on but I also think its part of my own sense of self. I know that I lack empathy a lot of the time and often i’d only ever think about myself and how I feel or what I wanted to do and not about how others might feel too. That had all squished up into a big ball of nothingness - But mainly how different from I thought I felt was compared to how I actually felt. I’d repressed so much of my life for so long that I didn’t quite know where I was supposed to be, who I wanted to be and where I was actually going. Being a super self aware person is something that I dont know if its a good or a bad thing.
Fighting through the feelings of guilt and unrest for not doing things that I felt I should do was the theme of the latter half of 2016 and that really put me in a strange ol’ headspace. I’ve never been a career focused person, but now I sort of hate the fact I'm not career driven. Despite it being something that I’d not really cared too much about before, it’s something that I'm learning to embrace and its about time I kicked it up a notch. I want to feel like I'm doing well again and that's going to be a huge theme for me going into the new year. I dont really like to set goals but I do have enough self belief that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and it’s about time I did exactly that. I love creating so much but Youtube can often feel formulaic as there's a certain look or feel videos have to have to do well or be popular these days. But I need to get over that feeling of making stuff in a certain way to appeal to certain audiences and just create without feeling restricted by a platform. I think I need to get back into the mindset of “is this video something I’d watch”.
However I do feel like this year was the year I stopped focusing on my online life and lived my real one. I’ve been blogging for almost 7 years now, which in internet years makes me an OAP. I’ve seen the landscape change so dramatically over the years I’d had periods of wondering if there is still a place for me on the internet. I’ve never really cared about numbers but I what do care about being useful and having something to offer. And while showing a bunch of clothes you bought on the internet doesn’t sound like it’s helpful hearing peoples stories about how they bought something I suggested in a video and they got compliments on it makes me feel good. I want to make that a huge focus for me going forward and focus on being helpful rather than adhering to some unwritten rule book.
When i lived in London I felt like I lived so much of my life online. Everything I did was a blog post or something I could post on my social media. My camera or phone barely left my hand at any point. I felt like a lot of the time I stopped living the moment and started living for the insta. Since moving to Brighton and meeting people who aren’t all about social media I realised that their is life beyond what you see on your iPhone screen. And as much as I love my pals from London dont get me wrong (I still love you so much if you read this!), I’d just started to presume that was the norm, and was what everyone did. My life had been warped so much by seeing all these people living their best lives all the time I felt like I’d lost touch with actual irl people. I think its the creator's prerogative if they choose to portray their life in a certain way they see fit online but with my refreshed look on life I started to sort of resent it.
I found it really interesting on one of my trips to my parents earlier this year and took some time to look at my good friends from home’s social media and it was interesting that some of them their last Instagram was posted 14 weeks ago. Where as I get guilty if I dont post on Instagram for a few days let alone a few weeks. Not that anyone notices or cares if I do or dont post apart from me, but that was a mindset I'd drilled into myself. But on the flip side I started realising as I was going through my own feed I never talked about my friends or posted photos of the things I did because for some reason I was so wrapped up in keeping my life to myself. Like I’d become so protective of something that really didn’t need protecting at all. I was just being selfish and choosing not to share things because… I dont know. I never really worked out why I didn’t and it sort of makes me sad I haven't captured as many memories in photo form due to my own stubbornness.
As you can tell from my jumbled attempt at getting some feelings typed out (?) was just so inside my head about my life at this time. But the weirdest part about all this swimming inside my head, I was actually pretty happy and overall pretty content. I dont think I had a bad year in the slightest, it was a year I really worked out who I was, what I needed in my life and accepted a lot of things. I did some awesome things and met some amazing friends. I smiled and laughed a lot. I travelled and holiday-ed and most importantly had fun. And what's life without having fun?
I regret nothing about the last year of my life and although it wasn’t a perfect one it was good. It was about healing and dealing with stuff that I put off while all the time rebuilding my life and working out what I want to do going forward. And do I have the answer to the question “what do you want to do next” yet? Hell no! But am I in a place where it’s the right time to start figuring it out without making a knee jerk reaction to protect myself. Yup.
I always think you shouldn't wait till New Year to change yourself if you truly want to, does it really have a huge difference in feelings between the 31st December and the 1st January - Not really. But I think it's always good to draw a metaphorical line under it all and start a new part in your life. Never let anyone dictate to you how you should or shouldn't feel or how you should express yourself. Live your best life the way you see fit and eventually, it will just all fall into place.
So in all, Im excited about whats to come in 2017. Im sure there will be a lot more darkness and unrest in the world but I think it’s okay sometimes to live in your little bubble of self care and be allowed to feel the things you feel. Figuring yourself out is the hardest part of life and something I think we all seek answers too very quickly as it feels like everyone else has got their life in check when you aren’t quite there yet. Being in control about your own destiny is the best feeling ever and it's so easy to take it for granted.