There is a large part of me that doesn't want to write this post. Probably because I'm British and we find it pretty much impossible to share anything that's going well without a huge sense of guilt or fear that if we talk about it then something bad will happen just so we know not to get too cocky. But sometimes, it's really nice to share the good things that have happened and whenever someone else does it I always feel so happy for them whether I know them personally or not. So here are some of the best things that happened to me in 2016.
I TOOK CONTROL OF MY OWN HAPPINESS
This sounds a little bit weird I know but choosing happiness when I can has been a big turning point for me this year. I'm a big believer that we need to feel all of our emotions when they crop up and try not to just bat them away, especially when it comes to feeling sad or upset. And I'm also a huge advocate that if there is something in your life that doesn't make you happy then you're allowed to get rid of it, sometimes it's really hard and not always possible but when it is it's such a relief. At 26 I'm more than aware of the things that make me thrive in life and the things that ruin my day when they don't need to. Even when it's such small things like following someone on social media who is a bit of dick it can have a large effect on your happiness when it doesn't need to. Happiness is a very complex emotion and I've spoken about it a lot this year and sometimes my mind completely overrules me and I can't just choose to be happy but when I can I've made the most of it.
I KEPT BLOGGING
2016 was the year that blogging definitely lost some of its sparkle for me and there was a point where I really just wanted to quit everything, delete my blog and all my social channels. Of course, that's very dramatic but I really felt at a loss with everything I was doing. I think anyone who has been blogging for a while can feel frustrated by the industry and question why things work in the way they do. We all know it's true that's all too easy to compare yourself to others in the blogging world and feel inferior to others around you. But one of the most important things to remember about the internet is that it has no capacity and we all have something to offer. Just because you're not doing what other people are that doesn't mean you're doing something wrong or that you're not good enough to be in the industry. There is so much focus on what you should and shouldn't be doing and what makes a blog a 'success' but for the most part it's absolute rubbish. Following what people have done before you doesn't determine whether you're going to find success, doing your own thing is far more admirable and people will notice it.
I STOPPED EATING MEAT
I've always felt passionately about not being one of those people that preached about how awesome it is not to eat meat but it's made such a positive change in my life. I can't even really pinpoint the exact reason why either but it just feels good, I feel better in myself and it's nice to know that I'm not playing such a large role in such an awful industry. Becoming vegetarian or vegan is a big decision as there are so many things to take into consideration when cutting something like that out your diet. And I implore everyone to do their own research and make the choice for themselves rather than feeling pushed into it.
MY RELATIONSHIP THRIVED
My relationship is something that I keep very much to myself because it's so personal to me. And then of course not having a typical relationship that others don't really understand makes it even more difficult to share. Going out with a session musician who spends on average 10 months on the road isn't easy. It's a well-known fact in the industry that relationships end all too easily because the strain becomes too much. It feels weird to write that I'm proud that my relationship didn't end but I am, there have been points this year where I've undeniably found it very hard and wanted to have a giant strop about my boyfriend's career choice. I think anyone who goes out with someone who is away so much feels that way too. But we made it through and we have a great relationship and make the distance work to our advantage. Of course, it's seriously lonely and it can get tough doing everything pretty much like I would if I was single and not being able to have the support that I would if he were here. But seeing him being able to make a good living from something he's wanted to do from childhood is incredible and it makes it all worth it.
We are force-fed a certain image of how relationships have to work a certain way and that there is a set amount of things we need to be doing in order for them to be successful. But there is no right way to do it and relationships are hard and it's way too easy to compare yourself to others, especially your friends. This year has made me realise that if you're happy and thrive in your relationship then that's really all that matters. It doesn't matter if it doesn't match what everyone else is doing or if they don't understand it. If you're someone who is also in a long distance relationship you'll know the feeling of jealously when your friends are telling you that they're bickering in their relationship about whose doing the washing up and you've not seen your loved one in nearly 3 months. It's rough and there are feelings of anger that you feel like you shouldn't be feeling but you're allowed to, no matter what the situation. It's so hard to focus on all the awesome things that your relationship does have but there are so many incredible things that a long distance relationship can bring.
For years and years, I've wanted to do something to do with stock photography as it's always something I've enjoyed creating, right from my college days which are nearly 8 years behind me. And it's something that I wanted to incorporate into what I do online for so long. But the fear put me off so much that I just put the idea into the little box in my mind which is where I put all the things that I want to do in life but feel too scared to do them. So this summer I finally took the plunge and I opened up my online store and I can't tell you how happy it's made me. Putting together the bundles and carefully planning how all the images can be used and work in harmony together is something that fills me so much excitement. As of now, I've currently got 2 bundles for sale and I'm excited to add more next year and get planning away.
I STAYED TRUE TO MYSELF
It's all too easy to feel the pressure to follow the crowd and feel like you have to do certain things because other people are either doing those things and saying that this is what everyone should do. I'm definitely not an advocate of being hateful and hurtful towards others because of your beliefs but staying true to yourself for your own happiness is important. Having the input of others is all well and good but sometimes it can be more detrimental than it can be helpful. We all like to think that we're looking out for others but sometimes we can just put our expectations on others to make us feel good that our loved ones see things the way that we do. I love it when people share their experiences online and share something that's worked for them because that can open something up to others. But preaching and shoving your opinion and way of doing things down people's throats is unbearable. No-one is right no matter even if something has worked out for the best that doesn't mean it's the only way of doing things. I've found that staying true to yourself and making decisions because they're truly right for you is so hard when you're surrounded by people saying you should do things a certain way but it's something I've found so important. Because even if it doesn't work out at least I know I did something that I thought was for the best.
What were your personal highlights from the year?
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