Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Letter to 2016

It must be said, you've garnered a bad rep this year. It seems like almost everybody is keen to leave you in the past and start anew. Admittedly, you have simultaneously been one of the worst years, but in many ways, one of the best for me. At the beginning of the year, I started my final semester of University. It was one of the hardest but also one of the most fulfilling. The stress of deadlines and late nights studying literary theory, social issues in France and game mechanics were relieved by moments of pure joy with family and friends. This year I turned 21 and celebrated at a long table dinner under the stars with the people I would never wish to take for granted. I felt so thankful to have such amazing beings in my life. The year then took a turn for the worse before we even reached the halfway point. My Opa passed away and I struggled to come to terms with it. He was such a prominent figure in my life; throughout the rest of the year I would dream about him and wake up choking back tears.

The months of June to August were the highlights. In an effort to both celebrate my graduation and prolong the inevitable need to face the 'real world', I flew to London where I undertook two internships. Those two and a half months allowed me to learn more about myself than I ever thought possible. I made up for years and years spent cowered in the corner and inside my shell by dancing, singing and dating. I fell in love with people and the big wide world. Most importantly, the trip equipped me with the skills and determination to never give up. This was much needed once I returned home. September through to early November was one of the darkest periods of my life. You really shook my confidence, my self-esteem and general well being, 2016. I felt aimless, lost, frustrated and wishing I were anywhere but home. Nothing seemed possible and on top of that, worldwide affairs and the passing of so many prominent, much loved figures hardly helped to lift my spirits. But then the fog dispersed a little and I learned that things take time. I thought I was ready for the instability of life post-university, but I still envisioned getting my 'dream job' the first few months after graduating. I now know this was unrealistic. While it is scary, I think I needed to realise that life is no straight path. With the support of friends and family, I have some faith that everything will be alright in the end.

I feel lucky that you made so many things possible 2016, and while there were many terrible moments, I accept that the majority of these are the result of this new chapter in my life. You made me realise that time stops for nothing and no one and I can either spend it dwelling on the things that aren't going right or thinking up new possibilities when they don't go exactly to plan. You matured me, 2016. While I almost mourn losing the very last shreds of my adolescence, I am thankful that you've shaped and hardened me into the woman I am.



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