Well, well, well. What a year it was! 2016 was a really big one for me. A big, messy, crazy, spontaneous, horrible, fantastic year. A lot of things happened. So many things, in fact, that when I look back it’s hard to believe that it all happened in just one year. I’ll never really know if the decisions I made were the right ones but things are going pretty well at the moment so I’d hazard a guess that I did an okay job.
One big thing that happened in 2016 – I ACTUALLY stuck to a New Year’s resolution. Crazy, I know! A resolution I know many of us, including myself, make every single year – I lost weight! In 2016 I managed to shed seven kilos. This was a huge deal for me. I have five more to go before I hit my goal weight… but the point is I got started and I made a massive difference in my life. The gym is somewhere I actually really enjoy being these days and that in itself is a huge accomplishment for the person I was twelve months ago.
Another big thing to happen in 2016 – I booked my first solo overseas trip. After dreaming about travelling again since I came back from my school trip to Italy in 2011, I have finally followed through and I am now less than a month away from my departure to Japan. This big thing couldn’t have happened without the BIGGEST thing to happen in 2016…
In June I moved back to Cairns and left my Sydney life behind. This was by far the most life altering thing I have done in the last four years. I definitely didn’t take the decision lightly… but as I was crying into my lunch after being treated badly at work and feeling like I had absolutely no one in Sydney to talk to, I called my mum and said “I’m quitting my job this afternoon and I’m moving home in two weeks”. The next two weeks were a crazy whirlwind. Saying goodbye becomes really hard once you realise what you’re leaving behind. I struggled a lot with depression and anxiety in Sydney and I had some really great friends who did all they could to be there for me. I also had my entire adult life there – when I moved I had only just turned seventeen! But I did it. I packed up half my life and threw the other half in the bin, I packed the back of my Honda Jazz, and I drove all the way from Sydney to Cairns.
I’ve been back for seven months now and I have already achieved so much more in those seven months in Cairns than I ever would have in Sydney. I have booked and paid for a three week vacation in Asia, I was one of the lead characters in an original musical, I have been at my new job for six months (and I LOVE it), I turned 21 and got to have a night out with some of my very best friends, and I am actually really, genuinely happy – that last one is a big deal.
So here’s what I learnt from 2016:
- You aren’t happy? Say so, and change whatever is making you sad.
- A road trip on your lonesome can be extremely therapeutic.
- Just because you have to put a dream on hold doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
- Your job isn’t meant to be emotionally difficult – if it is, something is not okay.
- Heartbreak hurts just as much the second time but you will rebuild much faster.
- You can’t plan your whole life. You just can’t.
- It is possible to be homesick for a place you didn’t even realise was home.
- Fierce female friendships are the most important ones when in your early twenties.
- Life is extremely short – it’s time to start living the way you really want to.
- Don’t waste time with someone who doesn’t really and truly make your cells dance.