I'm just going to throw it out there straight the way; 2016 definitely wasn't my favourite year. In fact I'd even go as far as to say that its probably up there as one of my least favourites.
...And no, nothing particularly awful happened. I somehow managed to pass both my driving theory, and practical test first time- I know, I can't believe that I, the absolutely terrible woman driver passed first time either- go on holiday, and then collaborate with some amazing brands, but looking back now I've realised that in-between the handful of better moments; I wasn't all that happy.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't awfully unhappy and miserable, I guess I just felt a little bit like a deflated balloon majority of the time. Perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that I'd built up this image in my head of what 2016 was supposed to be like. I'd pictured a healthier, more productive year, but chronic illness, yet again made it crystal clear from the get go that that wasn't going to happen.
So I guess for me, 2016 seemed to be a year full of tough life lessons, rather than highs, and I'm totally okay with that as I've learnt heck of a lot. Moving forward, let's have a little recap...
1.) "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches."
It's human nature to want to be liked, but 2016 taught me that it's impossible to be liked by everybody, similarly to that, there's always going to be somebody that wants to bring you down. You can be the kindest person going, but you still won't be everybody's cup of tea, and do you know what? That's okay. Receiving hurtful comments is inventible, and it certainly says more about them as a person, than it does me. I've now allowed negativity to wash over me.
2.) Trust your gut, it's usually right
I've finally learnt that if you're going into something with a bad feeling at the pit of your stomach, something isn't right, don't ignore it. Never try and carry on as though everything is fine, you're feeling uneasy for a reason. Your mind can often get confused by certain situations, your gut however is nearly always correct.
3.) Life is all about balance
Life is short; eat the chocolate bar, buy the damn shoes. I no longer feel guilty for indulging, and spoiling myself from time to time, so if that means treating myself to a takeaway at the weekend, I'm not going to beat myself up over it, life's to be enjoyed. Of course it's not wise to take the piss and devour a family size bar of chocolate each and every day, that's unhealthy- I totally did this over Christmas, not even sorry- but the key to happiness is balance.
4.) A huge bubble bath complete with a glass of wine and music make 90% of life stresses seem that little bit better
Sad? Upset? Angry? Honestly, just grab a glass of wine, run a huge bubble bath, and get ready to say cya to the world for at least half an hour- no stress of mine seems worse after a long, relaxing soak. Just trust me on this one.
5.) Take note of the friends that support you, and make sure that you keep hold of them
2016 was the year that saw me realise that there's two types of friends in this world:
Friend 1.) The type that enjoys seeing you down, and isn't nearly half as happy to see you achieving and loving life. They will also more than likely just want to be friends with you to gain themselves, either when they're bored and have nobody else, or to use you for your help.
Friend 2.) This type of friend will support you, and lift you up when you're feeling down and going through your toughest times, and they will ALWAYS clap for you when you're winning. Friend 2 truly has your best interests at heart.
Basically, I've learnt not to be afraid to cut ties with the first type of friend, they will never ever add happiness to my life.
6.) Fake tan is a product sent from the God's
I thought that I'd throw this one in here, y'know, just to break up how deep this is becoming. I only discovered fake tan last April, and let me tell you now, I'm now obsessed- don't panic, not to the point of turning myself into one of Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompa's- bronzed goddess throughout gloomy January? Count me the heck in <3
7.) You CAN achieve great things if you truly believe in yourself
I've always been the type of person that brushes off my own achievements, and I'm often guilty of putting myself down. But last year I learnt that really amazing things can happen, if only you tell yourself that they will. I decided to put my all into this whole blogging malarkey to see where it'd take me, and I discovered that y'know what, I can achieve. I collaborated with a number of big brands; Barry M, Rimmel, and Boux Avenue to name just a few, and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for me blogging wise.
8.) DO NOT be so strict with yourself when it comes to life's 'big milestones'
I mean, I don't know if this is just a girl thing but in my head I've planned out the things that I want to achieve (think having children, buying a nice car etc) complete with a set age that I'd have liked to have done so by. THIS ISN'T REALISTIC, life is so so uncertain, and the problem with a plan like this that is so set in stone, you end up hella disappointed, and panicky when life doesn't go to plan.
9.) Wear the clothing items that you truly love
I've always been a little over the top with my outfit choices- heeled over the knee boots to complete the weekly shop? Why not- but I've realised, even more so last year, that when it comes to style, you should wear what you feel the most confident in. So if that means wearing a dress and heels, I'll definitely wear it, despite maybe looking a little overdressed at times.
10.) Never ever compare your own life to those the same age as yourself
Throughout the entirety of last year, I made the age old mistake of comparing my own life/achievements to those the same age as myself. Wether that be a quick facebook stalk, or a chat with a friend, I constantly felt inadequate, and if I'm being completely honest, a little sick each time yet another person my age achieved something that I still hadn't. I felt so so far behind compared to everybody else, as though I was living life wrong almost, and I've finally realised that life is not a race, and that everybody has 'their time'. Things will work out.
All in all, 2016 has been an important one in terms of learning, and for that I'm grateful. And on that note, here's to achieving, and hopefully doing even more in 2017. Wishing you all a very happy new year, here's to health and happiness.