And then it was over. I am of course referring to the melting pot of bat-shit-crazy events that was the year 2016; a year that, sadly, I don't think many people will be sad to see the back of. But amidst the things that have tried to ruin the past year (Brexit, Trump, GBBO moving to Channel 4), there are also the things that have happened to me personally that have made it one of the best yet. I, along with many of my fellow graduates, started my first proper job, which luckily for me also happens to be in the industry that I wish to pursue my career in. I survived the first three months of the year without my boyfriend whilst he was learning to become a ski instructor in Verbier - and shaving his head completely bald, but we don't talk about that... I was lucky enough to go skiing twice, go to another amazing Glastonbury festival and also visit the beautiful province of Sardinia. I started ballet lessons again. And, finally, I re-launched this blog, and (hopefully) produced some readable content for you all to (hopefully) enjoy. With lots of other little bits and bobs in-between!
All in all, 2016 reminded me that with every day, week and year we're continually presented with opportunities to do new things, meet new people and go to new places (even though the latter may be slightly trickier once we officially leave the EU). I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions, or rather for sticking to them, but in the spirit of a fresh start there are a few things that I want to accomplish as I look ahead to the blank page that is 2017.
I want to say yes more than I say no. I have become a far too frequent user of the word 'no' (including paraphrases such as "not feeling it" or "maybe another time"), and this needs to change. I'm 23 years young, living at home and not paying rent, so I need to get over the fact I may not get 8 hours sleep every night and start saying YES whenever a spontaneous opportunity is presented to me. Within reason, of course...
I want to overcome my fear of socialising on weeknights. (Does anyone know if there is an official term for this phobia?) I am very fond of my Tuesday evenings at home, and I will only rarely venture out on a Thursday if I can guarantee I'll be in bed by 11pm. But with 9 months work under my built and another 50 or so years still to go, I need to start making the most of what precious time I have free in the evenings. NB: socialising on Mondays may have to be a 2018 thing.
I want to be more committed to blogging. Content creation has always been a passion for me; it's a central part of my job as a Digital Content Editor, and from my glitter-loaded Piczo website at 13 and my pathetic attempt at becoming Tumblr-famous to this little space of the www that is Mollipop, my love for creating and sharing my own content has fuelled it all. So this year, whilst I cannot commit to 3 posts a week with my new, busy schedule of weekday socialising and saying yes to things, I am going to strive to keep up the momentum with this blog.
I want to become well-travelled. I'm not saying that I don't get to go to a lot of places, but I've never really been to places, you know? I didn't take a gap year, I've lived the Thailand experience only through the social media feeds of my friends who have been there, and the idea of South America absolutely terrifies me. But I do want to start using my ever-more valuable holiday allowance to travel rather than just go, to take in more of my surroundings, whether it's a British countryside retreat or traversing continents.
I want to allow myself to switch off more. I see how ironic this is given that literally all of the things I've mentioned above require going out and doing things, but something I've realised since working is that time spent relaxing and recharging can be just as valuable as time spent out on the town, and it is not always something to feel guilty about. A weekend spent indoors is not necessarily a weekend wasted, especially if you're in good company, and I want to value the quiet moments of 2017 just as much as the adventurous ones.
I want to multi-task less. It's a well known fact that our attention spans are ever-shrinking - if you've made it to the end of this post, you may be a rare exception. Movies are too long for our tiny minds and instead we binge on 1 hour Netflix episodes, and it takes a bloody good series for me not to scroll my way through Instagram whilst 'watching' it. Multi-tasking is just the new tasking, and this year I want to try to be more present and enjoy one thing at a time rather than ten.
What goals have you set yourself for 2017?