Merry Christmas! I hope you had a great time spent with the people you love the most. I had a really fab time with my family on Christmas Day – we stayed in our pyjamas all day and just enjoyed opening presents, eating Christmas Dinner and then watching TV together. Most of all, it was so lovely just to spend time with each other after I’ve hardly seen them these past few months!
This point in the year always feels a bit like nowhere-land I find. Christmas is over, but its still not New Year and it just generally seems like a bit of a blur! However, it’s my Dad’s birthday tomorrow so I’m really looking forward to spending time celebrating what a fabulous bloke he is!
As is “traditional” at this time of year, I wanted to reflect on the last year and my highlights of it! Many people have described 2016 as “the worst year ever”, however I really do believe that there are plenty of positives to come out of it for us all. And for me personally, 2016 has been my best year to date. So here we go, here is my year in review!
The amount of things I have accomplished this year is ridiculous! I started blogging around a year ago on my UCAS blog, and I would never have imagined that by this point I would have a successful personal blog and have won several awards for my UCAS blog! With regards to other achievements, I also managed to do extremely well in my A Level exams and ended up with grades I could only dream of and at the university I had so desperately wanted to attend! There’s also been a few smaller achievements: For example, I was finally brave enough to go to the dentist by myself (I’ve had a fear of dental appointments for years)!
So 2016 was the year I finally got braces! After years of nagging my dentist and several unsuccessful orthodontist referrals, I finally got my braces fitted in March. Yes, I got braces pretty late in my teens compared to most people, however I’m just grateful to have them at all and I’m loving my new improved teeth already! So that was a pretty big deal for me as well!
I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been a confident person at all, especially when it comes to my self-esteem. However I live by the motto “Fake it ’till you make it”, so for the last few years I’ve just been pretending to be much more confident than I actually am in order to try and trick myself into being confident! And it’s finally starting to work! Due to many things that have happened over the course of the year, my confidence has completely skyrocketed and I feel like a completely different woman than the one who started this year! I really know exactly who I am as a person, and also the person I want to be. As weird as this sounds, I’ve accepted myself at last for who I am. I know I’m never going to be a 6 foot supermodel, however, that’s completely fine with me! I’ll stick to being 4″11 me and there’s nothing wrong with that at all! My increase in confidence has really helped me on several adventures I’ve been on this year, and has really helped with this next thing…
I’m learning that people change and drift apart, which is a completely natural part of life and this is totally fine with me! I’ve met an immeasurable number of amazing people this year, whether during World Youth Day, since starting uni, at Youth 2000 or at many of the other events I’ve been to throughout this year. The amount of really deep, honest and interesting conversations I’ve had in the last year but I really have met some incredible people! The amount of laughter, love and also the tears that have been shared is crazy, but so many beautiful friendships have been made and strengthened this year and I am so blessed to have met so many fab people and to have so many strong friendships! I thought I’d share a few pictures of some of the lovely friends I’ve made/grown closer to this year!
Again, this links to the previous point! I’ve met so many amazing friends at uni, however this isn’t all. I’m absolutely loving the courses, the atmosphere and the lifestyle in general! My increased self-confidence and new-found independence are suiting me very well and I feel like I’m really where I’m supposed to be right now and that God knew that this is the right place for me to be!
I feel like a lot of the friends I’ve made this year at various events I’ve been to have really helped me to develop in my faith. Having so many friends that hold their faith in as high regard as I do has really enabled me to grow and develop my faith and to make it even more “mine”. Attending World Youth Day, Youth 2000 and Celebrate Cleethorpes and Bristol especially have helped me to realise that my faith is the most important part of my life, and also that I have a lot of people around me to support and strengthen me in this!
So that’s just a small selection of the amazing things that have happened this year! For me personally, its been fab! 2016 has really been “my” year!
Many people have said how awful this year has been internationally, but I think its so important to focus on the positives and to remember the good things that have happened this year. When you look back on 2016 in 1o years or so, do you really want to remember the bad things that have happened, or would you rather remember the good things?
However, on that note, so many people have died this year. Not only all the celebrity deaths that have hit the headline news, but many “normal” people have also passed away. I think its also hugely important that all the people who have been killed in conflicts or in acts of terror this year should not be forgotten. May all their souls rest in peace.
I’d just like to say a massive “THANK YOU!” to each and every person who has been part of my year. Thanks for the chats, the laughter, the love, the friendship and of course, the memories! And also thanks to my family for always having my back no matter what craziness I embark on! Love you.
That’s all for now! Until next time,