So I already feel knee-deep into 2017, with a week hectic with mock exams and revision- the first week back to sixth form has been a right bitch. However I'm close enough to New Years to still have that oddly warm buzz of reflecting on the last year.
For me, 2016 was a right beauty- it was just such a brilliant and fun year for me. It also had challenges and experiences I'll never forget- so here are my six highlights of the year.
Finishing Lower school and starting sixth form
I hated secondary school. It was awful. From the blazer that made me look 12 stone bigger to the crappy experience that is puberty, it was simply no fun. More than that was the frivolous homework, GCSE exams and the fact I had to do subjects I literally hated- physics lessons were a real struggle for me. However, it’s all over now. It was so lovely to finish that stage in my life and start anew. I got to thank my teachers and my tutor, in particular, for all their hard work, celebrate on our fancy-dress, last day of school, celebration day and, of course, prom.
Since starting sixth form, I have really been loving it. Don’t get me wrong, every day is a tiring challenge but I seem to like Mondays (which juxtaposes secondary school to the extreme).
Wowee I had no idea 2016 would have me jetting off around the world but I am very lucky to say it was the year I’ve travelled most in my life. I visited four countries- Turkey, Spain, Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Germany. I also got to go on my family’s annual trip to London, to the Clothes Show up in Birmingham and have a mini-break weekend for a family wedding in St Ives. I feel so privileged to have had these opportunities to travel and also very proud myself, as I paid for the trip to Spain and half the trip to Amsterdam with money I earnt myself through my part time job.
Turkey was the much-needed and deserved beach holiday post-exams, Spain the highlight of my summer with my favourite people, Amsterdam a city I feel in love with (traveling with my best friend in the world) and a day trip into Germany finishing my list of amazing countries I’ve visited in 2016.
I hope to carry on travelling in 2017, although a little more toned down. I would really love to visit more of the UK too, like Brighton or Scotland.
One resolution of last year was to worry less and care less. I have always been an avid worrier, ruled by the clock and a hater of taking risks. However, in 2016 I think I did pretty well in being spontaneous and just following wherever life took me. It had me zip wiring upside down, running around in a zorb (one of the clear blow up hamster balls for humans), sitting on a unicycle and cycling through Amsterdam- this sounds normal but is actually pretty scary when you’re not too confident!
Perhaps the most spontaneous, risky and best experiences of the year was my girls trip to Spain back in the summer. It was such a spontaneous decision, but had us booking flights within the week. It was scary to have organised a trip all by ourselves, going to a country I didn’t know without adults, but we had the best time! Its experiences like this that remind me I need to live, not just follow life’s ordinary structure, and all these spontaneous moments were definite highlights for me.
Ticking off my ‘Before I'm 30’ list
When I was around 10, I wrote a little list in the back of my notebook. Some were frivolous, other a little crazy, but they were all things I decided I wanted to do by 30. Now most of them can’t be done as simply as ticking a box, so I try to do one a year or two at a time. This year I managed to tick off three and felt gladly accomplished in that. It sounds stupid, but somewhere within that list is a little Lydia who didn’t quite know who she was, writing a list about who she aspired to be. It’s a highlight for me as not only am I doing things I’ve always wanted to, but I’m getting closer and closer to completing the list… maybe 2017 will have me going wild and dying my hair???
I feel 2016 was filled to the brim with friends and that makes me endlessly happy. I just got to do so much with my favourite people. Having my whole friendship group dressed as the Toy Story characters to getting all dressed up, then dancing for the whole evening, at Prom. Then there was perhaps the longest summer I will get in my life, where I got to make so many memories with my best friends. I had a friends Come Dine With Me, Holidays away and a weekly Bake-off viewing with my Guide gals. There have been so many memories this year, hopefully double more to come in 2017.
I adore my family. I am privileged to have every one of them. The year saw my cousin start walking and talking (I mean she says some words now), many a family meet up and a family wedding. My auntie and her husband got married in September, where I was a bridesmaid, and it was a complete highlight for me. The whole weekend in St.Ives was beautiful and it is a pocket of time I will treasure forever. In 2016, I also got to spend plenty of time with my Nan, my best friend, which is unmeasurable in how special that it to me.
In regard to blogging, I feel 2016 was the first year I actually feel truly in love with blogging and all aspects of the community. I launched this blog this year, www.lydia-eve.blogspot.co.uk, a blog that actually represented me. I wanted to be more creative, have more fun and write things I truly loved.
Along with this, I discovered so many amazing new bloggers. I stumbled across Hannah Gale’s blog in around April, and have discovered my favourite blogger/vlogger. Her posts always inspire and captivate me, that’s the sort of writing and blogging I aim for.
I also joined Twitter, although I am still a complete beginner! It has allowed me to feel more involved with my community of bloggers, where I feel there is so much more interaction and involvement.
I just feel 2016 was a year of experiences, learning and becoming both more independent and confident in myself. I am happy with the person I am right now- that in itself is bloody brilliant. It wasn’t an easy year, with GCSEs, life choices and the shift to Sixth Form, but I feel I dealt with these well, worked my butt off and didn’t let the challenges beat me. I guess this taught me that life has it shit days and sometimes it isn’t easy, but that I can do this.
Thank you to all my regular readers, and all those that have read a single post of mine this year. I hope you to had a great year. So here’s to the coming one, may it be bloody brilliant.