2016, a year many of us were happy to see the back of. We witness of the divide of a nation, terrorist attacks, countless acts of senseless homophobia, racism, and sexism, as well as the biggest joke ever.
Despite all of this, however, I can’t hate twenty-sixteen as much as I feel I should, simply because, amidst all the horror splashed across the news and tears cried, last year brought with it some amazing moments and events, none of which I would ever change.
So what exactly did happen in my life in twenty-sixteen?
- Chad and I celebrated our first year together as a couple in the beautiful city of Kyoto.
- Shortly after, we moved in together, which for me, is the highlight of 2016.
- I had the chance to travel to Yakushima for the second time with friends I love. We drank, ate, went hiking, and fell in love with Japan all over again.
- I fell even more in love with writing; the second greatest love in my life.
- I took part in Peron (dragon boat racing) and pushed myself more than I have ever pushed myself before.
- I visited home in September and spent two weeks with my family.
- My mam adopted the two cutest cats alive.
- Our Ukulele band got to play in Tokyo, which was pretty bloody cool.
- I got over my fear of slow reading.
- I spend Christmas and New Years in Canada with Chad and his amazing family.
Let’s not forget about my 2016 New Years Resolution…
Make my own happiness
This is something I took very seriously last year. I spent a lot of time on me and figured out what makes me happy. I also sought help when I could no longer do so myself. It may sound weird, but being on medication has changed my life and I am so proud of myself for not getting in my own way of happiness.
Complete the 12 book reading challenge
If any of you follow me on Goodreads, you will know that sadly, I did not manage to complete this one. I did, however, discover new authors I love and am already 2 books down on my 24 book challenge this year.
Travel to two countries
Thank you, South Korea and Canada! I am so happy I managed to complete this resolution for I was starting to stress myself out with how little of the world I have seen.
Treat my body with respect
Despite loving myself a little more than 2016, this is still something I am working on. I can, however, say that I’ve started cooking healthier foods, and my friend and I are now going to the gym 2-3 times a week. Thankfully, on the days when I just want to circle all the bits I hate in accusing red marker, body positivity seems to find me and pours from social media to remind me I am beautiful. So for all of you out there who spread body positivity, thank you.
Yes and Yes! Thanks to this little resolution, I got to go down an ice slide in an ice castle, book tickets to see The Lumineers in Tokyo this April, decided to get a tattoo and am heading to Okinawa in May! Saying Yes is really a powerful thing when you want it.
Be more organized
I failed so hard at this, but here’s looking to you 2017!
Give my blog all I’ve got
Yes and No! For the better half of the year, I was on top of my blog. I was sleeping, breathing, living blogging and I loved it. But, somewhere along the line my mental health declined and doubt began to creep in, I began to feel lonely, separate from the blogosphere. I felt the time different as a pin prick in my skin whenever I realized I had missed out on a fun chat or a great opportunity. I began to stress about looking the part. I began to wonder if I was just not good. I want to leave that behind this year and forge ahead with the same excitement as I did last January and keep it going until I get to where I want to be.
Get my N2 In Japanese
I was actually scheduled to take the exam. My mind was adequately stressed and I was all set up for failure. But then Chad and I both realized that his last festival at the school he was working at was on the same day and we both chose a life experience over a test. It was one of the better decisions I made last year. I got to ride on a boat out across the sea and played fun games with cute kids.
Yup and Yup!! Chad and I now live together in a simple apartment that looks over Nagasaki. It’s such a beautiful view, I will never tire of it. Moving in with Chad is the highlight of my year and I am challenging 2017 to top it.
I struggled with this all year, my mental health pulling me up and down until I felt sick to my stomach. While not all of 2016 made me grin from ear to ear, there are memories tied within its months and days that outweigh the bad tenfold, and for this I am grateful.
When I look at all these things that happened in 2016, it really is hard to hate it. Still, I am looking forward to this year, even if it’s just for the clean slate, a break in the monotony of last year if you will. It has taken me a long time to realize that a new year doesn’t mean that I’m going to change overnight into the person I deeply want to be. However, this year I feel a shift in the universe. A lot is going to change for me this year, and while I feel that impending sense of change lurking at the bottom of my stomach like a heavy stone, I can’t help but covet it.
So, come at me 2017, let’s have an adventure!