Hello Twenty-Seventeen

Can I just say a big hearty good bye to twenty-sixteen? Good. Bye.

Last year was just one of those years that had such a negative shadow looming over it for a lot of people, and I wasn’t exempt from that. There were some pretty big low moments in twenty-sixteen that when I look back on the year, they will be a part of the painting. Break ups and struggles with my mental health, feeling less than and a few other things. The thing is though, this post, I don’t want it to be all about the lows, because that doesn’t help me move forward. It’s important for me to talk about because they were big parts of the year, but I won’t let it be the only thing I think of when I think of this past year.

I had so many good moments in twenty-sixteen that I think should be celebrated. Some go hand in hand with the bad moments, like the first time I fell in love, and evidently got hurt, or having overwhelming anxiety and learning how to take better care of myself. Sometimes you can’t have the good times without the bad, and sometimes it makes the good times sweeter. I can look at parts of it with such fondness even though some ended in sadness. I can look at the strength I’ve built within myself and know that I made it, even when I didn’t think I could.

So now, I want to celebrate the good moments that I had in twenty-sixteen.

Even though I found out technically at the end of twenty-fifteen, I was officially added as a permanent team member at Chapters, and celebrated a full year of being there. That was really exciting for me, because as much as my past jobs were pretty good, nothing so far has fit me quite as well as this one has. I mean, I get to sell books to people, and talk about them, and for a book lover, that’s pretty much a dream.

I built fantastic friendships with some of my co-workers, and enjoyed their company outside of work. They quickly became some of my favourite people, and a big part of that is because it’s all rooted in a common love of books.

I finally got to go to The Magical World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida, which I was incredibly excited about. It was just as magic as I imagined it would be, and I can now check it off of my list of things I wanted to do.

I read quite a few books that were outside of the teen genre, which is my usual genre of choice. I read some non-fiction, some mystery, some fantasy, and more. It was so satisfying to find more books that I was excited about sharing with other people. Some of my favourite reads of the year were The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke, The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor, and The Last Immortal by Alex Marlowe.

On top of exploring books, I explored some new movies and tv shows. Some were new, made for this year, and some that have been around for a while and I was late for the party. Some highlights for me were Captain America: Civil War, Dr. Strange, Zootopia, Song of the Sea, Gilmore Girls and Dirk Gently: Holistic Detective Agency.

As silly as it may sound, I bought a dress that made me feel beautiful in a time when I didn’t feel like I was. There’s just something about finding something that makes you feel like how you wish you always felt about yourself and I’m glad I got to find  my ‘feel good’ dress. I almost swear it’s magic.

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I enjoyed my favourite time of year, the summer, having adventures and making so many memories. Enjoying that summer sunshine, the water, and the warmth. Though it was dotted with bad days, there were so many good ones too, so I’ll take it as a victory.

I started to pick up my camera again. After spending a year absolutely having no desire to turn my camera on, to use it as my tool of exploration, it is probably one of my biggest highlights of the year to fall back in love with photography. It’s a part of me that brings me absolute joy, it makes me feel like my soul is actually singing, especially when I catch that shot that I was chasing, or I catch a shot that was better than what I was chasing. I branched out in my photography as well, started to learn how to shoot something other than people, and I loved it. I loved seeing the world through my lens again, and this coming year will be filled with more adventures through it.

Moving into twenty-seventeen, I have many hopes for a better year. I look forward to more personal growth, building friendships, leaving all the bad crap that happened last year there, and moving forward to great things. I want to read more books, write more blogs posts, take more photos, go on more adventures, build more connections. I want to become more confident in myself and my skills, take more risks, and reach out to people that I look up to for advice on how to do better.

To the people I’m leaving behind in twenty-sixteen, it’s a shame we couldn’t work things out, but I think that’s where I’d like to keep you. To those who made it through to twenty-seventeen with me, I’m thankful to have you still here, you make my life a little brighter. To the new people I’ll meet this year, welcome to the wild ride, I’m happy to have you here. The great thing about a new year, is that it’s a great way to start over, and we all know there’s nothing like starting over.

There’s nothing like starting over,
There’s nothing like shedding a heartache,
Writing a new page to say what you wanna say
There’s nothing like a heart wide open,
That bittersweet comfort of knowing
You can let go and take the weight off your shoulders
There’s nothing like starting over

Nothing Like Starting Over by Hunter Hayes

Hello twenty-seventeen, I look forward to seeing what you have in store for me.

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