For me, 2016 was a year of some pretty big changes, and thankfully they were all for the better. I went from being single to having a boyfriend, I went from being the eldest of 7 to the eldest of 8 and I became a student once again – juuuuuuust to name a few. I don’t know why there are so many memes on Facebook about 2016 being rubbish, because aside from the whole Brexit/U.S. election disaster, I didn’t really notice much difference in the overall ‘vibe’ of the year. But that’s just me.
So in light of actually enjoying 2016, my 21st year around this sun, I decided to do a round up post of all the notable moments, faves and general cool things that I loved in 2016. Enjoy!
I got a baby brother!
Soren being born was actually the greatest gift we could receive. He’s the most adorable baby and so well behaved, and despite being a surprise he has fit into our giant family so well and it feels like he was always destined to join us. Everyone always comments about how clucky I am around him, when in fact it’s just him I want, not some other baby, not right now. I just love the kid so darn much and it’s actually so amazing watching him taste things for the first time, and reach milestones and listen to songs that he’s never heard before (Clair de Lune by Flight Facilities was the first song he ever heard btw – courtesy of his fab big sister :P). Babies are actually a bucket load of fun if you don’t mind the spew.
James officially became “my boyfriend”!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m sappy and lame. Getoverit. After such a disastrous first serious relationship, I can’t deny that I was cautious about how this one would work out, or more importantly, how we would handle living an hour away from each other. But 7 months in, it’s been great. It just feels so easy and good and it’s nice to know that we can be happy together and apart and still have our own interests, but mostly it’s just great having someone to spoon you at night <3
I started a Diploma of Graphic Design!
And whilst I’m writing this I’ve just completed my first trimester of the course, and couldn’t be happier with where it’s taking me. It’s bloody hard work, and you’ll often find me moaning about how guilty I’ve felt when I’ve chosen an episode of Criminal Minds over studying, but all in all I’m loving it. It’s so nice to feel like you’re actually learning each week, and that even the assessments are furthering your skills in the field. I still have days when I doubt myself, and get disheartened when I see that my work isn’t up to the same standards as some of the other more practiced students, but then I remind myself – 12 weeks ago I’d barely touched Photoshop. Now I can fumble around Illustrator, InDesign and Ps, along with having gained a world of knowledge on the business side of being a graphic designer, so it’s only good things to come. I’ll be trying to post more of my projects/creations on here in the future to continue with my momentum.
I FINALLY visited Melbourne!
Another bucket list item was officially ticked off in September. I still can’t quite believe that I did it, but also I’m so darn proud of myself for biting the bullet and doing a solo trip to a place I’d never been to with no one there to guide or house me. Melbourne was everything I expected it to be and more. Everyone I know who’s visited have always commented how much I would like it and suit it down there, and boy they weren’t wrong. I became instantly obsessed with the people and the architecture and the food and the gardens and the public transport and the food options (except how no one in Fitzroy seemed to sell soup in 10 degree weather, but that’s another story). Despite the cold, I really did feel at home and can’t wait to make another trip back, hopefully with more time and warmer socks.
My family’s house was FINALLY built!
If I could add the celebratory party popper emoji on here, I would. After nearly 2 years of delays and planning and more delays, we finally have a beautiful new house for my family to live in. It’s up in the rainforest, has huge windows throughout and a kitchen that I could’ve conjured up in my dreams. My parents were definitely put to the limits with their patience, but now we have a lovely home for my two little brothers to grow up in. And a comfortable trundle bed for me to regularly crash on.
I got a fringe!
Not that exciting to some, but pretty flipping exciting for me. After debating for years, I finally just threw my worries to the wind and got a nice full fringe cut in just in time for MMVAF in September, and since then I’ve had to get it cut fortnightly to avoid it engulfing my eyes. I’m not gonna lie, it requires a lot more effort on the hair front than I’m used to (i.e. none) but I still like how it looks and that it makes my face seem more interesting (if that makes sense). I’m yet to see how friendly we remain during summer, so fingers crossed it doesn’t break us up.
I moved my room around – and finally got a desk!
There’s a lot of “finally”s being mentioned in this post, and that’s because I feel like this year was the year that shit got done. Not everything, but a lot of things that slipped through the cracks last year were tied up during 2016, and there’s nothing I love more than ticking items off a list. I’d been contemplating moving my room around for a while, but didn’t know how it would look any other way (my bed is heavy af so it wasn’t a quick task), but once I started uni again I quickly realised how valuable a functioning workspace would be (sitting on my bed was nice…for a while). I had decided that the desk wasn’t a priority over other things, but one Friday afternoon I remember cracking the shits and calling Kmart to see if they had the desk I wanted in stock. Well they did, so cue the next 4 hours of room rearranging and feeling better than ever. Not only is the desk decorated super cutely, but now it makes my room look a lot more spacious than it is. Winner!
I got 3 more tattoos!
Band: Not including my forever faves, it was definitely Trophy Eyes. I decided to give them a listen to when I realised that they were opening for an Amity gig back in August, and I instantly fell in love with Chlorine. And when I say instantly, I seriously mean it. I played that song over and over again until I knew all the lyrics, and lost my shit when they played it live in Brisbane. Following the gig they released the album, Chemical Miracle, which has been heaven to my ears ever since.
Album: Chemical Miracle by Trophy Eyes & This Could Be Heartbreak by The Amity Affliction
Books: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (full post on this life changing book to come!), Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle, The Younger Man by Zoe Foster Blake (there were more but I can’t remember what I read last year vs. this year. I really must start a log).
Films: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Doctor Strange, How to be Single, Captain America: Civil War
TV Shows: Stranger Things, Narcos, The Wrong Girl
Foods: Acai bowls
Gigs: The Amity Affliction @ The Tivoli, Bring Me The Horizon @ Riverstage
Music Festivals: Laneway (Feb), Groovin the Moo (May), MMVAF (Sep)
Place I visited: Melbourne (are you surprised?)
Things I wish I’d done
I added this section in when I initially drafted up this post, but now can’t really think of anything. Obviously, I wish I’d been more organised and went to more local gigs, and I wish I was able to go to Splendour again, but as always you can’t realistically do everything each year. So next year will be full of different adventures again. I guess I wish I’d been more organised on the blog front, and was able to maintain my weekly posting schedule, but again, sometimes things like that can’t be helped. This year seemed like such a giant blur, and when you reflect on a year at the end of it it’s easy to forget about all the amazing things you’ve done, and how much you’ve grown. Hell, I started out the year in Bali! How do I keep forgetting about that?!
I guess that just serves as a lesson for 2017: work hard, set your goals, have fun, document, and enjoy things in the moment. Our brains are expected to retain so darn much information as it is, so it’s understandable when we forget how it felt in a certain moment, or forgot what day it was every now and then.
All in all, 2016 was great. I felt much better mentally, and feel like I’m finally on the right path career wise. Although I’ve still got another 18 months to go, it’s good to know that by the end of 2018, nearly turning 24 (eek!) I’ll be finally able to start a career that I’m passionate about. Of course there were some shit times, and there’s always going to be, but thinking back over the past 12 months, I honestly can’t think of any that were too dramatic. So that’s gotta count for something, right?
I hope you all had a lovely year, and by the time you’re reading this Christmas would’ve come and gone, so I hope you got to take time to relax and enjoy being around family and friends. And watched Love Actually, of course.
Till next time,