A Look Back on 2016
I’m a tad late to the party, but I hope that you and your loved ones had a lovely Christmas! My Christmas was a little unconventional in the sense that I spent most of it asleep due to some sickness. Thankfully I am slowly on the mend, and even more thankful that I was able to spend my Christmas with my family, the people who have always been there for me. Hoping to be a little stronger for new year’s to welcome 2017.
It’s weird to think that 2016 is nearly over and that a new year is upon us. As far as the clichés goes, it feels like 2016 was just yesterday, and in the blink of an eye, it’s already over. The world experienced a lot this year, and undoubtedly, all of us as individuals experienced a lot of turbulence as well. The final days of 2016 (and spending a lot of time in bed) has afforded me to reflect a lot about this year, which was indeed one hell of a year.
2016 has been a year of stark contrast, and it has been a year of light and darkness. The thing about these two entities is that they have to exist together, or else they are non-existent. This is true every year, but was especially true this past year.
The “light” parts are the parts that I wished could slow down and never end. I met so many new and amazing friends this year, as well as deepened relationships with ones that I already had the honour of knowing. I found friends that I could lean on for support and would constantly challenge me to be my best. I think that this year was probably the best year for that, and my favourite part of this year. Without these friends, I probably wouldn’t have made it through.
As a family we also did a lot of travelling – ringing in the new year in Japan, spending Easter in Portland and summer in California visiting some family and crossing more destinations off the travel bucket list. As mentioned previously, my family has always been my number one and I am so thankful for the trips that we get to go on as a family.
But beyond the trips, my family’s support throughout this year and all years has never failed to inspire me. My parents celebrated 25 years of marriage this year, which is incredible. My sisters are growing into sophisticated young women who are catching up to me in height, making us all the same height. It’s a little sad for me because I have been this same height forever, but I guess it’s even more sad for my sisters?…
One of biggest moments of 2016 was getting my tattoo! August 3, 2016 will go down in Rachel History as a big day for a small tattoo. This tattoo was something that I wanted to get for many years, and it finally came to realization this year. The meaning of my tattoo, which you can read up about, made it all the more special.
But as light goes hand in hand with darkness, this year has been a struggle for me in terms of my personal mental health, making the tattoo even more pertinent. Beginning in the summer, I began sliding back and forth in terms of feeling good about myself and feeling depressed and anxious. There would be some incredible days, days that I wished would never end, and other days where I wanted nothing more than to escape reality with any means possible. I had experienced many panic attacks – the first in a few years – that were relentless and incredibly close together.
With this darkness, I made a conscious decision to go seek out counselling to help myself through this. I had spent so many years trying to fight through my problems on my own, that I finally realized this year that I couldn’t do it on my own. In some ways, this darkness made way for light – a realization that seeking out help is by no means a weakness, something that I had feared for many years.
In conjunction with this anxiety was a feeling of loss. I suppose this comes with growing up, but as much as I had gained many new friends, I also lost many. I grew apart from some and also waited too long for others. There were also some boys that I waited far too long for, bringing upon myself a lot undue stress over relationships that, in retrospect, never even existed.
There were some days where I wanted the year to end, and other days where I wished that it could go on and on. In any case, 2016 was an unforgettable year which provided to me plenty of opportunities, and I am looking forward what lies ahead in 2017.
There will be no resolutions, except that of just being content: content with myself, content with life, and content with the process. Because if anything, life is the most sophisticated and difficult process there is. But above all, it is a beautiful process, and one that I am so lucky to be a part of.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy new year, and all the best in 2017!