I just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope 2015 has been everything you hoped it would be and that 2016 will be even better.
The period between Christmas and New Year can often be a contemplative one. We look back at the year just gone and remember what we hoped for in the New Year this time last year.
Sometimes things work out better than expected, sometimes worse.
2015 was a year of such promise for me. I had several big trips planned, I would move abroad for a year, I would turn 30 and I would celebrate my first wedding anniversary.
Only some of these things happened the way they were supposed to.
At times 2015 has been very tough for me, but overall I’ve had so much fun, seen so much of the world, learnt so much and cried an awful lot, but that’s ok.
If I’ve learned anything from the past 12 months it is to never to take anything for granted. Sometimes the life you planned for yourself, or with someone else, just doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, sometimes you hit a bump in the road. Whether this is because of something you did or something someone else did or some other event completely out of your control doesn’t really matter (often it’s down to all three), you just have to get on with it and let all your expectations go for a while.
This doesn’t mean you should live life on tenterhooks, worrying if it all might go wrong. Quite the opposite, it means you should enjoy every moment and just roll with the punches and know that, in-time, no matter what happens, you will be absolutely fine.
I’ve also reaffirmed some old beliefs that you should never care what other people think of you and the decisions you make – nothing is ever black and white and you’re the only one who has to wake up and live with your decisions every day. Also, I believe you shouldn’t ever be afraid, embarrassed or too proud to fight for what you believe in or what your instinct tells you to be true. There’s little to be gained from playing it safe, we have to take an informed gamble every once in a while.
And it’s important to know what’s real and true for you and what is fake and fleeting. In an Instagram, advertising, peer pressure, machismo and social media dominated world it’s easy to be seduced by what seems like the perfect life but is in actual fact nothing more than a hollow, lonely fantasy, or to feel pressured into behaving a certain way at the cost of your own and other’s happiness.
Recently I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on what I want in life and I think that is important, too. Sometimes we just go through the motions and don’t really know what we even want anymore.
The highlights of 2015 for me were being lucky enough to visit New York, Boston, France, Hong Kong and Australia, realising what amazing friends and family I have and being able to live a slower pace of life for the last few months of 2015 while I figure things out.
But for me, and I’m sure many others, 2015 will be remembered as the year that the world went a bit crazy (not for the first time) with terrorist attacks, too many to mention, extreme natural disasters, the refugee/ migrant crisis, inexplicable plane crashes and disappointing elections. Such disasters bring out the best and the worst in people and we’ve certainly seen both this year.
I don’t think things are going to get much easier in 2016 in respect to some of the big challenges the world currently faces – global warming, terrorism, people displacement. It’s hard to know what one’s role is in all this madness but I see mine as simply showing kindness and compassion when it’s needed, being conscientious in my lifestyle choices and occasionally speaking up for those who sometimes don’t have a voice.
I don’t expect anything from 2016 but to work hard, love harder and have as much fun as possible. I can’t wait to see in the New Year with my husband and the fireworks at Sydney Harbour.
I wish you all a very, very joyous New Year!