So we’re here again, the beginning of a New Year – it seems two seconds since I did this post last year, so I wanted to make this one a little bit different.
I feel like everybody will take different things away from this year, because it’s been one of the most diverse and challenging twelve months for a lot of people, myself included. 2016 has taught me a lot of things, I wanted to list my top 16 that I’m going to walk out of ’16 with.
1 – It’s okay not to be okay.
People say this all the time, and I always agree and nod, but this year has been so incredibly difficult, in so many ways. I sat my GCSE’s, I started college, I lost my Grandad, the year generally, has just sucked. I’m the type of person that will fight feeling upset until I physically can’t anymore. I think I realised this year that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay with everything, and that it’s easier to be upset, because eventually that’s going to help. I don’t want to get deep and depressing, but I think this is something I’ll take with me into 2017.
2 – I don’t care what people think anymore.
This is very general, and doesn’t apply to all aspects of my life (obviously) but YouTube wise, I literally do not care anymore. I used to be so conscious of what people would think, or what people would say, but that really does not bother me anymore. Throughout 2016 I’ve been lucky enough to grow on YouTube enough to be able to call this my job, and that is something I love so much and am eternally grateful for. I know this isn’t forever and I know this isn’t massive, but while I’m still in school the fact I can say YouTube is my job is insane and I’m incredibly grateful for that, so if people want to comment on it or make judgements without knowing me now, it really doesn’t bother me, they don’t know the ins and outs and they probably never will, and if they want to make judgements based off the small portion of me they see, then that’s up to them.
3- Travelling is my favourite thing.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel around most of the UK this year, having friends in various places and having a 12 week summer after exams provided me with enough excuses to go all over, as well as going to Florida with my family and to Paris with my friends. I want to travel as much as possible in 2017. I love exploring new places and get so incredibly bored being stuck in Beverley all the time.
4- If I put my mind to it, I can probably do it.
This applies to a lot of aspects of my year. Starting out with my GCSE exams and my determination to pass my maths and science exams (something I did an entire blogpost on) but also little things, like travelling and navigating myself around London. I visit the capital fairly regularly, as I’m sure a lot of you see if you have me on snapchat. It’s such a busy city that navigating it alone is something I’ve learned to do quite quickly, which I love a lot, because being there, especially alone, is something I love.
5- My friends have my back, always.
The entire dynamic of my frienship group has changed so much this year, I started out 2016 being in high school, something I was quite eager to leave behind. Starting sixthform meant that, for the first time in years I’m back in a mixed school, something that’s changed my friendship group a lot. I am eternally grateful for my sixthform friends, because they’re like a little family and I love each and everyone of them. We spend pretty much every day together and there’s always somebody to talk to. My circle of Youtube friends has grown massively this year too, I can now say some of my best friends I’ve made through doing something I love. I went on holiday with them in October and if you’d have told me at the start of 2016 that would happen I’d never have believed you.
6 – London is my happy place.
I think I knew this before 2016, but London has my heart, for sure. I feel happier instantly when I’m there, which is strange because it’s such a stressful and busy city, but something about being so far away from home, so far away from anyone that knows me, just makes me so much happier. I don’t know what that says about me as a person, it’s probably quite sad, but the buzz from being in London is one unlike anywhere else, except, perhaps, New York.
7- When you think it can’t possibly get better, it can.
Lets be honest, all we have to do is look at the state of the political world after 2016 and I think it’s clear that we’lre in a bit of a mess, but surely, eventually that will improve? I’m no politician and don’t know the ins and outs but siliver linings guys, always. This also refers to my personal life as well, because things off camera this year have really not been easy at all, and theres a lot of things (for obvious reasons) I’d never film, and it does seem to have been one thing after another all year long, and I did begin to adopt the ‘surely it can’t get worse than this’ feeling quite often, so now it’s easier to put a positive spin on this, because sure, it’s been a bit of a crap year in terms of everything, but surely that means 2017 can only be an improvement?
8- Retail Therapy always works.
After my exams and after results day, Erin and I became the queen of shopping, and I genuinley do think that retail therapy solves everything. If in doubt – go shopping! (Even if it’s only window shopping)
9- Embrace your inner Blair Waldorf (or Serena Van Der Woodsen, take your pick)
Sometimes you’ve got to adopt the attitude of a Manhattan Socialite and put yourself first, I think in the past I’ve let too many people walk all over me. Often peole that don’t really know me at all. Erin and I often joke about us being like Blair and Serena (I wish) but sometimes you do just have to put yourself first and live for you, even if that doesn’t always have the best out come, because you can’t have every single person be happy one hundred percent of the time, so why settle for anything less then what Blair Waldorf would?
10- YouTube friends are the best.
I started this year off without people like Hannah and Liv, Eve, Lizzie etc, in my life, and looking back now that makes me really sad, because I wouldn’t want to lose them now (lol cheesey). Hannah always knows what to say and isn’t afraid to say it, even if it isn’t always what you want to hear, she’s always right. Her Mum makes the nicest coffees, something that definitely brightened up my 2016, and her house is a nice escape from sixth form stress and drama because she’s so far away that it makes everything else seem insignificant. I also love that we’ve shared some insane memories together this year, considering we weren’t really close until April. We went on holiday together, we’ve been to several events together, we hung out in Lincoln with Alice in the summer, one of my personal highlights. Just the three of us without anybody else in an empty university campus, it was so far from anything I’d done before but I loved it, and I wouldn’t trade any of these memories for the world. My trip to Paris with everyone is a whole seperate story, one you’re possibly familiar with if you watched my vlogs.
11- Don’t settle for anything less than Brooklyn Beckham.
If you follow me on twitter you might be familiar with the on running joke about me getting with Brooklyn Beckham (if you’re reading Brooklyn hmu), but any drama with boys isn’t worth it, because if they’re not brooklyn beckham are they really worth your time (lol obviously yes they are but lets roll with it) I think that’s something I’ll definitely take from 2016, because nobody deserves to be anyones second best. Ever.
12- I’m not a child anymore.
This might sound obvious, because I haven’t really been a child for several years now, but I turned 17 in October, I’m learning to drive, I’m technically self employed, I finished high school, and these aren’t childish acts, I’m learning how to adult (slowly). I feel like, maturity wise, I’ve grown up a lot this year. There have been several things that have meant I’ve had to grow up quite quickly, most of them I’ve never spoken about on camera, and probably never will, but it’s been a tricky year, but I’m stronger because of it.
13- You can end up being best friends with the least likely people.
I started this year (as I’ve already mentioned) with a completely seperate group of friends, and looking back now in December, I don’t know what I did without them all. A lot of my closest friends are people I never thought I’d be as close to. To use an example that you’ll all know, my friend Liv Rook. We met last New Years Eve, and she met me in Kings Cross as a viewer of my channel, having spoken on twitter a few times, and now she’s hands down one of my best friends, and this year has been insane and I love her a lot (everyone needs a Liv in their life, she offers the best and straight up real advice and is always ready with a sassy remark or confident comeback). Moral of this one being that I’m ending the year with an (almost) completely different group of people around me, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
14- There is always a silver lining.
No matter how hard things seem, there is always a silver lining, always. Whenever I was finding things extremely difficult during 2016, which was often, especially with school related things, there was always a silver lining. My GCSEs, for example, although seeming distant now (as I’ve done my best to block them out) the silving lining was that they were the end of a very long 5 year journey, so although the final stretch was the steepest, we all made it in the end, and the silver lining being a 12 week summer that was filled with amazing adventures.
15 – I’m okay on my own.
This took me longer to realise then the rest of them. 2016 saw us move into a mixed school again, so, naturally people getting together became a given, and I’m so happy for all of those people, but I’ve also realised that as an individual, I don’t need someone else to be happy, even if it’s just a friendship. This might sound really dramatic and slightly depressing – but if you’re resting your entire happiness on one person or one group of people, the chances are you have further to fall if that goes wrong. I love my friends, I really really do, I’m surrounded by so many lovely people that bring out the best in me, always, and I know that in a few years when we all split up to go to university or move on in whatever way we do, we’ll look back at these years and have some of the happiest memories, but equally, I’ve learnt to be okay on my own. I’ve always been a fairly independant person, I’d go as far as to say I actually quite like being alone, and in doing so sometimes push people away from getting too close. In 2016 I’ve seen a different side to that, I’d argue I’ve become indepent in a different way, the kind of ‘I can go into central London on my own at night and not be scared, because I’m not a child anymore’ kind of way, I love that. I know that I have an amazing network of people but I also know that I don’t rely on them, which I think is a nice balance.
16- (we’ve made it to the end) Fake it till ya make it.
This might sound slightly pessamistic, but I mean this in the most optomistic way. Often I find myself in situations were I have no idea what I’m doing, or how I’m meant to act, so the general outcome is ‘fake it till ya make it’. I adopted this attitude back in April when I went to my first YouTube event, and I walked in on my own and I thought, right, I can look really nervous and shy, or, I can fake being more confident than I’m actually feeling. I went with the latter. I don’t think that’s a bad attitude to have because eventually it does become real. Don’t let people see you fall. I also have this attitude with my general life as well, because there are things I find difficult on a day to day basis, and often it’s so much easier to fake being okay then to let on, and I’ve found that sometimes, and not always, because usually talking to people does help, but sometimes if you fake it, eventually it becomes reality. That’s definitley something I’m going to take from 2016.
I realise now that I’ve waffled on a lot, but it’s been one heck of a year, it deserves a lot of waffle. I always say this but I’m hoping to get posting to my blog a little bit more throughout this year, and maybe dabble in a few short stories too, as writing is something I love so much, but never have time to do, but 2017 my organisation and time management is going to improve (hopefully), so I’m not promising anything, but blogging is definitley something I want to do more of this year.
Wherever you are reading this, I hope you had a fab New Years Day, and that everybody enjoys 2017 like they deserve to, it’s a clean slate. A fresh chapter. Make it a good’n 🙂
Love you all lots and lots, thank you for the support throughout 2016, it’s been insane.