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Thursday, 19 January 2017

New year, same me, revamped blog.

Okay okay, I know it's a *tad* late to be writing a New Year's post on the 19th of January, but hey, better late than never. I've also been AWOL from my blog for about four months, but I've got a reasonable excuse for that. A few weeks after my birthday in September, I fell and fractured the side of my right hand and little finger in three places (at least I waited until after my birthday to do it). After getting my hand strapped up and my arm put in a sling, I was under doctor's orders not to use my hand at all, which is difficult when you're right handed. In my follow up appointment after my fractures had healed, the doctors then suspected that my tendon may have slipped out of place during the fall... so I was sent for an MRI scan, and I'm currently waiting for the results. I'm still in just as much pain as I was four months ago, so I can't type that much, but I'm going to try and post more this year! Think of it as a late New Year's resolution.

This post is going to be a reflection of 2016, and looking forward into 2017, so it may be a bit rambly... but I thought it would be a nice post to kick start this year of blogging.

From 2016...

2016 was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but overall it was a pretty good year. The start of the year wasn't great, I was incredibly stressed and wasn't coping well with uni, I almost dropped out and I was constantly feeling low. It was impacting my relationship, my social life and my family life. I really wasn't enjoying the experience, but with a fabulous support network around me, I finished my first year with flying colours (0.2% off of a First!). Now I'm actually enjoying university, and I got the boost I needed to tell myself 'I can actually do this'.

Although the start of my year wasn't great, it improved massively as the year rolled on, and I had some great experiences. I spent more time with family over the past year, which was great. I've got a big family who live all over the place and so I don't always get to see everyone, but I managed to find time to see most of them during the year. I also got to experience something I've wanted to for a very long time, to drive two of my favourite American muscle cars at a historic motorsport venue. I'm a massive American muscle car fan, so getting the chance to throw a V8 engine round the track was a great experience. I also got to experience a high speed passenger ride with an ex Formula One driver, which was wonderfully terrifying.

I've changed a lot in the past year too. I know that's might seem quite cliché, but it's true. I've lost friends and gained friends, and I've become a much more grounded person. I'm much happier with myself now, and happier in general. I'm not really sure what kick started this, maybe it was turning 20, maybe it was the new friends I made, whatever it was I'm grateful for it. I also became more focused on what I want to achieve, and started planning my next steps for when I graduate. I've been thinking about going on to do a masters degree, which I know sounds ridiculous after mentioning I almost dropped out of the first year of my bachelor's degree. But I've still got a while to think about my options, so I'm not going to push myself to make a decision just yet.

While I didn't do anything terribly exciting in 2016 (I didn't travel or take up a new hobby or do anything massively adventurous), I felt like it was a good year for me. I achieved a lot by passing my first year of uni, and I've grown as a person. I'm happier and healthier, and can't wait to experience more positives in the coming year. 2017

I'm already buzzing about this year, and we're only 19 days in. I've got much more planned for this year and more to look forward to. My boyfriend and I are already planning a trip for my 21st (he's been promising to take me to Rome for my 21st for a couple of years, as I've been yearning to travel there since I was little), so I'm extremely excited about that. We've also got tickets to an RBS Six Nations game next month, and while it's not a game involving my home country, I'm still looking forward to getting to experience an international rugby game. I'm also planning a party for my 21st (are you sensing a theme here?) which I'm rather enjoying. On top of this I have a big family event to look forward to, as one of my brother's is getting married this year. So the outlook for 2017 is looking positive so far.

But this wouldn't be a New Year post unless I talked about a few resolutions and some things I want to achieve this year, would it?

- Travel more: Even if it's just somewhere local I've never been before, I want to travel more this year. I've already mentioned my trip to Rome that I'm planning, but I'm determined to explore new places this year. Not only will it help to satisfy my major wanderlust, but in my opinion nothing can compare to experiencing somewhere new. I might even invest in a travel scrapbook or journal to get the most out of my travels.

- Blog more: As I've explained, I've been pretty rubbish at blogging recently... but I'm going to turn it around this year and blog more often. I'm also going to try to connect more with you lovely bloggers out there and really get the most out of the blogging experience. Blogging is such a lovely creative outlet, and I can't wait to do more of it this year.

- Get organised: Oh I'm so bad at this! I tell myself I'm going to get organised and be super productive but, well... it never really happens. This year I plan to change that, and I've already started on this by creating a lovely little study space for myself.

- Do more for charity: I've taken part in charity events in the past, and I absolutely love them so it would be great to do another one this year. They're great fun to take part in, and they're raising money for charity, so it's a win-win situation really. It would be great to be able to do something like a Tough Mudder challenge, but I'm not sure I'm quite there yet...although my next resolution could help with that.

- Get fit: Okay, I know this is like everyone's New Year resolution, but it's something I really want to achieve (and if I want to do another charity event, it might well be necessary). I don't want to do it just to lose weight, although I wouldn't say no to that, but just to get myself a bit healthier and stronger.

- Experience more: This is one of my biggest goals for 2017. I'm fed up of saying 'oh I wish I'd done that' or 'I should have gone for it'. This year I'm going to give myself a good kick up the backside and take opportunities when they come my way, even if they might seem a little scary. At the end of the year I want to look back and know that I've gotten the most out of it.

Well that's my year in review! It might not have been the most exciting post in the world, but it was a nice way to get back into things. I hoped you enjoyed reading, and I'd love to know what 2017 looks like for you!

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." 
- Laozi

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