As far as all years go, 2016 was a big one for me.
I started this blog, was inducted into NHS, went to Europe, began attending Teen Court, passed the 60 like and 180 follower mark on Instagram. I now have 146 followers on Twitter, scored 5s on all of my AP exams (!!!!!!), and have more than 40,000 points on Snapchat. I fought through the drama, rid myself of fake friends, improved 130 points on the PSAT, went to parties, made new friends, and had tons of fun.
While this past year was great, it didn't come without downsides. 2016 was the first year in which I truly experienced loss. Now, of course I had known people that died in past years, but it was never personal to me and I didn't have to experience the aftermath. The two main figures that died (my former piano teacher's husband and Jim) were very kind people that I had grown up around. I wasn't particularly close to either of the them but they were constant figures in my life that I believed I would be able to see far into the future.
As a child, it's important to have constant, reliable surroundings and the people in your life are such an important part of that. As I transition into adulthood -- scary as that may seem -- I had the understanding that those who surround me would evolve and change, but it never quite settled in before this year that change might include death. It sounds silly and incredibly naive, but although I clearly knew about death and that it would come someday for all around me, I believed myself to be immune from it. No one around me died and therefore I throught it was something I would experience later on in life. There were those around me that had heart attacks, cancer, or other life threatening illnesses but they always recovered and I really believed that everyone had the ability to fight through anything. Clearly, that is not how life works and this year, I received a very late wakeup call.
Before I started blogging, I only had Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, places I frequent when I have pretty pictures and fun times to share, to communicate with the world. My Instagram is a very carefully curated and private collection of what I deem the most worthy to put online. As a testament to this, I posted a mere 7 pictures this year. That said, you can probably guess that I don't tweet much either. I mainly promote my club (go UNICEF!) or retweet cute dog pictures with the occasional political tweet promoting equal pay between the genders. If I'm really feeling inspired, I'll retweet a Humans of New York story. On Facebook ... well, I never post anything on Facebook.
I'm very careful about my online persona and I had no place to complain (you won't see any subtweets from me) or share my passions online. Blogging provided me a space to let loose and not be so careful about my image because as of now, I run a semi-anonymous blog. When I started blogging, I had a particular need to rant. I have amazing friends but the occasional long winded rant is still very unenjoyable to them and I used those as the principal method of ridding myself of anger. I rarely become angry about anything, but I quickly grow increasingly anxious and upset when I find myself unable to express my angers. There's something that's just so freeing about putting your thoughts out there without the pressure of having those you know judge the things you write. It simply gives me a sense of calm I find hard to find in other places. To be completely honest, blogging out my angers is so cathartic that sometimes it's hard for me to remember why I wrote something in the first place when I re-read my blog.
While my blog has helped me cope with some angry times it has also helped me achieve one of my childhood dreams of being able to share my DIY projects online. I've been in love with the notion of the do-it-yourself movement from the first time I was introduced to it. It gives you such a sense of independence and pride. Although I'm very proud of my achievements and I want them to be seen, there is be absolutely no way that I would dedicate an insta post to them. In my mind, my projects aren't beautiful or masterful enough and my they aren't what my followers are looking for. This blog has been the perfect platform to show my latest DIYs as simple and easy or unprofessional as they may seem.
So, 13 blog posts later, here I am. Thank you for making me happier, prouder, and overall a better, more calm person. May the new year bring us all happiness and prosperity.
Good night and good luck.
(Not my photo)