This year was totally the year of “like, realizing stuff,” as Kylie Jenner said. Looking back at my “2015 highlights” in my journal, most of the things I wrote down were career-based. But this year, it’s been different. Perhaps losing my job plays a part in this, but the things I remember most this year were not career-driven, but rather, things, memories and people that fed my soul.
That's not to say I didn't have any career highlights, because there were plenty of those, but at the end of the day, these are the things that really stood out to me this year:
1. Going to the Olympics in Rio.
This summer, I travelled with 13 other people to watch my best friend compete in the Olympic games. It was a dream she’s had ever since I’ve known her, and when we were little, any time she would tell me she would be competing in the Olympics one day, I said I would be there to watch her. I missed her in the 2012 Olympics in London, so finally being able to watch her, cheer her on and support her was one of the most incredible moments of the year.
2. Ending toxic relationships
Cutting off people who just weren't good for me started a few years ago, but it continued this year, most notably, with a person who has been in and out of my life for almost six years. I was finally able to get the closure I needed, and realized having this person in my life truly was toxic. It was something I knew deep down inside for a long time (and something my friends have constantly told me), but it wasn't until this year that I was able to cut the cord.
3. The Huffingtones
One of the best things I could have done for myself this year was join a band. For years, I’ve been wanting to make music with people, as opposed to just playing by myself in my condo or at my mom’s house. I finally got that opportunity this year, and in turn, got to know some incredible people I probably wouldn’t have gotten close to otherwise.
When we competed at Newzapalooza this year, I was reminded of how much I love to perform. There was no greater feeling than getting up on that stage, feeling the music, and playing for a crowd of people, many of whom came specifically to support us. I will never forget how wonderful it felt.
4. Getting laid off
Losing my job was probably the best thing that could have happened to me this year. Yes, it was traumatic and shocking at first, but over the past month and a half, I’ve truly been the happiest I’ve been all year, and I'm definitely less stressed.
Yes, it’s a hustle to freelance and do my own thing, but I’ve realized I wouldn’t have it any other way … at least for now. The idea of going back into a 9-5 quite frankly isn’t appealing to me right now, as I much prefer being my own boss and working on my own schedule. It’s also given me more time to do things I actually want to do but didn’t have the time or energy to do before, and I can’t wait to delve into more new activities in the new year.
5. Bonding with these people
There's no words to describe how much I love the people in the above photo. They've kept me sane this year, have been huge sources of support and some of my best 2016 memories were created with them. From our trip to Montreal, to belly laughs, group chats, random dance parties and family dinners, I've shared so many tears (both of joy and sadness) with these three, and I couldn't be more thankful to have them in my life.