Communication

Me at the Beginning of 2016 vs. Me at the End

December 15, 2016
2016

It’s perhaps a bit early in December to be posting a year in review blog, but what can I say: I’m thinking ahead. How was your 2016? Social media is currently circulating a whole slew of “Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end” memes that suggest 2016 wasn’t the friendliest of years for many of us.

For example:

Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end.

Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end.

And:

Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end.

Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end.

And also:

Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end.

Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end.

But aren’t we always tired by the time December rolls around, anyway? As a month characterized by consumption of all varieties (food, drink, presents, parties, etc.) it’s not the “cleanest” way to end the year. Every year I try to think of ways to minimize the impacts of over-consumption, and yet each year, post-Christmas, I find myself completely over-full: body, mind, soul.

Sort of like this:

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-4-04-57-pm

Part of the difficulty of December is that it acts like a hinge that time pivots on. We look back over our shoulders as we open the door into the unknown of the next year. Looking back through the blogs I’ve posted in 2016, I’m pleasantly reminded of the creative insights that led to them being written. It’s a nice way to measure the year; to hold its many moments in my mind.

So while I could jump onto the meme wagon and talk about how hard it is to “adult,” instead I’m gonna look back at what I’ve produced and the obstacles I’ve conquered as a sign that I’m a stronger person than I was at the beginning of 2016.

2016: Year in Review

January post: The Elusive Dream Job of My Generation

Dream job

2016 was filled with thoughts about my career, particularly because I’m not entirely sure of what I imagine myself doing for the rest of my life. Sure, if I could sit and write books for a living, I would be one happy worker – but I’m also very practical and I know that that dream might not be possible. Still, I have that dream (or fantasy?) tightly woven into me. 2016 has been characterized by mapping out the intersection between my dreams and my professional life, which this piece speaks to. Read post.

February post: Love at First Sight Is Possible, It’s Just Not How You Imagine

Valentines Day

I hold furiously to the belief that life should be practical. If something doesn’t work practically then its value, in my eyes, diminishes. In the past I have found romantic relationships to be confusing. For a time I considered the possibility that they weren’t right for me, personally, which led me to reading an interesting book called Love 2.0 that presented love in a way that made more sense to me, and fuelled this Valentine’s Day piece. Read post.

March Post: Escaping Fitness Bro Culture

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-4-41-43-pm

At different points throughout our lives, and to varying degrees, we will all struggle with some aspect of our gender. I wanted to write this piece to shed some light on the ways in which bro culture, especially at the gym, can bring gender insecurities front and centre. Read post.

June Post: Pride 2016: An Apology to My 16-Year-Old Self

Pride

Whereas June is normally a celebratory month for the LGBT community, in 2016 a terrible thing happened in Orlando, Florida. It was a month that left many of us reflecting on so many different things – and in true introvert fashion, I allowed my thoughts and feelings about the tragedy to ruminate for several weeks before responding with this blog: my most-read piece to date. Read post.

July Post: Why I’m Using All My Vacation Days in One Go

Vacation

I spent a lot of time in 2016 thinking about time – specifically, how to find a better balance between work and life. But the idea of work/life balance is an awkward equation in that society is set up (especially in Canada and the US) to always tip the scales in the favour of work, which I find increasingly uncomfortable and frustrating. So I’m embarking on an experiment; I saved up my vacation days for a full one-month vacation to see if I can get a taste of the freedom I’m craving. PS: I leave very soon. Read post.

August Post: Be a Hero, Not a Victim: How to Escape Victim Mentality

Victim Mentality

One of the most destructive mindsets I’ve identified in myself is victim mentality. This mindset can wreak such havoc in our lives because it prevents us from moving forward by holding us in place. In many instances, we aren’t aware that we are stuck in a victim mentality because – contrary to what you might think – feeling victimized is a protective mechanism, one that we return to because it makes us feel safe. Confusing, right? Read post.

September Post: Why You Should Care About the Sugar Controversy

Sugar

The controversy surrounding the sugar scandal is something I’ve been reading about for a long time, but which only made it to mainstream media this year, finally. What I find so fascinating about the sugar controversy is not only the blatant and deliberate manipulation of us for the personal gain of corporations, but why more of us aren’t outraged by this! What up with that? Read post.

As much as I’m exhausted and completely ready for 2016 to flip over to 2017, I’m also excited for the next leg. What obstacles will I face, and how will I become stronger because of them? What seeds that I’ve planted will grow and blossom – and which ones will lie in wait for the right conditions? Life is exciting, life is tiring, and life is definitely worth living.

Hello, 2017.

 

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