Oh 2016, you were a real bastard weren't you?
No wait, I take that back. For the most part, you were the biggest babe imaginable; full of travelling the world, opportunities I never dreamed possible, laughter, love and a dream career that grew from strength to strength and filled my heart with so much happiness and fulfilment. But then you scattered little raindrops of shite - or you know, more specifically, grief and heartbreak - all over it, and sadly, those little droplets took the best year of my life to potentially the worst and this is where we're at right now. Which is a bit grim because you know, you want to go into the New Year being like "watch out world" but actually I'm kinda crawling into 2017 like, "oh please be nice boo, I actually can't cope with any more shit".
So let's start with the good because I'm feeling all moaning myrtle and I'm trying not to be about that life at the minute. I started the year full of positivity. My blog had just started to be recognised a little, I'd been invited to a couple of press trips and rather than feeling like I was drowning in a sea of massive fish that didn't have a clue I existed, I felt a little bit like I was doggy paddling and definitely not drowning and maybe sometimes a lot of my much bigger peers even knew who I was too. At the beginning of the year, if you'd have told me I'd go on to work on a mammoth - and maybe slightly ridiculous - 68 brand collaborations (sponsored, for the sake of transparency), I would never have believed you. If you'd have told me I'd have collaborated with some of my favourite brands like Max Factor, Loreal, Elizabeth Arden, Clinique, Cartier (I know!), Primark etc. I'd have never believed you. If I had one tiny little inkling that I would travel the world and see Dubai, Paris, South of France, Italy, New York, Spain etc. ... that I'd have stayed in some of the dreamiest London hotels (including The Shard), I actually would never have believed it for a single second. And if you'd have said that I would've been the face of a brand and my moosh would've been in Superdrugs all over the UK I actually would lol'd so hard in your face.
Because I'm an ogre, so lol, no pal that surely never should've happened!
I am so aware that that probably sounds like the arsiest (not a word), braggiest (100% not a word), most self indulgent paragraph that has ever been written but please know, the only reason I'm saying this is because this year I somehow managed to achieve things I could never even dream of, so if you are that person that has a list full of dreams and goals but never thinks that they're possible... they are absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt achievable if, basically, you work your arse off like you never have before!
"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth"
Do I feel like I failed at love because I was engaged to be married and that didn't work out? Yeah, of course. Do I feel absolutely gutted that I couldn't/wasn't allowed to say goodbye to a side of the family that had taken me under their wing and got on with so well? Devastated. Do I question most days how two people that were on the most part so perfect for each other didn't work out? Yeah, in the bad moments (which are less and less frequent every single day) it kinda eats me up inside. But the thing is, I've always thrown the quote "everything happens for a reason" around, but this truly tested my beliefs in that quote, and actually... I still believe this to be utterly true. I guess really, I just felt the absolute need to talk about the relationship side of things as a) every single meeting I go to I am constantly asked by PR's/brands when I'm getting married and let me just tell you that when I was going through the worst of the break up, I literally just held myself together enough to pass off the question and change subjects (before going home and crying hysterically about the fact that said wedding will never happen). And b) I guess because so many people just see Bloggers/Youtubers/Influencers Instagram feeds and therefore they must live the perfect life, right? They see me go to shoots, they see me with the biggest smile and the loudest laugh and they just think that life's perfect and carefree. And I think it's incredibly important to realise that you just never know what is going on in people's lives behind the scenes, so please just be kind, and never judge. Everybody is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
I honestly don't know what, or maybe even who, is out there for me in 2017, but I hope and pray that it involves adventure, experiences of a lifetime, hard work paying off, family health, the pain of this heartbreak fading (preferably as quick as possible!), constant laughter, new friendships, old friendships thriving. And happiness.
Through everything I've been through this year, the highest of highs and lowest of lows, all I ever really want in life is happiness.
I want to end this in a sassy way like, here's to making the next year the best one yet but realistically, 2016 taught me that you never, ever know what's around the corner. And life can change, inconceivably, in a single moment. So rather than attacking life and planning out world domination (said completely ironically because I've definitely not turned into one of those really annoying "sassy, take over the planet, bossing life" bloggers that think they can own the world), I think I'm just going to take each day as it comes and trust in the fact that what's meant to be will find it's way.
So thank you 2016 - and soz for calling you a bastard at the beginning - for giving me experiences of a lifetime, and teaching me life lessons that'll last me a lifetime.