2016: The Highlights, The Lowlights, And How Rebels Got Me Through

To say I’m merely stumped about what to say about the last year is a lie. I’m actually thoroughly, completely, dug into a hole, stumped. (Great mental image that is. 6″1 me with short red hair just sticking out of some hole in the ground) My stumped-ness can also be called writer’s block. Which is both a curse and blessing to have when you’re trying to reflect on what’s being called a pretty terrible year? It’s a curse as releasing some of the stuff into the written word is quite therapeutic, and a blessing as it’ll dig up some emotions I probably want to keep buried for another few months. But I’m gonna break through this block and see if writing some lists will help.

Let’s start with the good things about this year… CUE THE HIGHLIGHT REEL!

Highlights:

  • I got a job
  • I got my first ever tattoo
  • I managed my first ever team
  • I volunteered at ComicCon for the third year in a row
  • I worked behind a bar for the first time ever
  • I saw some wicked live music
  • I made red wine brownies
  • I went to Carols by Candlelight for the first time
  • I helped organised some of the biggest events at my university
  • I successfully documented a whole year of my life (which you can see here)
  • I pretty much wrote a novel (which you’ll probably see never)
  • I discovered that my friends are what keep me grounded and that it doesn’t matter how far away they are, they’re bloody well there for me when I truly need it
  • I got accepted to go on exchange
  • I start working on my mental health
  • I finally got into podcasts
  • I had my most journal creative year  
  • I finally left behind my teenage years
  • I broke my coffee addiction
  • I finished that book about vaginas
  • I discovered Hamilton

Lowlights:

  • I lost some close friends
  • I didn’t get the job I wanted
  • I had my most mentally unhealthy year
  • I discovered I have the family’s vaginal curse
  • I had surgery for the first time ever
  • I lost some musical and acting heroes
  • I didn’t do so well at university
  • I didn’t do so well financially
  • I didn’t use that planner I bought at the beginning of the year
  • I lost touch with what I want to do in life
  • I still don’t have my license
  • I didn’t do a bit of travelling (Melbourne doesn’t count)
  • I slowly came to my senses and realised that I really shouldn’t own plants
  • My love life is still practically nonexistent
  • I realised that the people I love aren’t immortal and that I’ll have to deal with death in my life soon
  • I still harbour those teenage feelings of fakeness and the insecurities that come along with it
  • I didn’t write as much as I should have or wanted to
  • I still haven’t gone to a First Friday at the art gallery
  • I rarely asked for help, and when I actually sought it out I ruined it for myself or didn’t get the help I needed
  • I was sick for most of this year

Quite honestly? 2016 was fucking hard. I physically and mentally broke down in late April/early May, and I haven’t really built myself back up yet. I left something that had been apart of my life for the better part of four years and didn’t have anything to fill that void.

Actually, I did. I had myself to fill that void but I didn’t.

Shortly after I broke down the world seems to have a breakdown of its own: from mass shootings to hate crimes to major shambles in politics to the rise of xenophobia and racism and hate and misogyny to losing our heroes and our icons to continuously problematic industries to acts against human rights… The list could go on and on and on but I’ll stop here and let you know how the second part of this blog’s title comes into play.

As both the world and I broke down, I had a little thing called Star Wars to get me through.

Big shock, I know. Who’d have thought? This is so out of character for me. Talking about Star Wars? I never do that!


Last year I finally pinpointed why I love Star Wars so much – and if I continue on with this blogging thing throughout the year I may go into depth on this – but for now I’d like to say that apart from the fact that it has some kickass characters and is in SPACE, it’s essentially a story about rebels.

It’s about the underdogs. It’s about those who should have no chance at all, who are suffering and enslaved and have gone through tremendous loss. But, despite all that, they find hope. And the hope shown in Star Wars (plus the kickass characters and SPACE) got me through this year.

So cheers Star Wars, I owe you one.

Now enough about Star Wars and back to reflecting on 2016.

In summary, it was a bit shit. I came out of it uninspired and a little unhappy… But with a major change just around the corner. Most tend to end their years with resolutions. I’m not a huge fan of resolutions as they’re essentially broken promises to yourself. Instead, I like goals. And I’ve got a big one in mind that I’m typing down and publishing so I can be held accountable to it (that’s the bit where you come in).

My goal for the year? Get in touch with the parts I’ve forgotten. Fill that earlier mentioned void with focusing on my fitness, religion, spirituality, my social and political activism ways, by reading, creating, nurturing relationships. I want to work on everything that makes me who I am, I want to continue building on the hope we may so desperately need in the times to come… And I want to rebel a little.

The plan is to track all of this through a range of creative outlets. I’ll either write something, or record something, or post something, I’ll do something and I’ll share it online so I’m held accountable for this potential progress (and maybe you’ll get something out of it too).

So I think it’s safe to say I’m no longer stumped. Let’s remove that mental image of me dug in a hole from your mind, okay?

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