The first two months of this year were pretty uneventful, but things picked up pretty quickly in March when Daniel and I suddenly had to move out immediately, and stay with friends until we were able to find our own place. Since we were staying quite far away from where we had been living, I was unable to work until we found somewhere to live that was closer to my job.
Luckily, we had our savings, which took care of moving costs - but, unfortunately, that meant we had to cancel a trip to Europe that we'd been planning and slowly paying off. Out of everything that happened, that part broke my heart the most, but I'm not going to dwell on that. Daniel and I actually had to move all of our stuff twice - first to a friend's house, and then to our new house - but the friend that we were staying with helped out heaps. We wouldn't have been able to do it without him and his partner, and we'll be forever grateful to have them in our lives.
The same goes to everyone who was there for us over that period of time. So many people gave us furniture and kitchenware, and others offered anything that they could. It was a scary time in my life, and I could've easily fallen into a pit of despair, but everyone around us made me feel so loved that I couldn't be anything but grateful, and I can't thank everyone enough for that.
As stressful and scary as the whole ordeal was, it was truly a blessing. Even while it was happening, I knew that it would eventually be over and that my life would be better than ever afterwards - and it really is. I am the happiest I've ever been, simply because I am finally in control of my own life. I make all my own decisions, I don't have to answer to anyone, and there's no one around trying to bring me down anymore.
Now, on the good days, I feel like my life is a fairytale: I live in a cute little unit with my boyfriend, who is also my best friend. We go on adventures all the time together. I have a job working with great people.
I have plenty of free time to read and write until my heart's content. Of course, no one's life is a fairytale, and I never want people to think that's how I'm trying to convey my life - it's just that, compared to how it used to be, I really do feel like the luckiest person on Earth.
I decided to make a list of my accomplishments this year, no matter how small, and congratulate myself for making it to the end of the year. Hell, I can't believe I made it to 20! Once upon a time I thought I'd never even make it to 18, and now I'm 20. That means more than you can ever know.
In 2016 I:
- Read 64 books (so far! I've nearly finished another one). I've loved reading all my life, but this is definitely the most books I've read in one year, and I'm so proud of myself.
- Created a blog. I've been wanting to do this for so long, but I feel like this was definitely the right time. Now that I live out of home, I no longer feel like I have to watch what I say, or try to alter who I am, and I feel that has been reflected in my writing - particularly in my poetry. I've also been reading a lot more blogs, and that has been such a highlight of this year. There are so many inspiring people and blogs out there, which makes me want to work even harder on mine.
- Dyed my hair orange. I'd had blonde hair for the last 3 years, but moving out felt like a fresh start, and I felt like a different person, so I wanted a change. I've loved orange hair for as long as I can remember, and I'm really glad I decided to give it a go.
- Actually used my camera. I bought myself a digital camera a while ago, but I didn't like it and thought it was a huge waste of money, so it just sat in my cupboard unused. A few months ago, I decided to try it out again, and this time I waited until I put the photos on my computer before I judged them - and I was pleasantly surprised. My photos looked great; it was just hard to tell on the tiny screen on my camera. Now I take my camera with my everywhere.
- Started studying for a diploma in specialist make-up services. Key word: started. I never actually finished, but I decided to add it to the list because it was a big decision that I made after I moved out. I had to pay a lot of fees and attend interviews in the city to get in. Then, after all that, they closed down the school and relocated to the city, which I am unable to get to on a weekly basis, forcing me to leave with a $20, 000 debt and no qualification to show for it. But, what's done is done. I got some cool make-up and brushes out of it, and I met some pretty great people.
- Stood up for myself. Doing this is what got Daniel and I into such a predicament in the beginning of the year, but it was so worth it. I was being run into the ground and repeatedly taken advantage of by someone who was supposed to care about me, and one day I had to say no. I literally had nothing left to give. Afterwards, all hell broke lose, but I still did it. The next 24-48 hours afterwards were awful and scarring, but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel the entire time, and that's where I am now.
As long as I'm working, striving to be be a good person, and am able to find happiness in the little things in life, that's all that should matter. There is still so much time for me to do all the things I want to do, I just need to remember that.