Thursday, 31 December 2015

A little piece of my year

Well. This year has certainly thrown a few curveballs, eh?


Every year that I've written a December 31st post I've been confident in what I want to write, but this one is different. I have no idea what I'm about to write. I'm going to let it all flow out and hope to God it makes sense at the end. But what I do know is that I want to dedicate this post to reflecting on what I've learned from all of my 2015 experiences, and how much they've changed how I see myself as a person.


This time last year I was settled into college life, enjoying the luxuries first year brought with it and fully believing I knew everything. A year later I think about that time and I'm embarrassed of my ignorance and arrogance.

Starting college changed me and I was utterly oblivious until I no longer could be. It took a summer in Dublin to bring all of my previous worries, regrets and insecurities to the surface. And they hit me like a ton of bricks.

Being alone in Dublin gave me little choice but to face my convictions head-on and get to the root of the problems. I worked from 9:30am-5:30pm every day but it was the evenings that were the true test of character. There are only so many phone calls you can make in a night; the rest of the time you've got your head and your heart for company.

If it wasn't for my head reminding me that I was living the dream in Dublin and doing what I love, my heart would've sent me packing long before the finishing line was even in sight. I can still remember the day I moved to Dublin with my mom. I went straight to work that day while she moved my stuff into the house. It wasn't until after my first day at work that I saw where I would be living for the first time. That's when it really hit me just how alone I was going to be. So she stayed an extra night with me and brought me to Milanos. Always a good choice.

I like to think of summer as the white blank page I needed in order to reevaluate and rediscover me. It's just a shame the blank canvas had to come from a new notebook instead of turning to an uncreased page of the old one.


It took a lot of hard work, experimenting, sleepless nights and YouTube videos but after twelve testing weeks in the capital, I finally realised that what I needed was a software update. I know that's not the ideal metaphor to describe my situation, but it makes sense. When I think about it, I was very much like my old iPhone 4. I was slow to do things that involved effort, I always had to choose what I wanted to keep or delete from my emotional storage and I looked like shit all the time.

Since starting my blank page, I've made quite a few changes to my lifestyle. For starters, my wardrobe has changed dramatically. Dublin allowed me to try new things and I discovered a style that suited me. I never believed people when I heard them say that how you dress reflects your self-confidence, but now I couldn't agree more.

As well as that, I started to give a shit about make-up and looking half-decent on a day-to-day basis. Don't get me wrong, I'll still happily rock up to college in a tracksuit with no make-up on if I feel like it. But that's the change, I guess; I never feel like it anymore.

I don't get angry that much either now. Yes, I get pissed off and I'm the Queen of mood swings but on the whole, I rarely lose my cool anymore. I might retreat to my room for a few hours and curse vigorously under my bedsheets, but I'm yet to have a direct shouting match with someone. Well, at least none that I can remember.

Anger might not seem like a big problem that I had in comparison to others but it still got the better of me on a number of occasions this year. In the past if I was angry with someone I'd just cut communication with them completely or, in the case of a couple of heated arguments, I saw red and ripped them apart at the top of my lungs.

Now, though, I still might need some alone time to calm down and gather my thoughts, but I'll always do my best to talk it out. Whether the other person engages and makes the effort to smooth things over depends on how much they give a shit, I guess.

However, one of the biggest things I've learned in the past few months is how to control my OCD. I'm not going to go into detail about it because I've already written about that here. What I will tell you though is that every step I take away from the control is freeing me in a way I never thought possible. For that, I am most proud of myself.


Of course, I've learned more than just how to shape my eyebrows and stop counting my steps. Here are a few other things this year has taught me:

1. Passion can't be forced in any aspect of life; be it love, sport, creativity or otherwise.
2. I know what tattoo I'm getting in the new year.
3. Thursday nights out aren't everything.
4. If you don't nurture a relationship it will wilt, and you'll be left to pull the weeds on your own.
5. The kitchen sink doesn't always need to be empty.
6. Spontaneity sometimes makes for the best memories.
7. I'm still obsessed with Paris.
8. Life without Spotify Premium is meaningless.
9. Strong coffee makes me a morning person.
10. I don't like boys as much as I thought I did.
11. 100% exams fuck shit up.
12. The library isn't as scary as I thought it was.
13. Small gestures go a long way.
14. If you're not happy with something, make a change. Even if that change leads into the unknown.
15. Doing well in an assignment is the most rewarding feeling.
16. I'm lucky to be able to come home at the weekends - not all of my time needs to be spent away from home.
17. McDonalds at 3am is the first and most crucial step towards curing a hangover.
18. McDonalds is crucial in all aspects of life.
19. I'm a Belieber.
20. Having a sink in my bedroom last year was a privilege I took for granted.
21. Losing my fitness is one of my biggest regrets.
22. Using an umbrella isn't embarrassing, it's actually very practical.
23. I need to start blogging properly again. 
24. My taste in music is so random.
25. Autumn really is a beautiful season.
26. Anyone who can make me laugh plays a massively important role in my life without even knowing.
27. I'm an Instagram whore and I'm totally okay with it.
28. Great friendships can have the weirdest beginnings but write the best stories.
29. Being me is absolutely enough.


This year has tested me in more ways than one which makes the happiness I feel at the end of it so much sweeter. After difficult times, many people hope for the New Year to bring fresh starts and new beginnings. But what made 2015 so special for me is that I made my own fresh start mid-year with no countdowns or resolutions to motivate me. June 1st became my January 1st and thank God I was able to embrace it the way I did.

So, what does 2016 hold for me? A trip to Copenhagen, a few concerts here and there, planning for my adventures of 3rd year...but besides that I really don't know. Will I get the work placement I'm hoping for? How will that affect the second half of my year? When should I start thinking about Erasmus? What if my QCA isn't good enough? Is next semester going to be even tougher than this one was? Who the fuck knows.

And for once, I actually like not knowing.