What a year. 2015 has been a crazy year and all in all, it has been amazing. Normally the end of the year has me wondering where the months have gone and how fast the year has passed - 2015 on the other hand feels like it has been going on forever, for about 3 years if you'd ask me. So many things have happened during the last 12 months, I can't wrap my head around it. Just thinking that exactly a year ago I was working as a volunteer in Cape Town makes my head spin, it seems so far away. And then it still feels like yesterday. I still remember sitting there writing my New Year's reflections post - 2014 had been a crazy year that brought a lot of happiness but a lot of difficult moments as well. My New Year's resolutions for 2015 had been figuring out my future and saying yes to new opportunities and (surprisingly), I actually did both of those things. So what has happened in 2015? Volunteering in Cape Town, a safari in Krüger National Park, a West Coast Trip, changing the focus of my career & applying to uni (and getting accepted, woo-hoo!), working for the local newspaper, living in beautiful California & exploring the West Coast, roasting marshmallows over a bonfire at the beach, attending a film festival & meeting a lot amazing people. Needless to say, this year has been pretty darn good. Yes, there were some tough times and some rocks on the way ( we all know that figuring out the future is not exactly a piece of cake, right?) but all in all the positive outweighed the negative by far. A thing that has brought me a lot of happiness this year has been my blog. This hasn't always been the case, there were times when I was feeling uninspired and like I couldn't quite find my place in the blogging community, but luckily I have learnt a lot since then and I'm really happy with how things have turned out. I think my most important lesson might have been that it is okay not to be the typical beauty blogger (because I really am not) & that blogging should be a thing you do for yourself, not to keep others happy. Just like it's okay to be frustrated or to have a flexible blogging schedule. Blogging is about creativity and of course creativity cannot be forced. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to all the amazing people out there who take their time reading my blog posts, I really appreciate it & I love reading every single one of your comments. Blogging is the one thing that helps me through hard times & seeing how people support one another within the blogging community makes me grateful to be part of this community. I am really excited that we're finally approaching 2016, even though this has been a great year with great people (you all know who you are!), I am excited for a new beginning, a fresh start. Let's try to make this year even better! If you know me, you know that I love making lists so I have already had my New Year's Resolutions & a list of things I want to do next year for about a month and now I can finally share it with you. x
1. Join a charity. Volunteering is one of the most inspiring & fulfilling things you can do and I really want to do it again next year - whether that will be abroad or in my hometown. I think it's important that we all support each other and contribute to a better society.
2. Be more spontaneous. And worry less. Yes, that's easier said that done but I really want to try to take each day as it comes & make the best out of it. There are many amazing opportunities out there, we just have to take them. I am natural worrier, though, so this one will be a challenge.
3. Speaking of seizing the day - I want to try many new things this year such as a new hobby. I have always wanted to do Yoga or take dancing lessons, I have just never gotten round to trying it (apart from that one awkward Yoga lesson where everyone was 40 years older). Another thing on my list is learning to play the guitar - I got one for Christmas so chances are good.
4. Have plenty of movie nights & sleepovers. And just spend as much time as I possibly can with my friends. And with my family. We went iceskating today & I wouldn't mind making it a weekly adventure.
5. Also, try to meet up with all of my friends. I got some friends who are living in other parts of the country or abroad and I would love to see them again.
6. Go to a festival. I have wanted to attend a festival for a long time and I finally want to make it happen. I am not entirely sure if I am a festival person, though, but the least I can do is try it out.
7. Take better pictures for my blog. I love experimenting with photography and I'm also saving up for a new camera & a new lens - if you have suggestions, leave a comment.
8. Speaking of photography - take more polaroid pictures. I like documenting my life so that I can look back at all the happy memories and taking polaroid pictures is my favourite way of doing that.
9. Try new types of tea. I had white tea yesterday and made a mental note to be more adventurous when it comes to tea. And I want to try and have tea time as often as I can - it is a great way to relax and something to look forward to during the day.
10. And try new recipes, preferably healthy ones. Improving my cooking skills might come in handy, especially considering that I'm starting uni this year. I want to try a healthier lifestyle and learn more about nutrition.
11. Go to a blogger's event. I have never been to one and I want to change that this year! There is nothing better than meeting people who share the same passion and I have already met so many lovely people through blogging, even if it's just been online so far.
12. Explore. There is a beauty everywhere you go, you just have to look for it. I want to use this year to travel & see more of my own country. I love attending cultural events and spending time at art galleries and I plan on doing that a lot in the upcoming year.
13. Say no. And stand up for myself. Being able to say no is just as important as saying yes.
14. Save money. I really want to become better at saving money and blogging on a budget - from smarter grocery shopping & shopping deals to buying second hand clothes and rather walking 10 minutes instead of paying for the car park.
15. Be open to changes. And people. I quite like staying in my comfort zone but when I was travelling and staying at hostels I tried my best to get to know new people & keep an open mind - it was completely worth it, I got to know so many interesting and inspiring people and I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything in the world.
16. Last but definitely not least, be myself. I could write a whole blog post about that topic but basically, being unique is beautiful. Do whatever makes you happy, not what other people tell you to do. Because in the end, it is your own life and your own decisions and putting yourself first isn't selfish, it is essential. Being myself also includes blogging - I want to blog about the things that I'm passionate about and that I want to share with the world.