New Year’s Eve always makes me nostalgic. Everyone is always reflecting on the year and it’s a bittersweet feeling for me. And also kind of dissociative. I know time is just a concept, and this event happens ever year so I don’t know why I get so thoughtful and angsty about it, but I think of the past – my childhood, since that’s the only thing currently in my past, and I think to the future – my adulthood that I am just going into. I have my whole life ahead of me and I’m on cusp of independence. It’s scary but it’s liberating. I can be whoever I want to be and no one can stop me. It’s a nice feeling, because I know I’m naïve and I know there’s going to be some bumps in the road, but right now I’m on the edge of turning my life into whatever I make of it and it’s amazing and beautiful that I get the chance to do that.

I’m working on living in the present. I’m someone who always looks back and wishes that I was lining up for school dinners again and having sleepovers with my friends with no responsibilities, and I’m also someone who dreams about being my 30s with a successful career in something that I love. These aren’t bad things necessarily – it’s okay to look at where we’ve been and what we’re going to do – but I get hooked on it. Right now, I think I’m doing a pretty good job of not being hooked. I’m half way through my second year of college and making a documentary for my class about the musical Hamilton, I’ve just sent off my UCAS application and I’m doing a lot of writing. I’m being productive and I’ve never been happier because I’m getting somewhere. This is what I’m doing right now at 18 and a half years old in December 2016 and I feel free.

So I’m not going to dwell too much on 2016, because the negative has sort of outweighed the positive. But there have been some peaceful moments such as at the end of May, the first day of my 3 month summer holiday, when I went on a walk on a lovely sunny day with my sister and nieces and then we had a picnic of chips from our local chip shop. That’s probably my favourite memory from this year. I’m also not going to dwell too much on my resolutions that I had set for this year because I didn’t achieve all of them, but that’s okay. I have other goals, more relevant goals, for 2017.

I am going to be unapologetically myself. In light of Carrie Fisher’s passing, I’m going to worry about myself and do things that are good for myself and take care of myself – I am going to live for myself and no one else. People can form their opinions of me, and if they like me, that’s great, but if they don’t, I’ve finally realised that that is okay too. In the words of Carrie Fisher in her book The Princess Diarist, “I should let people I meet do the work of piecing me together until they can complete, or mostly complete the puzzle. And when they’re finished they can look at the picture that they’ve managed to piece together and decide whether they like it or not. On their own time. Let them discover you.” Except I am an over-sharer and will tell anyone and everyone about me and my life (it’s why I have a blog), so it probably won’t take long or be difficult to complete the puzzle.

One important thing I learnt this year was that people are too busy worrying about themselves to take proper notice of anyone around them. And if people do complain at you for wearing sunglasses inside, or having hairy legs, or wearing a full face of makeup to the cinema, that’s their problem, not yours. Nothing you do is ever going to satisfy everyone, so do whatever you want (as long as it’s not hurting someone).

If Venus can spin backwards, so can you. Here’s to 2017.

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