Two Thousand and Sixteen was a very important turning point in my life. I underwent a period of change and growth and I learned more things in the last year than in any other I have lived. Last year was the year that I made the move from my comfortable home in Antigua and deposited my Life in London in order to pursue further Education. I could have settled and stayed home as things were going well for me, I was balancing 3 jobs very well and I was making my name for myself as a local journalist and photographer, but I decided that settling wouldn't help me.
In 2016, I learned how to be responsible. I would have said during high school that I was a pretty responsible person, truth is, looking back I was still being more or less spoon fed. Last year my mom looked at me and set me straight. She sat me down and told me that soon from now you'll be living on your own in your own house and you need to be able to manage your life so that you don't fall apart. She'd usually get upset at me for not noticing little things around the house that needed to be done and i'd get frustrated and brush it off, but now... living by myself more or less I realize just how important it all really is. Being aware of your surroundings even in the safety of your home is the difference between life and death. I find myself packing away things, picking up things, double checking things, because I hear her voice in the back of my mind and it gives me a rhythm.
In 2016, I learned that I could cook. At home, I only ever made my breakfast. Never had i once lifted my finger to bake a chicken or anything because Mom was my source of sustenance. She even told me that she was worried that i'd die of starvation and malnutrition because she'd never seen me cook. It turns out that watching her move around the kitchen all those years was actually stored in my head because I'm apparently a 'Top Chef'. I'm the resident Chef in my flat and I'm always cooking meals and packing them away for the week and I'll have you know that I roasted an entire fowl for my Flat's Christmas Dinner.
In 2016, I learned how to drive. Last year before I left Antigua, I had the privilege of getting a driver's license. That was quite an accomplishment as most of the process had to be done in that year. It took a lot of prodding, but my Mom was tired of dropping me off and picking me up...
In 2016, I learned how to enjoy silence. I've learned how comforting it can be just to sit in a park and breathe in and be thankful that you are present. I've learned how to appreciate the sound of silence it what seems to be a fast paced noisy world that can sometimes be over bearing.
In 2016, I learned what cold really feels like. I finally realized that in my entire life well.. the parts that i remember, that I have never truly been cold. When i lived at home and remarked about how cold it was i know now that what i experienced was nothing close to cold. I will never in Antigua ever again say that I am cold.... A little wind with rain at home at 70 degrees is nothing compared to waking up to zero visibility in a Fog with Ice on the road and -6 degree weather.
In 2016, I learned how to draw eyebrows. This is my crowning achievement.
In 2016, I learned that a lot of people are in my corner and whatever I do a lot of people are paying close attention. So with that, I've learned to be my best and push my self to be productive and make the most of my time so that I can be and do something of substance with my life.
In 2016, I learned that I am truly and deeply loved by certain individuals even though I have never heard them say it out loud because of the things that they are willing to do for me and the interest that they take in my life.
I've learned so many important and valuable lessons that i'm certain that I don't have enough time to go and type each one. What i'm basically trying to say is that no matter how bad 2016 might have been, it had its lessons to teach and we each took away something valuable from the last 365 days. Each of us experienced growth, heartache, pain, happiness, disappointment, fear, power, enlightenment. It is up to us to be willing to take each experience that comes with each year that is before us and be open to be taught and learn what the experiences share. It is up to us to grow from disappointment and the negatives that are thrown at us in a year which can help shape us to be better when our next experience comes around.
So Despite My Being Basically a Week Late, Happy New Year To All Of You Who Take The Time To Read My Little Blog. I wish you all the best for 2017 and I hope that you learn more from 2017 than you did from 2016.