Here I am approaching my forth year of VENT after an extremely trying year, and by the looks of things everyone else seems to feel the same spite towards 2016.
With that said, it has been an incredible year in terms of shaping my new attitudes towards work and life. At the start of the year I decided that my resolution for the year would be to push myself to work on a creative project atleast once a month, working with other artists as much as possible. There were two major changes within my life that helped me to achieve that goal. The first being a change in my mental health, through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and a much healthier lifestyle I was able to overcome my anxiety disorder and social anxiety became a thing of the past. Because of this, I was able to meet more people and widen my circle of friends further. I was approaching new faces and people whoms success and confidence would of once intimidated me. I always love to ganch on about how important it is to keep your mental health in check, and how the struggle to overcome and pull yourself out of a bad place is really difficult; but it has changed the quality of my life completely. By recognising the voice in my head that made me question whether I was good enough by putting a negative spin on how others might view me, and putting a dampner on how I viewed myself, I was then able to overwrite my shoddy reasoning with positivity and love. And it is this self-confidence that has given me drive and filled my brain with aspirations.
The second change I made was to say yes more. My mother is very good at being spontanious and seeing through her ideas. She has a get up and go get 'em approach and is very supportive of ridiculous ambitious projects. So, with the same approach to living a life a little less fearful I was able to open new doors, and stick my fingers in some freaky tasting pies.
2016 actually wasn't all that bad when you can reflect on the highlight reel, and mines was pretty golden:
- Go Girl Belfast encouraged me to meet more like-minded, and seriously talented women. Through the collective I was able to jump in on exhibitions, workshops and photoshoots (like THIS one). The experiences I have gained over the past year because of these girls have been priceless, they seriously make Belfast a pretty cool place to be.
- I began to work with musicians, magazines and other artists taking portraits, videos and creative directing. I've learned so much in the past year and I can finally see the progress in my artistic practice slowly edging away from amateur (which is ideal).
- Bloody Gold invited me to join the band, and despite having no idea what I was doing, and suffering through a bad aul bout of stage fright, I went for it. It has been such a fun and cool experience, and I'm excited for all of the things we have planned for the start of next year.
- There was travelling involved, and I conquered my fear of flying, and even pee'd on a plane! Visiting my sister in Dubai was one of my greatest memories, and the first time I ever experienced culture shock (and a burnt butt). Despite being a total and utter homebird, I am excited to see where I will land down in 2017.
- I took on way more adult responsibilities; like getting a boiler servicing, paying most of my bills ontime and finally getting a cat. He is the worst and best thing to ever happen to me.
- There's now a dissertation under my belt and I witnessed the shitness of social media and started to minimize my use of technology in a bid to connect with friends IRL (read all about it HERE). The response from that post was overwhelmingly beautiful with more of my chums taking the same steps and reaping benefits straight off the bat.
- This girl here put on weight and the world didn't end. 2016 was definitely the year of body-confidence building for me as I found myself approaching life in this sweet ass bod more positively, even though I may not fit into my favourite pair of jeans anymore.
- Forgiveness played a key part in building a happier year as I let go of hard feelings for people. I never knew how much more painful it was to hold on to grudges, but the freedom of building bridges is bliss. Most people will have burnt bridges with someone at some stage, whether they care to admit or not, but to move on is like a weight being lifted off of your shoulders (and makes for social encounters to be pleasant enough).
Here I am on New Years eve, face mask on, kitty by my side and seriously rocking the whole Crazy Single Lady attire; I'm feeling grateful and seriously positive about the new year. I guess it's pretty common to feel aspirational about the new year ahead, as everyone starts to make resolutions with big aspirations. I personally thought long and hard about what I could do to better myself, and I'm going to attempt a year of sobriety (*Exclusions may apply). It's been on the back burner of my mind for a while and I guess there seems no better time to give it a go. I used to turn to drink for a bit of dutch courage and to help me out in social situations, but now I am able to boss that shit without a drop, so why the hell not. I did a few months in 2016 sober, and I reckon it'll be hard enough, but rewarding in that I am no longer able to survive hangovers as my 16 year old self was.
(*Exclusions MAY include : my graduation, weddings, babies and next festive season)
I just wanna wrap up a year of blogging here on VENT with best wishes to everyone who comes to check this place out. It's been a really fun thing to work on over the last ween of years, and even though I might not be the brightest spark, it feels amazing when I others want to get involved. Anyway, I hope that 2017 is everything to strive to make it and more. All the best!