2017 Reflections

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn

Ending the year is always strange, isn't it? No matter how terrible or great the past 12 months have been it eventually draws to an end. For many people, the end of a year is nothing, a passing of time, a sign that you're getting older, for me it is a time to reevaluate, to look back reflect and adapt. I love the feeling of new beginnings, which is probably why I adore new year so much, sure it is just another day, but it gives you the chance to think of it like a fresh start, to turn the page and become a better version of the person you are. The thing is, in order to move forward we have to look back, we have to think about where we have been and how we have changed and how we can change, whether you've changed for better or for worse, looking back gives you clarity and closure from the year you are leaving behind and so I think it is important to reflect upon 2017.

The biggest aspect of my 2017 was loss, the loss of a loved one. In May 2017 we lost my four-year-old nephew. He was diagnosed at birth with a rare terminal illness that would shorten his life, but we were never told how long we had, so losing him came as a shock. It engulfed my entire 2017 and no matter what else happened it will always be how I remember this year. It broke not only me but my entire family, we are still not completely okay even now, 7 months on and I don't think we ever will be. For a long time, I found it difficult to continue normal, everyday life again, I think that is the part which will always affect me, anytime I would smile or laugh I'd hate myself for it because I shouldn't be happy, not when he's not here. Any time something good would happen in my life I would feel terrible for celebrating, my graduation was a clear sign of this, I felt guilty for being happy I graduated, what right did I have to celebrate my successes when he wasn't able to celebrate his anymore? It is still something I struggle with to this day, to a smaller scale, but nonetheless, I still find it hard to continue when he cannot. I guess it's a huge part of why I wanted to write this post, to let people know it is okay to live after loss and to be happy, although maybe I should take my own advice. 

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn
I graduated in July of 2017 from university with a 2:1 bachelors with honours. After being a third-year entrant who had no idea what Harvard referencing was nevermind how to do it I graduated with the second highest grade I could get and a first in my dissertation. I've always been one of those strange ones who enjoy education and find learning fun and exciting, but I never expected I would graduate university with such a fantastic grade and a whole year ahead of my peers who are all graduating from university this coming year. Graduating was a big deal to me as I had a rocky couple of months beforehand and I found it hard to be happy for myself leading up to the day, I even told my parents we didn't have to go because my graduation fell on the 2 month anniversary of my nephew's passing and not only was that hard for me but I felt like I was forcing my parents to leave their grievancies and be happy during a time when they didn't want to, but that wasn't the way it was at all. I know deep down that all my nephew would want for his family is success and happiness and knowing that is what allowed me to be happy and to graduate with a huge smile across my face, I was doing it for him. 

On the 15th of June 2017, I was offered an unconditional placement to undertake my masters degree. Like I said I enjoy academia and learning is one of my favourite things, so giving up university wasn't so easy for me. In April I applied for my masters to continue on at my current university and do marketing, a subject I slowly began to admire from afar during my time as a blogger. I was accepted as a conditional applicant just days later, but it wasn't until grades were released that I was giving my unconditional placement and further a scholarship. I remember the moment I got the email, I was visiting one of my sister's as she had just had a little boy earlier that month. my mum, my sister and I were chatting and my phone vibrated and there it was in bold letters. I couldn't believe it, I got in, I was going to study a subject I felt a rumble in my tummy for. So far it is going absolutely swimmingly with great grades and I am learning more than I had my entire undergrad, I could not be happier with my decision to continue in education. 

2017 Reflections | heythererobyn

The blog, oh the blog, how I loathed you this year. My blog really took a beating this past year and I could not be more upset or annoyed with myself for it. I continued to grow across social media and a tiny fraction on my blog, although my views have gone through the roof since last year, overall I became so unhappy with my corner of the internet. I can't tell you what happened this past year because I truly don't know much myself. All I know is that I found myself disconnected, I still wanted to blog, but I couldn't connect with most of my content, content I would have connected with any other time was just so clunky and unreadable, my content became boring and redundant, my writing style became unrecognisable, I mean I am probably making it out to be way worse than it was but trust me, great things are coming in 2018 when it comes to 2018, 2018 is the year of heythererobyn (well for me anyway). 

In 2017 I learned a lot about myself, actually, a lot is a bit of an understatement. I experienced a lot from the likes of my first bullying-esque experience to the passing of my nephew to graduating university, this year I felt a lot and it allowed me to understand myself better. I know my own strength a little better than I did before, I know that I put other's feelings before myself, I know that no matter what I always try to see a positive, I know that I am a slight push over and need to stick up for myself more, I know that I am smart and no one will be able to tell me otherwise, I know that I am me and I am weird and complicated and occasionally I make a really good joke. This year I learned a lot and I grew a lot, I allowed the situations around me to mould me, maybe too much leading to my lack of ambition when it came to my little blog, but I am now learning from that mistake. This year was a whirlwind, a rollercoaster and one that I would like to erase from the history books, but I know that doing that would not be right, after all, this year moulded me a lot, even if it was due to terrible circumstances, I wouldn't be me without this year. 

This year was all over the place and I could write about it for days, but I don't want to bore you. So how was your year? Write in the comments 3 things you are grateful for this past year. 

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