Lifestyle

Looking Back On 2016

2016, where have you gone?

I haven’t wrote a personal post in such a long time, but here goes…

This year has been a mixture of good and bad.

In late January, I made the biggest decision of my life: I was going to spend two months in Australia and New Zealand.

My anxiety has been firmly under control since October 2013 but when I booked the flights, there it was flying around in my head trying to tell me everything that was wrong with the idea.

Spoiler alert: I won. Anxiety lost.

The thought of spending twenty-eight hours in the air, without being able to contact my parents was petrifying. Yet, I managed. I barely slept. I watched Daniel Radcliffe films and old episodes of Pretty Little Liars to keep me calm and well, I survived.

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I arrived in Canberra towards the end of February and within two/three days, I found myself back in Sydney Airport on my way back to New Zealand where I hadn’t been for fourteen years.

NZ is home. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you feel like yourself.

I could walk around with no makeup on, wearing the oddest of outfits and yet, nobody would look twice at you. That’s the aspect which I love the most.

I went back to New Zealand, essentially, to represent the UK family during my Aunt + Uncle’s funeral with was a two-day event and with jet lag taking over my body, I was an emotional mess. It was a truly beautiful service and once we said our goodbyes, we celebrated their lives with a huge BBQ in the most beautiful of houses.

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I always knew that going back to New Zealand would be a big deal for me. It was always on my life to-do list before I turned 30 (thankfully, I’ve got just over four years left before I hit that milestone) and I’m so pleased I went back.

Read more about my twelve days in NZ, here.

Being back in Australia gave me the chance to visit some incredible places; ones which I may not get the opportunity to see again. You’ve gotta grab life by the balls and take what you can, basically…

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Melbourne, Tuross Heads, Wollongong and Sydney. Four very different places and I’m so pleased that I stepped outside of my comfort zone to visit each of them.

There are so many blog posts about my time away from home, some on the Sunday page, some in Travel, some in Lifestyle and one or two in Food. Go have a nosy if you’re interested in more.

HERE COMES THE SOPPY PART..

At the beginning of July, I met someone and he made me happy from day one. We’ve been together for six months (I realise that I could very possibly jinx myself but being in the moment and all that) and it just works.

He’s handsome. He’s funny. He has a heart of gold. He makes me cry with laughter so much so that my liquid eyeliner is no existent by the end of the day. He treats like me a Queen. He dances like a crazy person. He lets me cry about the most stupidest of things. He lets me quote Harry Potter until I’m blue in the face. He buys me flowers and chocolates when I’m feeling low. But most of all, he loves me for exactly who I am.

When people ask you to describe your perfect man, all my life I’ve been describing him and now that I’ve got my ideal partner, I’m most definitely not letting him go. How do I plan on doing that? Feed him garlic bread. He’ll stay.

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 And then the bad times hit…

I’ve had my fair share of horrible times: my Mum being diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2013 (she’s all good now), my Dad being made redundant and my Nan loosing her home – not to mention, that all happened within a week before my oldest nephew came along.

Those three things have happened to other people yet they’ve still had a huge impact on my life because they’re family.

Yet this year, I was given quite the shock when I woke up in blinding pain one night in Auckland. Imagine being thousands upon thousands of miles away from home and not knowing what’s wrong with your body. Yes, I may be twenty-five but when I’m sick, I still want my Mum and only her. In August, I was told that I have gallstones. Cue the eye rolls from some people. It’s not cancer, but it is life threatening and in twelve days, I am having the little buggers removed. No more painful disco’s at stupid o’clock.

Then the news got worse and I’ve not spoken about this on my blog. Quite frankly, I’m not even certain that I want to. I’m extremely close to my Nan (my Dad’s Mum) and since my Grandad passed away eight years ago in October, we’ve become super close and she really is the strongest woman I know. We received some news about her around the September and October point, which was shaken us all. It’s shit. It’s really, really shit but we’re all there by her side and somehow, we’re coping.

Albus Dumbledore once said, “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Whether your life has brought you both the good and the bad, remember that nothing lasts forever. If you’re going through a particularly hard stage, it will pass. It may not seem like it will, but give it time and it will.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Tomorrow is the last Blogmas post which is the final Sunday post (uploading on a Saturday because I’m a rebel) and then I’ll be back some time in the New Year before I go into hospital.

Let me know what your highlight of 2016 was in the comments below!

EL xx

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