Blimey, hasn't 2016 flown by? It feels like only yesterday I had written my first ever blog post yet here we are, a year later - I'm still standing! I'd like to thank everyone who has supported this journey, either those who have been here from Day 1 or who joined mid-year. It's been an interesting one, with many highs and many lows, and miraculously we've somehow all made it through to the other side.
2016 was a year of firsts: I made a promise to challenge myself and inspire others through my journey. And I did.
So looking back throughout the year at all I have achieved, all the friends I've made and the places I've visited, I can't help but shed a little tear. 2016 hasn't been all doom and gloom despite various politically shambling events taking place, it's been a year of reflection, a year of self-love, and a year of success.
When speaking to my dear friend about plans for the upcoming year, he asked me about my New Year's Resolutions, to which I heavily sighed. I rarely tend to believe in NYR because if you want to kick a habit or start one, you shouldn't wait a whole year to do it, but of course, being a good friend I decided to hear him out.
"Well, I'm gonna go dry this month and no meat. But I'm gonna make one for you." Simultaneously rolling my eyes, I egged him on: "Oh go on then." Thinking he was going to coax me into becoming a vegetarian or sway me into signing up to a herculean race, he instead surprised me.
"Find someone you want to meet and make it your mission to meet them. However big. I wish I'd done this when I was younger rather than staying within the safety and acceptance of friends all the time."
At first, I thought he had maybe one too many G&T's but as I continued to listen I realised he was providing some worthwhile wisdom. His message conveyed a sense of ambition and tenacity; the kind you have when you are desperate to reach a goal. It would be a shame to miss an opportunity to meet President-Elect Donald Trump and call him a wanker but, of course, I'll do my best.
He also had another NYR for me, to my despair.
"I think you should start writing a book."
I scoffed. A book? About what? My non-existent sex life? "I'm not sure yet, But it makes sense to me. What if you wrote one chapter this year?" Yes, maybe I could, or should! What was concerning, however, was the fact he said wished he could write. He argued that some people can't spell and other people can't afford a pen or paper. A lot of people can spell, and form sentences, maybe write an essay or send a text, but not everyone can write well. I disagreed, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, so here's mine:
Everyone can write. Everyone can put pen to paper or hand to a laptop, so to speak. Writing allows your mind to wander freely into the unknown. In order to write well however, you must read.
In his Memoir, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King said,
"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut."
And he is right. In order to perfect your craft, you must be open minded and educate yourself by reading and learning from the works of others. King also said, "In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy okay? Getting happy."
So, with that said, I accepted my friend's challenge of writing a chapter this year in the hope that I will be inspired by all the interesting people, places and things, and will convey these wonderful things in my writing. I too hope, for anyone who is feeling doubtful, to be fearless. Take one step at a time, inhale exhale, and charge forth. Nothing is so out of sight you can't reach it.
So here's three things to take into 2017:
But first, the diet starts tomorrow.