Looking back on 2016

Using one post to summarise the way I experienced the year 2016 is a bit weird. The first half of the year I was abroad, travelling and living life day by day. The second half I spent at home, looking for jobs and focusing on the future rather than the now. The difference between the two halves is so big that I sometimes find it hard to see that both are part of the same year. My life and mindset were so different that it’s difficult to believe that I just switched from one to the other in the couple of days it took me to get accustomed to life at home again.

Travelling already seems a long time ago; like it’s something I did in a different life. The memories are still very clear, but sometimes I feel like it was all just a long, amazing dream and after waking up I simply continued where I left off. That isn’t true, of course. It wasn’t a dream and although I am taking the expected step of looking for a job after graduating, I didn’t just go back and continue. Travelling has changed me, and not just in the first few months of being away. I actually feel like I changed more in the last month (compared to the month before) than I did in the first, perhaps because staying away longer taught me to let go of what I thought defined me. Because of this, I definitely see 2016 as a year that greatly impacted my life – even if most of that happened in the first half of the year.

The second half of the year seems very insignificant when I compare it to the first. This contrast becomes very clear if I just think about all the things I experienced in the two halves. The first has years worth of memories and the second seems like it could all have happened in two weeks instead of twenty-six. That doesn’t mean I feel like the second half was horrible. A lot of people worry that I feel a bit down because I had to leave the good life behind in exchange for being at home, doing nothing much except being rejected all the time. That definitely isn’t true. I actually feel like having had that amazing experience of travelling around the world has made me more appreciative of what I have at home. Of course travelling was amazing, but I really missed my family and friends by the end of the trip. Being at home and jobless isn’t everything, but I cherish having people around who really know me. I don’t need much more to be happy (d’aww).

That doesn’t mean I’m okay with life staying like the second half of 2016 forever. I’d much rather have a job and be around family and friends, because even though I have those people around I still spend most of the time by myself. I’m getting terribly bored, so thinking about spending the entirety of 2017 like that scares me a little. Life just isn’t very entertaining right now, and there’s only so much I can do about that. I need some kind of goal again, something to put effort in. Luckily I’ll be able to start volunteering soon, so that’s something! Let’s just hope 2017 will be able to offer me even more.

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