After a brief hiatus spent spending time with family and generally recovering from last semester, I have returned to the blogosphere. Although I am a little late to ring in the new year, I decided to write a post on it anyway. Because, as anyone who knows me would tell you, I am late to pretty much everything. That would probably be a good idea for a new year’s resolution, but I don’t do those.

It was interesting watching the end of  the old year pass especially since 2016 got a whole lot of hate. In fact, I think the year 2016 might have been the most hated thing of 2016. I can genuinely sympathize with most of the people agonizing over the past year. 2016 was a tough year for me too and, as far as the years of my life go, it hasn’t been one of my top 5. But by focusing only on the negative, I ignore all the good things that did happen this year. As humans, we tend to remember the negative things that happen more than the positive things. This skews our perspective and can color how we look at life and our experiences. So with this post, I have decided to take back my memories of 2016 and focus on the great things that happened.

First, I found out I have bipolar and ADHD. This might not seem like a good thing, but the diagnosis has honestly been the best thing for me as I finally have solutions in place to help me deal with my mental health issues. I am so much better off than I was at this same point last year. Even if I now have to take an unholy amount of pills every single day.

This year we also got a dog. For the longest time, I didn’t think that I would become a dog owner, but in order to help with my anxiety and depression we decided that a four legged friend might be good. This little fuzzy butt brings me so much joy everyday and I can’t imagine life without her.

Little baby Ahsoka

This summer, I went to Cape Town, South Africa. It was such a last minute and

Me on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town

spontaneous adventure and I am so glad that I decided to make the trip. Sometimes you need to do big and special things to add more joy to your life and to the world around you. That trip added to my life experiences and I am a better person because of it. And on the flight there, I got to visit London, which has always been a dream of mine. Also, I got a position as a fellow in the organization I volunteered for in Cape Town and I plan on going back again this summer.

South Africa wasn’t the only trip I took this year. In the fall I traveled to Chicago and really

Bryan and I in Chicago

got to visit the city for the first time (I had been there before, just never as just a tourist). It was an exciting place and getting to watch the League of Legends World Championship was definitely a great experience. You can read more about that here.

This was also the year I discovered my love for creative writing. For so many years, that love sat dormant and to have it now makes me excited about the future. Obviously, this blog is one of the results of the discovery, but I have also had other writing opportunities come may way because of it. I am so glad I found this passion. I finally feel like I have access to something that I didn’t even know I was missing.

In addition to these big events, I had so many little moments of joy. Completing my third semester of grad school is definitely high on my list and celebrating 3 years of marriage with Bryan is up there too. I have honestly been very blessed in my life and I often forget how much good I have when I only think about the bad. When I really think about it, 2016 wasn’t so terrible and here’s hoping that 2017 will also bring with it much joy.