On the 31st December 2014 I tweeted: "Goodbye 2014, and good riddance. You better be kind to me 2015."
Well let me tell you now that 2015 wasn't kinder to me. I'd even go as far as saying that it was one of the most testing years of my life for one reason or another. And judging by my social media feeds between Christmas and New Year, I'm not the only one who felt like this.
It's very easy to reflect on everything that went wrong and the things we didn't do well enough at the end of the year, and we build resolutions around those negative feelings. Or we look at all the bad things that have been thrown at us that year: betrayals and injustices in relationships, friendships, and work life, and we look forward to a new year where things will be better because we deserve better. And, usually, our resolutions all look much the same: go to the gym, eat healthier, drink more water, work harder, be happy, don't let anyone mess us around.
Or there's the other type of people. Those who hate the cliche of making resolutions and proudly share that their resolution is not to make resolutions. And that's their prerogative.
In between Christmas and New Year I've been looking forward to 2016, looking forward to putting the year behind me and starting afresh. Thinking about what resolutions I'll implement to make me a better and happier person. And I flew to Bali so I could see in the new year in style. And that I did!
My New Year's Eve was spent with a group of friends on a stretch of beach in Canguu. We watched the sun go down for the last time that year whilst drinking rum and pineapple from fresh coconuts. As the beautiful sunset disappeared we were left with a clear night sky and people around us built fires and set off fireworks. We bought Chinese lanterns and I wrote on mine all my wishes for the year before I set it into the sky a minute before midnight. As the clock struck twelve I watched as everyone around me celebrated the new year with hugs and kisses, and suddenly fireworks erupted from all across the island. And not an organised firework display like you get back home, homemade fireworks that individuals set off from every stretch of beach. As I stood on the beach with my feet in the sea I looked around and began to cry. I've never been so relieved to see the end of a year, but also I realised I'd been getting it all wrong.
2016 isn't going to stop bad things from happening. People will let me down, I'll have to do things I'd rather not do and be confronted with stresses I'd rather not deal with.
As I watched my lantern extinguished into nothingness, I thought of everything that happened in 2015 that was great. And I also realised all the things I had learnt about my self as a result of the bad things.
So this new year, I'm not going to set myself up for disappointment by making the usual unattainable resolutions based on insecurities. I'm going to learn to take things in my stride and deal with everything that comes my way with calmness and positivity. I still hope the universe manifests my wishes, I'd love to tell you what they were... but then they wouldn't come true!
Happy new year to you all. Wishing you a happiness and calm 2016.
Love Ashley X
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