looking onward

Indeed, this is how i’m spending my new years eve. Sitting on the couch sipping this tea and writing this post. Enjoy 🙂

its been a loooong year. I know it’s become a sort of meme to hate on 2016 and all the horrible crap that has happened, but tbh i had a really great year. I spent it with some of the most amazing people that inspire me so much every single day. I’ve become so incredibly close with these people and it leaves me wondering “why the hell would any person this amazing want to spend time with me?”. Now, let’s look back at some of the big things in my life in 2016…

Music has become a priority in my life! YAY! I think before this year i had always been so terrified of music. Not sure why, but it always felt like this scary other universe that only cool people could navigate and find music that they liked. Turns out it’s nothing like that haha. I’d like to send a thank you to Troye Sivan for helping me change that mindset. Many of my friends know that i have a special soft spot for Sivan and his music. This isn’t just because he’s a guy and teenage girls like guys who sing (fyi hes gay so sod off, that wasn’t why i liked him haha) it’s because for the first time ever i heard one of his songs and said “yeh, that’s the kind of music i like. I LIKE THAT SONG. WHOA. MUSIC.” It started with one of his songs on his YouTube channel and then he came out with WILD EP then his Blue Neighborhood album and i was hooked! I listened to every single song and fell desperately in love with them all. It’s only been up hill from there folks, Sivan pointed me in all sorts of directions and i was able to discover new artists thanks to Spotify Premium. Thank the lord for Spotify haha. Now i have a favorite band (shout out to MUNA), a favorite song (LOST BOY by Troye), a monthly playlist (done it since January, chronicling my entire year in music) and my favorite individual artist (shout out to Frances).

So another thing that’s been a big part of my year is photography! It’s kinda weird because i remember getting my first camera when i was 8 or something that i payed for with my own money. It was a tiny pink digital camera that i used to take pictures of my dogs and flowers haha. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but apparently my grandmother did. When my grandmum was living with us, she one day handed me a Canon 60 ZOOM film camera. I had literally no idea what to do with it and thought it was a piece of junk. I recently found it in one of my drawers, got it a new battery and loaded it with a roll of film. So weird how grandparents do that reading the future thing haha. Who knew almost ten years after that pink trash camera i’d still be at it! I bought my new Canon 6D camera, my first film camera, and several lenses this year which was a big step. Oh, and i started this blog back in March, wow! I had my periods of spars posting but i’ve kept up with it pretty well if i do say so myself. I’m telling you i’ve taken so many photos this year it’s insane. I got a polaroid camera and i’ve taken literally so many pics on it i practically chronicled my entire year. Then I took my first photography class and learned film photography and it was INCREDIBLE. Got to use the lighting studio and took some of my favorite photos i’ve ever taken. Met my new friend Brit in the class and she has been an absolute legend. I’m taking another class with her this spring so yay 🙂 Ooh, and I got payed several times to do shoots for people, that was cool! Did senior photos, took photos for a cupcake company and took kid portraits.

I never thought of myself as much of an artist, but this year i’ve had to keep reminding myself that photography isn’t just a hobby i do, i literally need it. There’s a certain crazy soul feeding that happens when im in the dark room, sitting editing photos, out doing a shoot. I feel exhausted if i don’t do it. Doing photography has also given me a certain boost of confidence that i never had before. I’m generally a very private person and don’t share stuff, but photography and this blog have forced me to put myself out there and be proud of my work. Who cares if they dont like my work, I DO. That’s all that matters.

also, i finished my first year of college in 2016! Got almost all A’s and met some really amazing people in the process (Zach and Soonhee im talking about you :). I’ve found an environment where i feel really comfortable, i love not being in high school, teenagers suck haha. I think i’ve nailed studying, flash cards work miracles and the mnemonics technique of using a Mind Palace really works. I had my first job this past summer! It was pretty brutal, had an interesting boss and challenging co-workers but otherwise i learned so so much! Oh, and i got offered an internship at the Universal Music Industry! WOW! Still debating weather to take it, but its still spectacular.

This year has been a great year for my personal nerding 🙂  Watched wonderful programs like The Flash, The X-Files, FRIENDS, The Office, Gilmore Girls, BONES, Sherlock, Once Upon A Time (only the first season tbh), The OA (Netflix series), Stranger Things (blew up and was amazing), watched Star Wars for the first time,  got into YouTubers which is exciting (has really helped me get through every day), Bertie Gilbert’s short film LET IT BE was incredible, got Fantastic Beasts to fulfill the dryness harry potter fans were feeling, Dan and Phil are great humans, Dodie has been an inspiration, etc. Ahh that felt good to list.

Now, along with all the good came my biggest struggle of 2016…

I had my first panic attack this year, followed with more and more until yup, yeh i have anxiety. It’s strange when you finally are able to put a name on something that you’ve experienced for a long time but just simply kept moving. My problem is that i thought anxiety was normal. I expected that every person felt incredibly uncomfortable in new situations, had depressive debilitating periods of time every couple weeks, had obsessive self deprecating thoughts that kept them up all night. Turns out nope not everyone has that haha. Tumblr has become an amazing place for me to connect this year to other people struggling with anxiety and mental illness’ in general. Anddd, as much as i resisted it, God has really been there for me, even when i didn’t want him to be. I don’t deserve it.

Welp, that was my 2016 not even a recap venting spree. Now it’s time to look onward guys! ITS GONNA BE FLIPPIN 2017! Its really exciting but also terrifying because im gonna be turning 18 this coming year! Ill have finished my 2nd year at WLAC! I still have amazing people in my life and i hope that they stay there. Here’s to a wonderful 2k17. Here’s to the ups, the downs, the turnarounds, the stair at the grounds and all the smiles i hope everyone has this year.

Happy new year’s eve, all the best,

– bell

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