2016: My Year End Review

I've consistently said that the year 2016 was one of the best of my life. And now, at the onset of yet another year (and a chance to conquer the world), I’m reminded of where I was this time a year ago: young, fabulous & broke.

Many people have mixed emotions about the celebrations of New Years and New Years’ traditions. Often times others find humor in ridiculing those of us who do believe in the idea of starting a new. Yes, the truth of the matter is that every day you wake up is an opportunity to do that, but also, this time of year brings about a sense of hope in some people, that otherwise wouldn’t have. At the end of the day, if that’s what it takes to motivate someone, then why knock that?

It’s not that there’s anything particularly special about New Year’s Day versus any other day of the year, but it’s more or less the symbolism of it. For some people, the day is recognized as a time for new beginnings and/or reflections. As we embark on this New Year, I’d like to share what 2016 taught me.

I used to get what some people refer to as “the blues” around this time of year, & I mean like clock-work. I’m not proud to admit, but I experienced with self-medicating before I finally sought professional help a few years back (but that’s a whole other post). While I now realize that there are many triggers for depression, one of mine was a common setback that most people can relate to. It was the pressure of all the “newness” and me knowing inside that nothing would really change for me in the upcoming year. As much hope as the holiday brings, I knew deep inside that at some point, my courageous commencement would quickly wane, along with the possibilities of my life taking a drastic turn for the better. Like previous years and resolutions past, I'd start out strong with the magical hope that only exists in fairy tales, but before long, my motivation would be lost in the realities of making a living and trying to make ends meet. What I can truly say I learned in 2016 is that nothing is going to just happen. And it doesn’t matter how cute or how talented you are (and yes, I am declaring that I’m both), if you don’t put in the work, then opportunities, wealth and success aren’t just going to fall out of the sky. You can’t merely wait on your dreams, you have to create them. If I learned nothing else this year, I learned to depend on me and trust in my vision. Most of all, I've learned that consistency is key. And this is just one area that I'll continue to develop in 2017 and years to come.

For the longest time, I’d declared to people that I wanted to be a writer. The funniest thing though is that during that time, I wouldn’t really write. I’d ponder upon these great things that I wanted to say, save them to a file on my desktop (only to be forgotten about) and then think to myself, “I can’t wait to publish this when……when I get more followers…..when I publish my blog……when I get a job working for a publication….when I’m ready to commit to writing”. Yeah, I’d given myself every reason in the world NOT to write. Meanwhile, everyday I’m reading blogs and Instagram posts with envy, and mad at myself like, “Why didn’t I write that?”

I really don’t like clichés, but if I’m honest, then I must say that this year has taught me so much about myself and what I want. I even discovered things that I never knew I wanted. It’s always been easy for me to identify what I didn’t want in life. But to specify what it was that I actually did want came with a responsibility of ensuring that I get it. You see, I’d mastered the art of “un-declared desires,” meaning, as long as I didn’t commit to a decision about what I wanted, then I was pretty much okay with going through life, working a job and living the status quo. And if by some stroke of luck completely unbeknownst to me, came a once in a lifetime opportunity to live out my dream, then that would be nice, too. Although, quite frankly, it almost seemed more plausible for that to happen, rather than me actually pursuing my dream. Like other things in my life that almost seemed to just properly align, I just assumed that if I wanted to be a writer, then I could just casually apply and they’d offer me a job, much like when I wanted to be a flight attendant. I decided to apply and they seemingly gave me the job. When I first began in state government and wanted that job so badly, I got it after having only one interview. When I quit that job after 10 years and decided to pursue work in media production, it happened less than a month after I had quit. I'm not saying all that to brag, but merely to illustrate how blessed I've been to have these opportunities come to me almost effortlessly. The contrast is that by now, I'd envisioned myself already working in my desired field, which I do, although I’m not in the full capacity that I want to be in. But the difference now is that I understand the role of hard work, discipline and sacrifice that goes into getting there and I'm committed to making it happen. And I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can see myself at the magazine publication of my choice and living the life that I’ve always dreamed of. The life that I’m creating.

Love this story? Share it with your friends on Facebook and for more great stories, connect with me on Odyssey or follow my blog & Twitter @BlkCrrieBradshw Facebook #TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw Instagram @TheRealBlackCarrieBradshawTumblr @ TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments