2016 had been a year of rollercoaster emotions, ups and downs, and the works of an absolutely crazy year. To me, it feels like just yesterday my mom and I were in our back yard lighting off a small firework to bring in the New Year.
For many this has been a year that flew past them, and is going to be full of lost memories and forgotten smiles. For others, this year has dragged on and will be remembered as tough year. Personally, I can definitely say that this year has been one for the history books, full of all of the good and the bad you can expect from a single year to hold.
As we welcome 2017 and embrace the unknown, there's just a few things to keep in mind to make the best of this coming year. While the future may be as mysterious as the bottom of the ocean, I'm beginning to understand that our lives are only going to be as good as we can allow them to be, and while sometimes negativity is just a side effect, letting it rule your life can be just as damaging as actual harmful events.
Speaking from personal experience, I often spend a few minutes of New Years Eve mourning the loss of anything bad from the past year. A lost friend, a time I'd messed up, or even just a moment I was embarrassed. If I've learned anything in 2016, it's that dreading my mistakes, or even my lapses of judgement, isn't going to fix or change them. While this might sound silly, we all know its a simple fact that we can't change the past, I also know that I'm not the only one who sits and spends time thinking about the things I wish I could fix, rather than making happier, better memories to ponder over.
Heading into 2017, the one thing I'm desperately grasping onto is positivity. Looking forward, instead of back, is going to be something I have to remind myself. Instead of heading into a fresh, clean slate with cloudy thoughts and negativities dragging me down, I'm going to go into it with my head high, and my thoughts clean. Letting a thundercloud taint the unknown won't make it easier, but letting a peek of sunshine through can. January 1st marks a new start for everyone. Take this year and run with it, and bring all of the amazing opportunities you'll have with you. Leave behind all of the bad, and let the good tag along for another year.
It's cliche to write and talk about being happy and positive in the New Year, but in all that's said and heard, I don't think anyone really hears it. In one ear and out the other, it's something we all hear for the first week of January, but imagine if you heard it year round, or acted on it year round. I don't mean committing to crazy or unrealistic New Years Resolutions year round, I mean taking the happy, positive, and lively feelings that come at midnight, and holding onto them until the next December.
As the New Year floods in, there are so many fresh moments to take charge of. Instead of worrying about what's going to happen tomorrow, or next week, or next year, embrace what's happening now. Beyond going into the New Year being positive, it's crucial to remember you're not living in the future, you're living now. If there's something that could make you happy right now, why let it slip away? The future is entirely uncertain, and maybe taking an extra 20 minutes taking the long way home from a good night with a friend to chat will make you happier than getting home, and binging some show alone. That being said, maybe having a movie marathon with a friend will make you happier than having a night out. While I'm not saying neglect what you need to do in your life to have fun, I am saying that sometimes taking a route less traveled by to make yourself happy right now can make a difference.
Like, I could sit here and spew out all the synonyms for positive, happy, and anything else to tell you to just be happy in the New Year. While life may not always hand you the easiest or happiest route, it is important to remember that a situation is only as good as you make it, and the same goes for a New Year.
The repetitive, and sometimes honestly annoying, talk of happiness and positivity during the beginning of the New Year isn't always overrated. Sure, we hear it every year, and sure, sometimes things aren't always good, and bad things happen. If you can take anything from this, let it be to try your very hardest.
Try to be happy, try to be positive. Don't let yourself get run down, unhappy, or do things you don't want to please others. Life is too damn short to have a list full of regrets, and "should've could've would've's". Let 2017 be your year to shine;shine to yourself, and shine to others. Make it the happiest, best, year where you really commit to living right here, and right now. Make yourself as happy as you can now, and always. Have the most wonderful adventures, and the hang onto your most joyful memories of the coming year for life.
Oh, and of course, have a very happy New Year.