2016 – The good, the bad and the ugly


Remember when Kylie Jenner said that 2016 was all about ‘realising things‘ and we all laughed at her? Well, who’s laughing now Kylie.

2016 was, by all accounts, a roller coaster of emotions. No matter who you are, your political affiliation, age or location – this year has most probably shook you up.

On a small scale, we all have our own personal battles too. That’s why, this time, my year in review won’t be like the positive little love note that I published in 2015

Let’s get real.

I realised that change is a constant process
Nothing destroys your soul like job hunting, so imagine the horror of quitting your job with nothing else lined up and having 30 days to find something new. Man, that was a shitty way to start the year, but absolutely necessary.

But that’s not where this story ends. The place I moved to actually made me feel even more uncomfortable, so after finding a new job and thinking I was safe, I had to find a new job all over again.

We like to believe that it takes one simple change to take back control of your life, but that is just a lie peddled by teenagers that write cutsey quotes on Tumblr. Change isn’t easy like that. Sometimes you have to bounce around in limbo for a while before figuring out what you actually want to achieve – and even then, you may feel like you’re not living up to much.

I realised I needed to value myself more $$$
Whilst looking for new jobs I actually turned a few positions down. Despite me hitting my lowest, this was actually slightly liberating. Sometimes the truth is that the money is shit and the prospects aren’t there. No matter what made up title they give you, what incentives they throw your way, the wild promises they make for ‘when the company grows’ – sometimes you’ve got to go with your gut feeling. Not many people find their dream role, so it’s important to at least make sure you’re getting your basic needs at least.

I realised that I shouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket
I didn’t blog about this one, but anyone who has lived with strangers in their twenties might relate. My flatmate decided to move out – don’t worry, we’re on good terms. She just fancied living closer to work. However, this meant I had to find a new stranger to live with.

Do you know how awkward flat viewings are? They are very awkward! I had to show random people from the internet around my tiny flat and make small talk with some very judgmental people.

I managed to find a new prospective flatmate, Lucy*, who strung me along until two weeks before the new contract started. She kept promising to pay the flat deposit and never did, but she kept insisting that she wanted to move in and would get things sorted. She ended up totally ghosting me a week before the contract started. I had a matter of days to find someone else to move in or I’d have to pay the full flat rent or move out! I should have continued to look for a plan B flatmate, but I trusted Lucy* to pull through.

To say this was a stressful time would be an understatement. Luckily, I managed to find someone willing to move in quickly – Sariiha! She was desperate to find somewhere to live before her new job started, so it actually worked out really well for her.

I realised that bloggers can be really shitty people
Ayooo I’m still bitter. I arranged a blogger event and nobody turned up even though they said they would. See this post here.

To be fair, I did have someone email me to apologise. Which of course I told them wasn’t necessary at all. I wasn’t angry at any direct person, more the collective. From writing my blog post on the event, I actually found out that loads of bloggers have suffered the exact same thing! It’s embarrassing and cringe worthy, but actually I’m glad we can all laugh at it now.

I realised that there’s a world beyond Manchester
I really did not want to go on holiday. I’m not a holiday person, I’m a work and routine kind of person. This would be my first holiday in about 7 years, so it was a big step to go all the way to Thailand. I’m going to make a full blog post about my time there, but in short Thailand was mental. It’s such a different way of life over there. The whole trip was basically the saving grace of 2016.

I realised that I need to get more out of every opportunity
So I’ve been on TV, print media, radio and in the newspapers – all mentioning my blog, but I haven’t actually blown up. These were all cool things and they make my ‘about me’ page look legit, but what did I really get from them?

This past year I’ve experienced a small slice of internet notoriety. I’ve gone from ‘The girl that was nearly blinded by contact lenses‘ to ‘The girl that got bullied on Reddit‘ to ‘The girl that hosted a blogger event that nobody turned up to‘ – I’m pretty sure this all qualifies me to become a Celebrity Big Brother contestant these days.

I’m joking of course, but my point is I haven’t gained or lost anything. Other people may have gained a huge following from this; started a campaign against contact lenses, become the face of a cyber bullying charity maybe even organised a massive blogging party as a comeback.

Yet here I am, doing nothing with the cards I’ve been dealt. Playing it safe.

And beyond that…
There was Brexit, Donald Trump, The Refugee Crisis, iconic celebrity deaths and much more – which makes all of this completely insignificant – yet totally significant in my own little bubble.

Literally the only way is up for 2017, but that’s what I thought in 2015, so let’s not jinx it!

Happy new year folks, I’m truly wishing you the very best. Remember, at least we’re in this together!

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  1. December 12, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    I loved this post and see many of your points apply to me also, from bloggers – life in general. It’s just a learning curve everyday and year and life is full of bumps.

  2. December 12, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    I must say you have had a rough year. Some years really are like that, though, I think they are just learning and growing years. They are hard and horrible, but eventually you come through and things begin to look up and you are in a better place than ever before. I truly hope that 2017 is so much better for you.

  3. December 12, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Ah yes I remember reading your post about the event you organized and noone turning up poor you. 2016 had its ups and downs but the main thing is preparing for what 2017 has in store.

  4. December 12, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    Loved reading this as you’ve had so many similar experiences to me. I’m sorry to hear about your blogger event, some people can be awful xxx

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      December 13, 2016 / 9:56 am

      Aww Laura I’m glad you’ve said that cause I was hoping someone would see this and think ‘well at least it’s not just me’. 2016 has definitely been a long hard slog for all!

  5. Jemma
    December 13, 2016 / 7:24 am

    This is a great post! How horrible that you had to experience that at your blogger event, but like you say you can laugh about it now.

  6. December 13, 2016 / 8:10 am

    It does sound like this year was a bit of a rollercoaster year for you. I remember you said about the blogger meet up and that was such a shame, I did feel bad for you. I hope that next year is a much better one for you x

  7. December 13, 2016 / 8:43 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed Thailand, it’s a beautiful place. I read your post about your blogging event, I’m so sorry no one turned up. Jo x

  8. December 13, 2016 / 9:32 am

    2016 has certainly had it’s ups and downs for me too. But that’s life right? x

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      December 13, 2016 / 9:54 am

      Here, here! More downs than ups it seems in 2016, haha.

  9. December 13, 2016 / 9:37 am

    There has been a lot that has gone on during 2016 and it sounds like overall you’ve had a good year. Good on you for going to Thailand but it sucks about the stress you had finding a new flatmate x

  10. December 13, 2016 / 9:46 am

    We all learn from experience and not every experience is a good one but it sounds as though you have come out the other side of a difficult year with a great attitude for the future.

  11. December 13, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    Just the thought of leaving my job is no backup plan leaves me in tears only because of all the bills I have to pay. 2016 has been an interesting year for you and honestly I am praying for a much better 2017 for you 🙂 hugs

  12. December 13, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    2016 has been an interesting year, one we won’t forget in a long time. We’ve all had ups and downs but that’s what makes it Life. You need shade to appreciate the light in the world x

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      December 14, 2016 / 9:14 am

      Absolutely :)! What’s that quote – You can’t have a rainbow without any rain – I think that’s right?

  13. December 13, 2016 / 11:07 pm

    I hope 2017 brings you better things and you get to enjoy life more. I am sorry to hear about the blogging events thats sad.

  14. Emma
    December 14, 2016 / 7:20 am

    I love reflection posts like these and can definitely agree with some of the points here. I hope 2017 is much better for you. Have a lovely Christmas and NY x

  15. December 14, 2016 / 10:07 am

    Loved reading your reflections on what sounds like it’s been a heck of a year. Wishing you all the best for 2017!

  16. December 14, 2016 / 4:27 pm

    Those past years have brought me so much! I have evolved a lot and I feel lucky for this.
    Great post 🙂


  17. December 14, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Reading this made me feel like I’d wrote this, every point is just so true and relatable! Here’s hoping 2017 is a better year!

  18. December 14, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    I absolutely loved this post (apart from when bloggers didn’t come to your event)
    The advice is spot on and I need to do a lot of it myself!!! Xx

  19. nicol
    December 15, 2016 / 1:00 am

    i totally understand about valuing yourself. I’m going through that right now and it’s just a constant battle

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      December 15, 2016 / 10:58 am

      Awww Nicol I hear you completely!
      I just think you have to be a bit ruthless at times.
      Look after number one!

  20. December 15, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    Wow I can’t believe she were ghosting you for a week that’s so unfair! You seem like a lovely person, but I’m glad you ended up with a nice flat mate in the end! Xx

  21. December 15, 2016 / 10:51 pm

    You are such an amazing person Jess! Just read about the bloggers not turning up – rude! So nice to see you yesterday! <3 keep siling beautiful!

  22. December 16, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    You’ve learned a lot in a year, that’s for sure. A few annoying bits, but it’s all part of the process.
    And here is to a better 2017!

  23. Laura H
    December 16, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    Gosh I just read your post about the blogger event you organised and I can’t believe nobody turned up! That is seriously rude and given the amount people who complain about not having enough blogger events in other cities, that is atrocious.

  24. December 20, 2016 / 10:32 am

    Love your honest, witty and totally mad dog round up post!