Last year I decided that my primary goal of 2016 was to do an unassisted handstand. I certainly failed.
And yet, this year was a year of greater accomplishment, moulding and drawing near than any other that I can remember. While it was filled with lots of sorrow, I think we improved as a whole. Here are 8 things that I am most proud of from this memorable year:
1 My Siblings
My brother always makes me proud, and this year was no exception. He wrote a book, and moved to the Northwest Territories to teach regenerative, sustainable agriculture to remote communities. AMAZING!
My step sister graduated high school and has begun leaving her lasting artistic mark on people with her tattoo career.
My younger sister has also created an artistic career this year and has sold her work at art crawl’s and in galleries while also volunteering to play her beautiful music at senior centres! Both these young women are more motivated and courageous with their art than I have ever been.
My step brother has miraculously transitioned into high school without the awkward, uncomfortable, insecure stages that I expect. He has a firm grasp on who he wants to be that silences teasing and allows him to win school wide essay awards!
2 My Friends
My friends are diverse and accomplished, and they always have something to teach me! My school mates are busy getting great grades and excelling in their internships. Their success keeps me motivated in my own school work!
Even more so, the self awareness and development which they engage in has helped me grow. Whether it is by courageously leaving a bad relationship, getting engaged or making other big life decisions, I am glad to be an awed spectator!
3 My Parents
While moving house for the countless time, my parents maintained their helpfulness and sense of reality. My mother is extremely skilled at knowing what is needed before the universe is even aware of it, and my step father is an empathetic intellectual with the ability and motivation to discuss complex and difficult topics to any length. Their ability to prioritize happiness and peace over all else has been healing and relaxing for us all. Even after learning about his cancer, my step father was able to pun about it.
4 My Garden
Surviving my first attempt at modified permaculture and lasagna gardening, my plants truly surprised me this year. They all thrived through drought, June frost, raccoon meddling, various pest infestations, and my frequent absence. They were planted in a long untouched field on top of a thin layer of too-new manure, leaves and cardboard, and yet they bloomed to yield me many months worth of veggies. I can’t wait to see how they will give in a better established garden!
5 Internet Sharers
With a world so full of content it can get demoralizing and exhausting to create and share. But I am lucky enough to follow those close and far that are bravely willing to do so publicly. Whether it is a travel blog, a video of music making on instagram, dancing with a cat on snap chat or the courageous words shared to the abysses of twitter and facebook, I am always inspired and encouraged to do the same.
6 My Self
I am so proud of myself for doing what I never thought I could. I received some incredible scholarships, created and self-taught a new side career, began a photography hobby, and kept my grades at a high level in spite of commuting 4+ hours a day. I am filled with joy that I have been able to continue to get healthier – gaining more balance with my eating habits, and doing regular exercise that I enjoy. Even more impressive is the fact that I actually finally bought a new pair of jeans! I have improved my pun game, and am getting more relaxed with not being perfect. I am proud to have pushed myself to be more confident at social gatherings – even if I am sober and alone.
And I may not be able to handstand but I can do approximately more than zero pull ups now! I’m very proud of my body and my mind!
In spite of the multitude of ideas that I utterly disagree with which have floated to the surface of many societies of late, I am still proud of us all. We could have been a lot more violent than we have been – nuclear war still hasn’t started, and we are still engaging in conversation (regardless of volume) with those that we disagree with! There is a sense of collective humanity that is growing stronger the more that we understand the issues facing us and those that we disagree with. While it is certainly under threat from all sides, the free society of speech, equality and safety that we fought to create still remains the governing idea in my country.
Now I would feel really proud of society in the years to come if we could all begin to loosen the connection between our political orientation and our identities to develop unique and nuanced morality to complement some universal agreements about life.
8 Those Taking Responsibility For Their Lives
Perhaps the most impressive are those that actively take a role in their lives, those that recognize issues and decide to get help for them. Everyone who started counselling this year, or changed jobs in order to improve their environments is an astonishing being who gets all of my respect. If you are doing anything to improve your physical or mental health then your 2016 has been successful and I am grateful for your contribution to the improved collective evolution of the human species! I am very proud of you!