You know that "#bestnine2015" thing that was going around instagram recently? Mine is above. I posted it up with some caption like "linen, knitting, beach. I like it", but I instantly felt fraudulent. I thought, "all of those images are from the last 4 months of the year". What you didn't see in those photos - the bulk of 2015 in terms of time - was a lot of stuff, stuff that's probably not so fun to see in cute little squares on social media.
You didn't see that for over a year I was incredibly unhappy in my job, I left the office in tears more times than I'd like to admit. That it took me that entire year to work up the courage to resign from a job that was hurting my relationships, my self-worth, in spite of having great colleagues, and working toward a cause I believe in.
You didn't see the heartache I felt living across the world from my family. Whilst I am incredibly grateful for the support and love I get from my partner in Australia, going over 2.5 years without seeing my siblings was pretty heartbreaking. My parents, whilst healthy and strong, are aging, and I don't get to see or speak to them as often as I would like. That's on my mind every single day.
You didn't see that I struggled to find friends in Australia. That I often used social media as a crutch, and other times used it to carve a niche to help find those friends, albeit sometimes virtual.
When I look back on 2015, though, it's not so much all that crap that I remember, although it's certainly present in my memory. What I remember is the newly formed strong friendships, the knitting workshops, the "knit nites", the slow weekends spent lounging around the park with a frisbee and friends, my first solo trip (to Tassie), the farm party send-off for my best friend, my first time going back to the US since moving to Australia, meeting my sister's partner, seeing my brother at University being all grown up with a strong build and a deep voice, navigating a fifth year of partnership with Narayan.
When I look back, I think I needed all the hurt and downright crappy times of 2015 to embrace (and honestly just recognise) the good stuff that happened that year. All that has propelled me forward into 2016 with an open heart, lots of passion, and even more gratitude for this life.