Looking back at 2015

While browsing through Buzzfeed, as I do most nights, I came across a post that really made me stop and think: 30 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before 2016.

I went through all the questions and thought I’d share my answers with all of you. I’d definitely recommend doing it too! 🙂

Here we go:

  1. What did you do this year that you’re proud of?

I really do feel as though I’ve become a kinder and more patient individual and that’s definitely what I’m most proud of.

  1. Who did you meet this year that inspired you?

In my last job, one of my coworkers and I became fast friends. It was one of those weird situations when you meet someone you feel like you’ve known for your entire life. So obviously we became fast friends. Before she started working at the company we were both at, she was a teacher and when she spoke about teaching, her passion for it just oozed out of her. I remember during one particular conversation, she mentioned to me that her goal as a teacher was always to make sure her kids felt extremely safe and loved in her classroom because she didn’t know what their home situation was like and whether they felt that safety and love when they left school. She definitely inspired me (and continues to inspire me) to be a better person and be kind to those I meet because they might not get that same kindness elsewhere.

  1. What did you read that you think bettered you?

I’m an avid reader and I loveeee to read books, but funnily enough the thing I read that I feel bettered me was a poster … actually, I should say a series of posters.

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I saw them on the subway every morning and reading them broke my heart. I was never a big meat eater and would really only eat chicken and when my doctor had suggested cutting down or cutting out meat as a way to aid in the treatment of my mental disorder, I tried eating organic/local farm chicken. After reading those posters and watching movies like Cowspiracy and Forks Over Knives, I stopped eating meat completely. I’ve been vegetarian now for 2 months and eat vegan about 75% of the time.

  1. What are songs that you will always hear and think of this year even when you’re listening on some contraption that hasn’t even been invented yet?

Definitely Adele’s “Hello” and “When We Were Young.” I can’t get enough of her new album!

  1. What were some times that you laughed so hard you could barely breathe?

Any scene in Sisters! I’ve definitely had other laugh-so-hard-I-can’t-breathe moments, but I just can’t recall what they are at the moment.

  1. What were your favorite movies? Not what was good, not what you had to see because of your friends or the media. What were your favorites?

I think I’ll have to say Love the Coopers for the sole reason that I absolutely love Christmas movies and unlike other movies that I watch and can never watch again because I know the ending or because they make me too sad, this one reminded me of The Family Stone, which I watch every Christmas … meaning that Love the Coopers will probably be on my must-watch Christmas list.

In terms of movies that really moved me emotionally, I’d have to say Into the Forest and Freeheld. I saw them both at TIFF and they both made me cry. Such amazing performances and moving stories.

  1. What are some fears that you had at the beginning of the year that you overcame?

One of my biggest fears has always been talking openly about my mental disorder, but after seeking counselling earlier this year, I finally feel like I can talk about it and not feel ashamed. My panic disorder is part of who I am and that’s ok.

  1. What were quotes that you loved this year?

A quote of Maya Angelou’s that I read this year: “If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.”

  1. What are ways that you exercised self-care?

Definitely taking time off to focus on my mental health. I now know the difference between what I feel like when I’m healthy (in terms of mental health) and what I feel like when I’m mentally unstable so I made it my mission to ensure I never spiral down to my low point again.

  1. What are things you want to see more of next year?

More of the world! Em and I have some exciting travel plans in the works and I just can’t wait!

  1. What are five things you did that you never thought you’d actually do?

– I was able to slow down and appreciate the things around me

– I started cooking and sometimes, it actually doesn’t turn out terrible!

– I stood up to our former landlord and took initiative in getting us a new and safe place to live

– I gave up meat

– I stopped buying books! (I get them all from the library now J )

  1. What were your favorite things this year?

– Taking our engagement photos

– Finding THE dress

– Taking the time to watch my cats play

– Meeting my niece, Sarah

– Gaining some patience so I could actually take the time to cook

  1. What are the most important things you learned this year?

People will show you who they are if you let them. This definitely tops the list and is the absolute most important lesson I’ve learned.

  1. What is your favorite photo from this year?

It’s not from this year, but it became an important photo this year and I will cherish it forever.

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  1. What are five things you want to say to people you love?

– Thank you

– You make me stronger

– I’m here for you

– It’s ok to let your emotions take over

– You’ve been a rainbow in my clouds.

  1. What are some places where you feel true joy in your life?

As strange as this is going to sound, I feel happy when I’m eating … especially when I’m eating a vegan meal. My mental illness manifested itself into an eating disorder at one point so I never really appreciated food or felt happy at the thought of eating it, now I finally do!

  1. Where do you feel most yourself?

When I’m with Em. I can be myself no matter what my mood is that day and I know she’s got my back.

  1. What were your favorite meals?

Where to begin?! One that definitely tops the list is a Vegan Creamy pea and kale pasta. Sooooo yummy!

  1. How did you calm yourself in times of stress?

I don’t know if I can really answer that. I can’t say that I’ve mastered this whole panic disorder thing quite yet, but I’m getting there.

  1. What are some compliments that you received that deeply affected you?

One in particular that I received several times this year: “You’re so funny!” (meant genuinely, not sarcastically … I hope! :P)

I always felt as though I was stuck in a pile of gloom so hearing that I can actually brighten someone’s day and make them laugh, really boosted me up this year.

  1. Who are people that you believe are bringing out the best in you?

I’ve never met them, but Shannon and Cammie from the ThisIsLiving YouTube channel always talk about kindness and even their company, Ripple Effect, is focused on creating kindness and letting the ripples of your kindness affect others. I strive to be more like them, for sure!

  1. What items of clothing did you buy that felt the most you?

Funnily enough, a giant XL sweater from the men’s section of Value Village. I can’t get enough of it!

  1. What are you excited about leaving behind in 2015? 

Any remaining toxicity and negativity in my life.

  1. What are five things that you were hard on yourself about but would never have been hard on a friend if they were experiencing it?

If I were asked this question a few years ago, my list would be endless because of the way I used to treat myself. I’ve learned to give myself some slack and step back or take a breather when I need it. Therefore, I don’t have a list.

  1. What are the best pieces of advice you heard this year?

Em and I met someone while volunteering for TIFF who was so extremely joyful and full of life that we couldn’t help but smile around her. She later told us about a party she went to and how she wasn’t having too much fun at first, but then she chose to be happy in that moment and ended up having a good time.

The advice I took away from this: there are times when you can choose to be happy.

  1. What are the best pieces of advice you gave this year?

“You aren’t responsible for other people’s panic.”

  1. What things have you been putting off doing because you didn’t have time?

Going to the beach. It’s on my list every summer and yet, I always manage not to have time to go.

  1. What are some things you’d like to focus and work on in the next year?

I definitely want to become more patient on a day-to-day basis and become more kind and caring toward others.

  1. What are the best parts of you that you feel really showed through this year?

I think my vulnerability definitely showed through this year. I finally took down the wall I built up around me and let people in. I learned that it’s ok not to be ok all the time. I think knowing that makes me stronger.

  1. What are your biggest hopes for 2016?

That’s it’s as big of an amazing adventure as I hope it will be!

 

 

Thanks for a great year, 2015! I can’t wait for 2016!!!

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