I started this year with this incredible feeling that it was going to be the best year ever. I've had that thought tested throughout the last twelve months.
2016 has probably been my most testing years as a person. It's brought extremes of so many emotions and situations and has left me crying and feeling like I can't stand any more.
2016 tried to knock me down.
This year I lost some very special fur babies, I suffered badly with both my mental and physical health, my stress levels were breached, I had to deal with change quickly, I had to deal with losing all control, I lost someone very recently that also brought up past feelings meaning I was left grieving all over again... This year I almost lost myself.
But I didn't.
2016 may have been extremely testing and at times included some of the worst emotions I've ever experienced but... there have been so many amazing things happen this year.
For instance! I opened my Etsy shop and actually became self employed. I own and run Silly Badger Designs which has become one of my biggest achievements of my life, I realised I actually quite like running my little business and I'm actually pretty good at it even if I do say so myself :P
I've picked up so many things and I've learned much quicker than I ever could've imagined and like I said. I love every moment of it. Even the paperwork!
My business and my job are my own personal project in life.
When I first took the plunge on the 4th of February this year I never ever could have imagined I would have done as well as I have. I wasn't expecting to sell much in my first year, maybe the odd item or something... I was very pessimistic, scared that if I hoped I would jinx myself.
I really had nothing to worry about though. Silly Badger Designs has opened so many doors for me, I've met some amazing people, some I now call friends and it's given me the opportunity to work for many people doing custom commissions.
And the feedback I've had lately has left me so grateful and glowing with joy. Below are just a few examples that left me grinnig.
One of the biggest things I wanted for Silly Badger Designs was to be a good seller, to be someone people like to work with or receive goods from and I think from all of my reviews this year I can tick that off the list. I am a very good Etsy seller! :P
This year I neglected Redbubble slightly, I feel bad about that but the main reason was because I wanted to put all of my energy in to Etsy which has paid off but as I wrote about a few posts back, I got featured on Redbubble recently and the response to that little feature has been incredible! I can't believe when I see how many people have liked or bought my designs recently. I have made it a big plan in January to update Redbubble and give my account/shop the attention it deserves.
2016 also brought joy (and frustration) from moving in with my partner, something I hadn't thought could really happen any time soon. We moved in to our little badger den back in June and we're still together!! XD I'm kidding, we're very good together and for a pair of goofballs we actually deal with most situations in a very adult way... no idea how it works but there we go!
Moving in together was huge, and moving out of my parents house was a very strange situation for me and yes, I struggled to adjust for a few months but now I couldn't be happier.
Our house is small and we have too much stuff but I love everything about our little life here.
The amazing people I've met this year have been amazing, through art networks and instagram I've met some bloody brilliant people who have restored my trust in people. Something I'd lost over the years due to having friends who weren't really nice people. I started believing I was the bad nut and they were all good but this year thanks to some amazing people I've realised that I am not a bad nut!
Having strangers care about you when you go quiet was completely insane for me... you left me crying tears of confusion and gratitude... and joy. Joy that I have people like you in my life.
You're all so amazing and I love you all, even though I haven't met many of you personally XD
So yeah, 2016 was a testing year and it had a big share of rubbish. But I survived it and I feel pretty inspired by that. It's taught me to focus on the good things, it's taught me that I'm a lot stronger than I ever believed myself to be, it's let me learn that being myself is a bloody brilliant thing because you know, I am awesome :P it's taught me that I'm capable of everything I thought I was and more and it's taught me that change can be good.
I will be glad to start 2017 but at the same time I'm not saying good riddance 2016. I couldn't say that to a year that has brought so much joy and knowledge to my life.
Without 2016 I wouldn't be who I am now and right now I am 100% myself.
I have lots of plans for the new year, new products and new adventures that I can't wait to get started on and to share with you but for now I will say a fond farewell to this year and raise a glass in honour of every good thing that's happened.
And to you, I know many people are wishing this year over but just stop a moment and remember the good times you've experienced this year.
As my OH told me recently, the human mind tends to focus on the negative instead of the good. So for a moment just focus on the good that has happened this year.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me this year and to all the amazing customers who have bought my designs through my Etsy and Redbubble shops. You've made this badger extremely happy and you've given me hope for the future.
I wish you a happy new year and hope your 2017 is filled with love and knowledge.