I had a really good feeling about 2017. It was something about the number.

My laid-back approach toward work didn’t really last. I became desperate to remove myself from my position. I was becoming exhausted by negative, arrogant and selfish personalities I was serving and working with. I couldn’t be around that environment so often anymore. It drained the positive energy out of me. So, I began speaking more to my managers about how I really felt. Though they knew I wasn’t exactly having the best time, I told them more about how I wanted to excel, but at the same time I didn’t want to be around people as much anymore. There is only one position available in the company I work for that actually offers that and that’s what I was aiming for. It started with one shift a week away from the constant bombardment of human interaction. Then in August it happened full time. I think I have found my true calling. Though I still feel I have heaps to learn, I am now able to pay less attention to people and in some way, be my own boss. I am entirely on my own doing what I am doing and it is the best feeling. I’m not completely sheltered by the high school drama, but finally for the first time, I can allow it to not bother me.
Yes, I’d still love to be a film critic, but I’m finding it better as a hobby at this current moment. Mainly because I just haven’t had much time. I never got to see a movie a week like I said I would in 2016, but still will forever be my favourite pass time.
I’ve also started to work Monday to Friday, which is a first ever since starting to work full time. It has improved me mentally and physically. My mood has changed so much, that even the people around me, either at work, or friends and family have seen how much the position change, and working Monday to Friday has changed me. And if it wasn’t for my neighbours annoying pets barking all night, and their own loud talking for some reason at 3am, I’d probably sleep better, too.
It’s sad that I have lost so much faith in people. I used to love people. But working in that particular area has had me wondering what on Earth has actually happened to the world? How did we become so selfish, sensitive and greedy? And in order for me to no longer be bothered by it, I had to remove myself entirely from it. I don’t know if it just the way the world is going, or if it is that exact place that holds these negative people, but regardless, I am concerned for our future.

I’ve always been really good at picking out fake and manipulative people that often suck up and play victim when people of my type of personality call them out for who they truly are. When they see they have met their match because I’m not buying their act, they don’t like it, therefore I am the bad guy. But, I don’t care because I just don’t care for them. I’m less apologetic when I’d usually just man-up and apologise, even if I didn’t do anything wrong or that person didn’t deserve it. Not because I am stubborn. In fact, I am quite a logical thinker and will admit my faults where applicable. Nevertheless, that’s the sort of behaviour I deal with and for the first time, I don’t care. This is one trait of character I am starting to develop as of this year and I like it; shrugging my shoulders, not giving a fuck. It’s splendid. I must be getting wiser as I grow older.
When it comes to people who I see right through, who are untrue and those who are just mean people, I roll my eyes now instead of taking it personally. And that bit of advice I kept getting told in 2016, ‘stop wanting people to think and act like you. Stop thinking that people will have the same opinions as you. You can’t control others.’ Well something like that, anyway. Well yeah, I follow it as religiously as I can now. I have a let-them-do-what-they-want type of attitude now instead of wanting to take control of a situation and express my strong opinion. I solidly believe that I can only focus on what I can control. I have my moments where I just want to grab someone’s shoulders and shake them out of their, in my opinion, dumb decisions, actions and opinions, but I can refrain myself better.

My little ray of hope came in the likes of Anna. A senior member of colleagues and my new work mama. Something about how the world has turned so evil brought us closer this year. We share the exact same frustrations and whinge to each other like little old European women do in the villages. But, she’s been a source of relief for me. She’s straight up, she’s honest, she’s hilarious even when she complains a lot, and she is my type of people. I don’t know how I would have survived 2017 at work if it weren’t for her.

I let go of friendships I tried for so long on my own to keep. I say on my own because it was a one sided, part-time friendship I was trying to make full-time again. Effort was nowhere to be found on their part. Take a wedding invite for example. If you really wanted someone at your wedding, which was in a different state, would you really be sending the invite the day after the RSVP? Though overly apologetic, that’s what happened to me with one particular old friend. It also hurt that I had asked this old friend several times to tell me when she was back in the state to see her family, so that we could catch up. She never did, and she came back often. I was quick to message her on her wedding day to congratulate her and wish her well, but I’m still waiting for mine. So, after I had my wedding and received her unsurprising decline, I decided I’d let go of this once very tight and beautiful friendship. I had a lot of good times with her. Being an intelligent and logical woman, I learned heaps from her. And I’ll never forget the several belly hugging laughing and meaningfully conversations we had and all the inside jokes we created. However, that’s who we were and we were no longer that, nor were we ever going to be again. It’s sad, but I’m okay with it.

Last year, I said I wanted to take up Pilates. One month into 2017, I met this bubbly woman by the name of Aiofa (pronounced like Eva). She was just a regular customer coming in to buy some electronics and accessories to get her business running a little better. I had asked her for her business name to add it to her receipt. ‘Into Pilates’. ‘Oooo Pilates hey,’ I reacted. I told her about how desperate my best friend and I were to start it. So, Aiofa and I exchanged details and not even a week or two later, we signed up. We haven’t stopped since and I don’t think we will. It’s been an incredible benefit to my health, helping me tone and helping me with my chronic pains in my neck and knees. And Aoifa is a fantastic instructor. She’s firm and encouraging, and she makes class so comfortable. And how awesome is this…? When I was off on wedding duties, I said in passing in one of our classes that I’d be missing gym because of how busy I was. She took time out of her busy day to make me a personalised video with 6 quick and easy exercises I could do which wouldn’t take up much of my time at all. This showed me how awesome this woman is and how blessed I’ve been to have her come into my 2017.

With Pilates, I’m doing more things that I wouldn’t normally do. I went to the theatre a bit more, and I witnessed Neil Degrasse Tyson talk about the universe which was awesome, and I don’t usually go to talks like that. I experienced dance music in orchestral form, to add to the long list of different experiences I had this year. It’s all exciting and knowledge enhancing stuff.

I also promised myself I’d read more again. I picked up Gone by Jonathan Kellerman/Alex Delaware at the start of the year. Every night I was reading a chapter or so at the start, but I got a little slack heading toward the end of the year. So, it’s literally taken me a whole year to read a book. Don’t laugh. That’s a great effort for me. I already have another book lined up. Let’s see if I can get through one and a half next year.

One thing I’ve noticed that has happened to me this year is my paranoia levels. If you’ve watched the news enough this year in Melbourne, you’d hear about all these carjacking’s and home invasions. I know the news can exaggerate sometimes, but when you hear your friends and family and even yourself go through something as scary as a break in, it’s real. I’ve been so scared about this movement; I get teased for how often I lock the doors of my car. I remind my mum to close windows and lock doors. I look around a lot more when I’m walking to my car and into my house. I use the mirror more on the top of the ATM machine. I’m really worried and our government is doing nothing. I hope 2018 will see new laws keep these thugs away. But I’m not holding my breath. You can get away with murder in Victoria, but get 10 years in jail for downloading Game of Thrones. This world is sick, and no one wants to create a cure.

We lost a beautiful woman this year. She was my best friends grandmother but she felt more like my own. Growing up, I never had that influence in my life. My mum’s parents had gone back to Cyprus when I was still really young. My grandfather died not long after their return and my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s took a toll, but I got to see her one last time when I went to visit in 2011. She would pass the year later. My dad’s parents who I have always felt quite connected to, left this world before I even got here, but I feel my grandmother, who I share names with, around me all the time.
Yiayia made me feel so welcomed and loved. She hugged me tight, she was always happy to see me and she always cracked a joke. Though her suffering was long and strenuous, and is better off where she is now, it was a loss that makes you hate even more that the good get taken, while the bad stick around.

This year, came with plenty of happy news. My partner’s family welcomed twins and after four nephews, I finally have nieces. They are a delight and precious in every way. Their mother is a superstar and I really look up to her as a role model for when I have kids. She’s doing it with two more on top of it all.

I got married. 11.11.17. The numbers are beautifully aligned and it was a beautiful day. It was hot, and I complained about that a lot. The DJ/band didn’t play some songs I had on the ‘must play’ list, we asked for a bunch of balloons to pop at a certain time during our song and due to technical issues, they failed and had to be popped by hand, and my make up artist was late (which was totally forgivable because she is great), but I can’t complain too much. It could have been worse and I think overall, we had a great day!
The Maldives was a perfect honeymoon. I can’t express enough how worth it that place is. We relaxed, we snorkeled, we swam, we sat in the sun, we read, we ate a lot and drank whenever we wanted. It was a perfect little holiday and even more perfect with my husband.

Next year, I want to buy a house with my husband, and I want to travel one more time (before we start thinking about kids). I want to see the northern lights. That is the ultimate goal for 2018. It has been my top bucket list item since I was a kid and it has to be done. And I really do need to up the Instagram followers and promote the blog a little more. In order to do that though, I must find more time to keep posting.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a year I can actually appreciate and not want to forget. I hope it’s all up from here. But, last time the year had the number 8 in it; it was one of the worst years of my life. Let’s not think that way though. With all these beautiful events, and positive changes that have occurred this year, I think I’ll alright.