2016: The year of____________.

It will go down as the year known for netflix and chill, Pokemon Go,  Gord Downie and the Secret Path, Beyonce’s lemonade, Facebook reactions, NHL playoff hero Matt Murray, crop tops, Donald Trump, snapchat filters, and the mannequin challenge… (along with a lot of other awesome and not so awesome things).


Also now being crowned as the “worst year ever”. 

(Ummmm a little dramatic don’t you think??)

Over the last couple of days I have seen social media explode about how much people want 2016 to end, how much they hate it… loathe it…oh the drama. Drama, drama, drammmmaaaaaa. Ya, I get it, 2016 was definitely an ass kicker. We had to dig a lot deeper to get through the challenges, many famous faces were taken too soon, a lot of bad stuff happened, (something definitely in the air); BUT, there was also a lot of awesomeness too…so why such a negative view? Isn’t joy and optimism supposed to fill the air as we buy new planners, make resolutions,  and smile ear to ear with the  “new year, new meeeee” mantra going on???

That’s okay, we’re human beings with emotions…we all endure the same hardships…betrayal, heartache, loss,  illness, financial struggles — All major downers, but also all things that teach us lessons that we don’t typically learn in a classroom or in a workshop. Things even your mom can’t teach you.

So as we wrap up the last week of the year and bid adieu to 2016, I personally use the time to reflect on the good, on who helped me grow, supported my journey, on lessons learned and on how I’ve changed. Looking in the mirror you most likely don’t recognize parts of yourself since January 1st of 2016 (especially after all of the holiday parties). You’ve changed… every single one of you accomplished a hell of a lot this year. You also kicked some serious ass. Ya that one thing really sucked, and I can’t believe they did that to you, and I know that it hurt and it was difficult… but you are a better person for it. I promise.

Every December, I like to  write down the lessons I’ve learned throughout the year so I can use them moving forward, and also so I don’t make the same mistake again (like they say, only a mistake once, on purpose twice). I also like to jot down my accomplishments and what was so awesome about the year. You should do it too. If it’s the last thing you do this year, go grab a piece of paper and take a time out…  Big or small celebrate all of the awesome of 2016.

Here are 16 fun lessons I endured during the “worst year ever” 😉  (I like to read them in a Mr.T voice, it makes them more meaningful. I pity the fool):

  1. Next time you think you aren’t qualified for that job, or you have people tell you it’s impossible, clearly do it anyway (reaction to Mr.Trump’s “success”) eeeek.
  2. Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It’s called BALANCE my friends.
  3. If you have to force it, leave it- relationships, friendships, yoga poses, perfect pony tails. Let that sh*t go.
  4. Better an oops than a what if.
  5. I’m still a rockstar (whispered to myself as I took a multivitamin and crawled into bed at 9 pm after working for an entire weekend).
  6. Sundays are no place for pants or responsibility.
  7. You don’t need acceptance from anyone. You just need to accept yourself.
  8. I’ve got 99 problems and 86 of them are made up scenarios in my head that I am stressing about for absolutely no logical reason.
  9. Strength grows in moments you think you can’t move on.
  10. Characterize people by their actions and you won’t ever be fooled by their words. When people treat you like they don’t care, believe them. They really DON’T care. (sorry).
  11. Be kind to yourself.
  12. If you spend time with a bunch of chickens, you will cluck. You can’t hangout with negative humans and expect a positive life.
  13. You won’t please everyone. Some people are born mad regardless of what you say or do, so choose your battles wisely. Accept what you can’t change.
  14. Beauty is being confident and comfortable in your own skin, owning your awesome. That, or wearing a really wicked pair of heels.
  15. We are only as old and as young as we let ourselves be.
  16. You are allowed to have five emotional minutes in the day and then for the rest of the day you gotta be a gangsta.

And of course, always, always BAY AWESOME. 

Dear 2016, thank you for all of the horrid things that you did to me this year. It was torture at times, but you made me realize some very important things that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise and you actually rewarded me along the way, like when you let me touch Tim McGraw’s leg, elected me the very first female president of a pretty awesome organization, gave me confidence to dance like nobody was watching (when actually hundreds really were), catch and reel in the JAWS of Lake Superior and interview a family of hockey greats, but most importantly surrounding me with awesome human beings and keeping me generally healthy and happy. I will be forever grateful.

#SurvivorOfTheWorstYearEVER (ha, ha). Remember, although there are  many things in this world that we can’t control, we do have control over forgiveness, second chances and new beginnings. Cheers to 2017. Now go, Bay Awesome.

2016 the year of LESSONS (and SO much AWESOME).

365 new days = 365 new chances. 


Amanda xo

About the author

Amanda Bay

Amanda is a PR Gal from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. She is a news enthusiast and communications specialist, navigating the media world for over 17 years. Being very passionate about her community, she strives to create a positive reaction through giving back and her work. It's about finding the awesome in all of life's experiences.

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