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2015 in hindsight

by M

I must confess: these posts always make me a tad nervous. Looking back is generally a dangerous task, and +360 days seem like a lifetime when you want to analyze them—even though 2015 flew by, at least for me. I’m always scared I’ll overlook some aspects or focus too much on less relevant ones.


The year started off with one of the fondest memories I have—New Year’s Eve in Lisbon, with my lifelong friend and one of my favorite people in the world, Johanna. Just the two of us, walking through the city aimlessly, cooking dinner together (it was yum), going on and on for hours about our celebrity crushes, watching the fireworks in the crowd, getting O.D. on chocolate, watching good films and chatting until the sun rose like we used to do in Elementary school. And then, a long trip home in a mostly empty train, all by myself—I swear, it could’ve been yesterday.


One of the most important and remarkable things of 2015 was the drastic change I did to my diet and lifestyle. I started eating greens! If you told 2014-me I would be gladly asking for lettuce and spinach and having seconds, she’d be shocked (I still am, a little). For the first six months of the year I cleaned most nasties out of my diet—cookies, Nutella, croissants, fries—and swapped them for huge smoothies and buckets of soup. I didn’t quit the sinful food at all! I just learned to eat it in moderation (and not every day, various times a day like I used to) and started working out on a daily basis. If you’re looking for some New Year’s motivation, let me tell you: it felt a m a z i n g! It was worth it! If only I’d listen to my own advice, because I summer kicked of… I ruined it all. Only now am I starting to get back on track (but we’ll get there!).


Another big thing of 2015 was year 11, which was the penultimate year of High School for me… and the toughest school year of my whole life. For a long time I felt unmotivated, lost and very, very tired. But I managed to win the battle with a 19,5 out of 20 in the Philosophy final, of which I couldn’t be any prouder! Hard work does pay off, after all. It really was the bestest of rewards I could possibly have had.


Around the time I was studying my butt off for said exam, I came across the vegan “movement” through YouTube. With Ethics on one hand and Essena O’Neill & Co on the other, I quit meat in a blink of an eye, with zero regrets and no missing at all. That might be a good topic for a different post, though! For now I’ll say it was The decision of 2015—the one that shaped both me and the rest of the year for the better.


As the second half of the year rolled around, with Senior High kicking off in September I had to face the decisions that are yet to come but fast approaching. The last few months of the year were carved with anxiety regarding what the future holds and what my options are—especially when it comes to uni and a Gap Year prospect that my parents are steadily frowning upon.


2015 was undoubtedly a year of great and amazing self-discovery. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be when you’re sixteen-going-on-seventeen as my birthday is only in November. However, with discovery comes doubt and sometimes other not-so-good-things. It was around October when I started suspecting I have “winter blues”, otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. To this date I’m still unsure; in all honesty, I’ve never told anybody until now. That’s the beauty in writing for me; it gives me the bravery and freedom to say things that I’m terrified of verbalizing. As for S.A.D., I remain undiagnosed but my suspicions maintain. And it was indeed a huge battle in those final months of 2015.


Maybe that’s why writing year reviews has always been so hard for me—the end is always coated in grey days, both outside and in my mind. And we all know it’s hard to look beyond both the near past and the downsides. However I will not let this keep me from saying—with conviction—that 2015 was an amazing year. A year that I had the courage to act in order to become a better me, a me closer to the one I want to be.


And for that I couldn’t be any more proud or any more grateful.