I am currently sat in my bedroom, alone, after being surrounded by my family for the past couple of days. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there is only 4 more days until Sherlock is back on TV, but I am feeling totally, utterly and completely content. I have many blog posts whereby I mention the importance of surrounding yourself with great people, but I really don't think I can say it enough. Although I'm probably being biased here, my family are my favourite people in the world, and I am honestly the happiest person alive when I am in their company.

Seeing as this is the last blog post of 2016, I felt that it was only right to reflect upon the year in a way that wasn't just sharing my top 9 pictures on Instagram. Although I don't want this post to be negative and dull, I can't ignore the fact that this year has been the most difficult years of my entire life. I have lost people who I never thought I would, and in result of this lost a part of myself - one that I know I will never get back. There are people who I miss every single day, and who I would trade places with in a flash - if only I could. For months I was ridden with this guilt that would make me question what right I had to be here, when the people I knew 'deserved' to be here, weren't.

I'm still battling with these thoughts, but they're not as loud as they used to be. I know for a fact that I can't spend the rest of my life questioning why things happened - because the truth is, they just did. We have all these expectations that when people are ill, they'll get better and that you'll only say goodbye to the world once you're old and have lived a full and happy life - but in reality that's just a fairytale. Something I've learnt this year, and as cliche as it sounds, is that we need to live every single day like it's our last and make sure to tell people just how important they are to us. (Funnily enough, whenever I try to do this to my Mum or Dad, they just think I'm after something).

There's no way in hell that I'm going to sit here and just focus on the awful things that happened in 2016, because that is just not my style. There are 365 days in a year and despite the fact that, admittedly so, a large percentage were spent in utter, utter misery, there were some happy times to. This year I met some of the best people I ever have, I found something I loved to do, I did things that scared me and I grew as a person. I realised my strengths, and my weaknesses. Although I would love to say that I am now a mature young lady, I simply cannot lie. Despite the fact that I have changed, I know that it'll take a lot more than that for me to ever be described as 'mature', I guess it simply isn't in my nature.

I hate cheese, but this post is about to get as cheesy as the 'Quattro Fromaggi' pizza I once ordered in Italy which genuinely put me off cheese for life. (The smell, the way it looked ... it all still gives me nightmares). I know that sometimes it gets easy to become tied up with all the negative things in your life, and sometimes the positive and the good things get pushed aside and ignored, but I personally think that the best 'medicine' for sadness is to focus on the happiness that you've endured too. Even in times of indescribable pain, I've always taken a minute to be consoled by the happy memories that I have experienced beforehand. This is going to sound like the most cringey and cliche thing ever, but here is something that I always reflect back on;

On the day that the worst thing imaginable happened, I'm not going to write it here, but I'm sure that many of you can guess what it was, I remember feeling like the world had stopped turning. Everything froze, and time seemed like it wasn't even a concept anymore. It was just like a dream that I couldn't wake up from and I lost sense of reality - because even when you know that something is going to happen, it doesn't mean that you can ever prepare for it when it does. Yet a few hours later, I began to hear cars zooming past outside and, as weird as this sounds, all I could think about was that 'life goes on'. And, at the end of the day, it does.

When I'm sad, I find myself thinking about that. Although your world stops - the rest of the world carries on. I also find myself thinking about all the times I've laughed so much I can barely breathe, the times I've danced with my favourite people in the entire world, or even the times when I've found solace in a book that I've never read before (wow, how nerdy). There is so much to experience, and sometimes I find that I have no time to be sad - because I just want to carry of living.

However, that being said, that's not a healthy way to be. I find myself constantly trying to find new ways to distract myself, in order to stop myself from feeling things that I just really don't want to feel. Although when I feel myself getting low, I can move on from it by thinking about the time I laughed so hard I spat tomato soup all over my Nanna and Grandad's white table cloth, I think it would be a lot better in the long run if I sat and endured the pain - instead of letting it build up into something that becomes a lot harder to deal with.

So, I guess that's New Year Resolution Number 1. I think another would be to do more things that scare me, and to stray away from my comfort zone every now and then - because, that tends to be when the best things happen. I am obviously going to carry on with my blogging - my silly little rambles that people seem to enjoy (!!!), and hope that 2017 brings me exciting things to write about!

I don't want this post to be too long, as I think people may begin to get bored of my silly self, but I just wanted to say a quick thank you. I think this may sound like a speech at an awards ceremony, (cue my dad saying a comment such as 'An award for the biggest idiot' or something along those lines...) but I wanted to follow my own advice and tell people who I care about just how much they mean to me.

To my amazing family, this year has been tough on every single one of us, but we've all managed to pull through together. The way you've stuck by me, and continued to make me laugh even on the worst days imaginable has been the most important factor in getting me through this year. I hope I've done the same for you (even though my jokes are terrible, and usually only end with me laughing). I am utterly grateful that I am able to spend time with such strong, vibrant people and I hope 2017 brings us more happy memories together.

To my lovely friends, you are the best people I have ever met. In times where I've felt so alone, you've shown me that I'm not - and waking up on Christmas morning to your lovely messages meant more to me than you will ever know or understand. It breaks my heart to think that in a couple of months time we won't be spending every day together, but I know that we'll always be friends, regardless of whether we see each other once a week or once a year. I hope 2017 brings you more fun and laughter, and that you don't get sick of me (but lets be real, you're stuck with me).

And to anyone else reading this. Although there's been many jokes (by my 'amazing family') that it's just myself clicking on my posts 10,000 times, every single person who reads my blogs has helped me more than they could ever imagine. The support I have received is completely overwhelming, and it still baffles me that people want to read what I write. I find it strange that there's people all over the world who are reading this, but I hope that the words I write help you in any way that they can.

I've got such positive thoughts for 2017, and am looking forward to immersing in a fresh, new year with promises of a new start and new beginnings.

I hope you have a lovely new year, and I'll see you in 2017 (aGHHH!)

Grace x


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