If you were asked to re-live 2016 all over again, would you?

Everyone has a different reflection on the year 2016. In hindsight, it has been a horrible year for Celebrity deaths. Losing David Bowie at the start of January, Prince in April, George Michael on Christmas day and both Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds, within a day of each other a few days ago. Then there was the whole Brexit ordeal and then the biggest news of 2016, Trump being made president of the USA. So, I can understand why 2016 hasn’t been the best year for many people.

However, for me, 2016 has been one of the most amazing years to date!

This time last year, I was sitting here having had one of the worst years of my life. I literally couldn’t wait to close the door on 2015 and open up 2016. I’d dealt with my first death in the family, I was in a job I hated, we’d had a little trouble with the house and family health wasn’t looking good. But, it was around the final days of December 2015, that I decided 2016 was not going to be the same. No matter what bad cards I was dealt, I wasn’t going to let it upset and depress me. I’d say that moment defined the start of my ‘Positivity Promise’.

When you’ve been kicked down more times than you can remember and you’ve experienced enough crap to last a lifetime, being positive is the last thing on your mind. You surround yourself with negative thoughts and lack the courage and strength to carry on. You feel like a failure and your emotions get the better of you more than usual. I remember hating myself, hating my life and feeling stupid for thinking I deserved a little happiness.

My job depressed me. Just the thought of having to go in and achieve silly sales targets that were impossible, or spending my time cleaning dust of shelves I’d cleaned just days before, because I had nothing else to do. You couldn’t be creative, you couldn’t use your own mind and you had to STICK TO THE PLAN! I’ve now realised that plans are stupid, a waste of time and unrealistic.

I’d also lost my Poppops in October too and that hit me like a ton of bricks. The death of a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through and your mindset at this time defines how you deal with the situation. I crumbled. I witnessed him take his final breaths and I saw the devastation it had on the family.

On top of all this, I had the worry of my dad losing his job and maybe losing the house too. My dad had an amazing job, but ageist (despite it not being a thing nowadays, they say) happened. His place of work decided, that despite his popularity, he was no longer good enough for the job. He decided to leave. This had major impact on the bills and added worry to our financial situation. Granted, this had little to do with me, but it still effected my attitude and added to the negativity I had around me already.

So, as the clock struck midnight on the 1st January 2016, I decided to not make any unrealistic new years resolutions, nor was I going to pressure myself into believing 2016 was going to be ‘My Year’. All I vowed to myself, was to deal with every problem and every situation in 2016 with ‘Positivity’.

Positivity. My best friend.

Of course, just because 2016 was a new year, didn’t mean that all my problems and my worries would disappear. I knew that the year ahead was going to be filled with choices, problems and sadness. I knew that there was going to be hard work and decisions ahead. But, I also knew that with the right mindset, I could make this year so much better than the last. And that was my New Years promise to myself.

My first hurdle was going to be my job. I knew that I couldn’t stay where I was. I had to leave. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted a change, and fast. So, one day in January, I spent the day looking for jobs online. One job caught my eye. Cabin Crew.

Now, I’d applied for Cabin Crew at a well known airline in 2015, and despite being offered a job with them, I simply didn’t have the funds needed for the training. But, at the time, I was just happy to have been offered the job. As I sat back in the chair and considered applying to the airlines in front of me, instead of telling myself “Don’t be daft, you couldn’t do that”, I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t they pick you?”. I was everything they were asking for, I had all the relevant experience and I loved flying. So, a few clicks later, I’d applied.

A few weeks later, I got a reply from two different airlines, asking me to one of their assessment days in the coming weeks. The first airline assessment day I attended, I snuck back to my old ways and became this quiet and unapproachable person. As predicted, I failed my interview and was told to “Try again next year”. So, when it came to my assessment day with the second airline a few weeks later, I changed my attitude. I made sure I came across as a confident and approachable person, as well as relaxing more and not over-thinking the little things. Two weeks later, I was offered a job as Cabin Crew. Yay!

I’ve now been a part of an amazing company for the last 7 months and it’s been great. I’m working with new people everyday, I’m a part of one awesome team and I’m proud of what I’m doing. My job has a purpose and I can now go into work with a genuine smile on my face.

One other pretty amazing thing that happened this year was passing my driving test on the 3rd February. It’s been a long time coming, and although I’m still not out on the roads, I’m so proud of myself. Just knowing that I have a licence and I’ve achieved something else off my bucket list makes me so happy!

Something else my positive mind has helped me pursue this year is a trip of a lifetime. And a lifelong dream. A three-month trip across America!! This is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember and now, at the age of 24 and with two amazing girls, I’m actually doing it! And in 2 days aswell!!! (2nd January 2017). I’m full of emotions today. Happy, nervous, excited, worried, intrigued…. so many emotions. And the reason behind booking this trip of a lifetime? A positive, can-do attitude!

But, as we all know, life can’t always be straightforward and there will be a few bumps in the road along the way.

One of the few bad things to happen in my life this year was the loss of another loved one. My beautiful Grandma. She died in august this year. It has left a massive hole in my heart and a huge loss within the family. She was the woman we all went to with our problems and the one person you could rely on for help and advice. She was inspirational and one of a kind. I’m going to miss her so much!

However, to end the year on a high and to fulfil one last thing, I’ve met the person I’m going to marry!

I met Dave in August through a friend. We started talking through Facebook and messenger, which then turned into Skype. I fell in love with him pretty quickly. He’s an amazing guy and makes me so happy. I know we will be together forever and I love him with all my heart. I wasn’t expecting it to happen and I was happy being single, but, life is so unpredictable, a beautiful journey that can change direction in a second.

When I first started talking to Dave, he told me that my positive, can-do attitude was one of the things that attracted him to me. I cheer him up when he’s feeling down and I give him pep talks when he needs them. He’s made me into the person I always wanted to be and he encourages me every day. He gives me the confidence to be myself and, despite him working away at the moment, I can always rely on him to cheer me up when I’m having a bad day. Being in love is pretty amazing.

Anyway, enough of the cheese…

So, you can see how having a positive attitude can change your entire outlook on life.

Don’t get me wrong, seeing things in a positive light isn’t always easy. But, believing everything happens for a reason helps. Positivity has to come from within. You have to want to do something like this and make a change. If you do decide to approach 2017 with this mindset, then I wish you all the luck in the world. It won’t always be easy, but believe me, you’ll be so much happier.

I have no New Year’s resolution. All I’m going to be hoping for, when the clock strikes 12 tonight, is that I continue my positive outlook on life. I’m looking forward to 2017. I have so many exciting things planned and so many amazing people in my life. I’m extremely lucky to be standing where I am today and with a positive mindset.

Whatever has happened in 2016, I wish you all the BEST 2017!

Lot’s of Love,

Sophie xxx