As I going through the photos I took during my trip to Rio to celebrate the end of 2016, I wonder what I actually went to actually celebrate. This year has been one of the worst of my life after all. Am I celebrating the fact it’s over? Maybe the idea is to start the next one fresh and with a positive outlook? Or am I simply celebrating because it’s tradition to do so? As cliche as it sounds, the fact is that a new year is very arbitrary. There is no reason 2017 will or even should be different than 2016. Its a collection of days over our travel through the void that just so happens to land us on the spot with respect to the sun as 365 days ago.

I have yet to speak to someone who had a good 2016. On every front of my life, this year has gone horribly wrong. I have had close family friends and pets pass away, I have been away from my partner for the last 18 months, I started the year depressed and without a job, unfit and not really sure where 2016 would take me. However, as the first few days of January 2017 go by, I am struggling to think of ways in which I am worse off than a year ago. From my health (both mental and physical), to my purpose in life, to the amount of money in my bank account. My relationship is stronger, my family is more united and my friendships remain close regardless of being on the other side of the world.

So if everything went wrong in 2016, and nothing I did was enjoyable, then how did I come up ahead? How am I sitting here in 2017 richer in every aspect of my life, with a future I am confident in and past experiences I can treasure? This blog entry in particular isn’t trying to explain how I got to this point, but rather explore a new perspective. So often we get caught up on the negatives. A lot of the times, for good reason, they suck, are unpleasant and we overall wish they weren’t a part of life. But sometimes, if you look at the positives, you realise that the year you had, as unpleasant and full of negatives as it was, left you in a better place than you were at the start. And if this is indeed the case, then you just went through the worst life could throw at you, 2016 tried its best, and in my case left me standing higher. And that’s almost too exciting not to share.

So bring it on 2017. I might not knock you out or even land many punches, but 2016 just tried its best, and here I am, standing and ready to go again.