16 Good Things About 2016

In a week that's proving to be an absolutely devastating one for the music, film and writing communities, RIP George Michael and Carrie Fisher it seems more important than ever to reflect on the good. So here's my list of sixteen good things about 2016. Some are personal, some are more pop culture-y than anything else but they're all positive and stand out to me about the year that was. So 2016, while you had some stones in among the diamonds, today I want to concentrate on the latter...

1. We saw a woman as one of the leading contenders in the race to the White House. You may think, what does she care, she's a New Zealander? This however is a huge win for women across the world and while I am still upset that Hillary did not win, I am also so, so proud of her. Troll me all you like, Hillary did us all proud in 2016. While America may be starkly different next year, wherever she sets her sights next will be in safe hands.

2. We got to experience Stars Hollow again. For many of us, 2016 will go down as the year we committed to re-watching seven seasons worth of Gilmore Girls episodes in prep for the four seasonal themed Netflix specials. For me they did not disappoint and aside from one or two cringe-worthy references, ahem, Zoella, I loved them. They were the perfect escape from the aforementioned political circus.

3. I read. A lot. Reading is my tonic, it's my escape and I love it for that reason alone. This year I read, heaps. Books, magazines and even some graphic novels when I was going through a bit of a phase with them earlier in the year. I also took part in a couple of online book clubs and established my own on Goodreads. What did I love reading in 2016? Well, stay tuned for Monday's post...

4. Gloria Steinem came to New Zealand. And I met her and spent an hour on an Autumnal Saturday night listening to her speak. It is easily one of the highlights of my 2016 and her words of encouragement and wisdom will stick with me for a long time to come.

5. Frankie Magazine launched a new book and I met some of their writers and editorial team. It is only by chance that I was perusing the Readings bookstore catalogue and discovered that Frankie had an up and coming talk happening. I am so glad I did though. Some great banter was had, about New Zealand and cats with strange names (props to my cat, Shirley aka Shirl) among other things. I even made a bookish friend in the process, shout out to you if you're reading.

6. Teen Vogue slayed all day. People hugely underestimate the power of Teen Vogue's editorial team and the intelligence levels of teenage girls. It is publications like this which are making people pay attention, especially when they're providing such fantastic political coverage. They're also making a point of showcasing diverse women from all walks of life as well as recommending some amazing books and influencers to follow. I love their work and can't wait to see where they take the magazine in 2017.

7. I became a beauty and fashion writer for FashioNZ. In a majorly exciting moment, Evelyn who I've known for four years now took over at FashioNZ and asked me to be one of their contributors. Each month I do two articles, sometimes more and seeing my stories going live never gets old. I'm so grateful to Evelyn and Carolyn for letting me share a slice of their platform each month. It also gives me the chance to write about things I don't get to write about around these parts and I get to use a more editorial voice if that makes sense. This is actually one of my favourite things from 2016 and I am still so proud as punch of the site and getting to be part of it.

8. Confidence behind the wheel. Sure I'm still not overly fond of reversing and I flat-out won't parallel park unless I absolutely have to but I feel like I've become so much more confident with my driving this year. It does not sound like much but given I didn't get my license until I was 20 and didn't really enjoy or want to drive for ages it is a huge achievement for me. Here's to getting my full in 2017, fingers crossed.

9. The Crown. I've already blogged about this once this week so I will keep it brief. This is hands-down the best show I have watched this year, only just beating Freaks and Geeks. Netflix, you've been good to us in 2016.

10. Spending time with family. This year I got to spend time with some of my family who I don't get to see all that often because they live quite far away and it was the best. I spent two whole weeks with them and had the best time. My cousin and I went for daily walks, talked all things literary, binge watched The IT Crowd and exchanged humour and music suggestions aplenty. They get me and my crazy self and (seem to) love it. Such good times and I hope to see them just as often if not more next year.

11. Melbourne. Reuniting with my favourite place is right up there in 2016 highlights. Every time I visit Melbourne I just fall more in love with it. The art, the culture, the vibe, the people. It's all so fabulous. I sincerely hope I get to live and work there someday just so I can immerse myself in its goodness for longer.

12. Makeup free days. Don't get me wrong, I love makeup and the transformative powers it has. This year though I probably had more minimal makeup days/no makeup whatsoever than usual. Again this is probably nothing in the grander scheme of things but for someone who used to feel so insecure with nothing camouflaging their face this is huge. I don't know if I just cared less this year, or maybe I just feel more confident to go au natural but this feels like a good thing.

13. Awesome banter. You know those conversations you have that just leave you buzzing and walking on air for days? I lovelovelove them and get so much out of them. Whether they were with friends, with awesome people on Twitter or just podcasts I heard. They really put some spark in my life and for that I am thankful. Never underestimate the power of words.

14. Friends, old and new. I have to give mentions to some of my local blogging babes, Emma and Lucie. Both awesome, intelligent, brilliant ladies. Shoutout to my non-blogging friends too. You are all spectacular and I love y'all. For 'reals.

15. Joanne and A Seat at the Table. My two favourite albums of the year, that were released this year. I have to give a mention to Rumours x Fleetwood Mac which was also on high rotation. Lady Gaga and Solange though were killin it this year.

16. Rediscovering poetry. Madisen Kuhn and Rupi Kaur deserve most of the credit here. Especially the latter whose volume I have dog-eared and underlined to oblivion. I want to read more poetry next year so if you have any recommendations for me, sing out.

-What's one good thing that happened to you in 2016?

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