So, another year over… and it’s been quite a whirlwind.
This time last year I created a list of 15 highlights of 2015 and it’s a tradition I’d like to continue. So, here goes:
The 16 Best Bits of 2016
- My baptism service at Redemption Church.- The amount that I have matured and developed in my understanding of my faith and my place in God’s family blows me away every single day and a lot of credit should go to this incredible church and the family I’ve made there.
- Starting to blog for eatmystreet.net -It’s been such a privilege to write for the lovely Dani and the way it’s reconnected me with my love of writing has both shocked and delighted me
- Speaking of love of writing; my first experiences with slam poetry- particularly my second performance wherein I got to meet and perform in front of my girl crush and huge inspiration: Maxine Beneba Clarke. To receive her feedback and be on the same stage as her was such a huge privilege
- My trip to visit my family in QLD and spend time with my little cousin.
- My birthday lunch at OMY… and Christmas… and the time we took Grandma… basically all the OMY meals. If you haven’t been… go.
- The Andy Warhol/Ai Wei Wei Exhibit at NGV. -This was spectacular and super well curated! Special shout out to the kids section too, the pop art selfie booth was glorious.
- The After Afghanistan exhibit by Ben Quilty in Castlemaine. -Definitely worth the road trip to see this important, moving and beautiful exhibition
- Bike adventures! -One of my intentions for 2016 was to ride as much as possible and I think I did that quite well. Darling Freddy and I have been on many the journey together…
- The conversation salons hosted by Moroccan Deli-cacy. -These important conversations were so incredible to be a part of and filled me with hope for the future that not everyone thinks as the media thinks (hopes?) they do
- My trip to Yalata, SA. I learnt a lot about myself and I honestly do think we gave the kids some joy too. I also had the pleasure of seeing some of my year 11 students absolutely shine in ways I never would have expected.
- My self defence and women’s circus classes. -Another intention for this year was to move everyday but in ways that weren’t necessarily how I would normally. These two classes challenged me in lots of different ways and increased my respect for others and own abilities 10 fold
- The shows I’ve been blessed to see with my Malthouse Subscription. Every show this year has been incredible and broadened my horizons in some way. I particularly enjoyed:
Gonzo -The way the writers and actors so honestly conveyed the way that porn influences our teenagers and culture was so simple but exceptionally powerful
The Events -This exploration of mass murder/shootings and the way people respond to trauma was heartbreakingly beautiful, timely and tragic. It was also masterfully performed and the perfect example of how some stories just need the stage.
Hello Beautiful -Hannie Rayson, how much do I love you, let me count the ways. This funny, tragic, honest memoir was so lovingly read by its author that I couldn’t help but buy a copy. As Hannie read I felt like she was looking and speaking directly to me. Simple and brilliant.
Purge -A show about a show about deleting your facebook friends made me cry. Well done.
Every Brilliant Thing -This show about depression and suicide was so uplifting and pulled at everyone of my heart strings. The best audience participation I’ve been a part of too.
- Other shows I saw… Matilda is the obvious stand out but Titanic was also super incredible. Men of Letters and the Writers Festival both enriched me so much as a person and a writer. Lion King, Finding Holmes and SPD all left me feeling deeply proud and exceptionally inadequate as I saw my students shine with God given talent.
- The opportunity to teach pilates classes at lunch time. Especially toward the end when some of my year 9 girls started joining in. Such a blessing to be able to combine my passion for health and fitness with my teaching.
- Starting work at Babaji’s Kitchen! A new challenge and an exciting one as I move into a new stage of life.
- And finally, every interaction I had with a student or staff member at WCC this year. This year has been absolutely amazing in terms of work. I’ve been blessed with the most exceptionally lovely students and their insights and dedication blew me away on a regular basis. I’ve made wonderful friends with my colleagues and I’m so glad I’ll still get to see them around next year… and I know that this goodbye is not forever. Special mention goes out to the final day and the speeches which actually made me cry; the cards and hugs from my students; my final lunch with my year 12s; Finney’s fourth year in a row of winning the Scripture Shield and OF COURSE, our threepeat win of the House Trophy (Or as I like to think of it, the House Cup… this is much HP-sounding though.)
This year has been a year of balance and busyness, planning and preparation, rest and risk, reliance and relaxation. I’ve learnt so much and been so blessed by my relationships with friends, family and everyone else in between. I’ve loved hosting friends and family and friends who may as well be family. Loved pushing myself at the gym to be better but also taking it slow when I needed to. Loved worshipping God and crying out to Him. Loved reading for pleasure for the first time in what seemed like ages.
2016 has been brutal for the world, I’ll admit. It’s been pretty crap for a lot of my friends too and that absolutely breaks my heart. Certainly, I’ve had my share of troubles… but overall and in comparison to 2015, 2016 has exceeded all of my expectations.
I pray that you can count your blessings amongst the hardships, taking time to reflect on both.