What I Learned in 2016


Oh my god. 2016, what a year. I want to make this post positive, and some of it will be, but to deny that this was a year where my faith in humanity was increasingly chipped away at, would be lying.

1. Ignorance is bliss

Did somebody say 'Brexit'? Did somebody mention 'PRESIDENT Trump' (sorry, I just can't get used to that phrase, it makes me feel ill.) I probably lay awake at night worrying abut the state of the world more than ever this year. The old adage 'ignorance is bliss' seems truer than ever. 

Those who voted to cripple the economy in Brexit won't be the ones suffering from lack of the open labour market, those who voted or Donald Trump are not the ones who fear being shot dead by police in America due to prejudice. 

The less you know, the better, because the world is an ugly, backwards and depressing place for those who open their eyes to it. Watching the news, reading about injustices, pontificating about the future... it's all looking very negative. 

Humanity never seems to learn its lessons, and I find that incredibly difficult to accept. A friend of mine, Nik of Kommunity, has heeded this year as a cue to band together with like-minded people and promote togetherness and inclusivism even more and I can only applaud his positive take on the situation. If you're local to Newcastle, you should check out his community hub's events on their Facebook page.

2. People let you down, move on

I've been let down by important people a few times this year. I once again learned that the only person you can truly count on is yourself. 

If nothing else, knowing that autonomy and self-preservation are of the utmost importance gives you the strength to keep on going, no matter what. Take the path of least resistance. 

Be the bigger person, walk away, don't bring unnecessary nastiness into your life, and then you can always be safe in the smugness that you're lovely even if everyone else isn't (hahahaha).

3. Hard work pays off

I've worked incredibly hard this year and I'm not afraid of giving myself credit for it. In spite of another lung collapse last December, I went back to University on schedule in January and finished my Masters degree (oh yeah, I even got the best student award for my class! #humblebrag), just like I finished my Bachelors degree after taking three months out. 

I have to say, this 'get up and get the hell on with it' attitude has stood me well in the start up community. Sometimes I get frustrated when people wallow too much because I've made the conscious decision not to. After all, if I wallowed every time I was in pain, it would be non-stop, and at some point, you just have to suck it up and get shit done.

4. Running a start up is nothing more but glorified faffing (but it is hard)

Every honest entrepreneur will tell you: we're all just winging it. In the start up community, we are all just bumbling along and trying to find a formula for something that works. TrendListr is still at such an early stage, and building confidence in all aspects of the business will take time and effort. Those whose arrogance and bragging overshadows their substance, or who wear their working hours as some sort of competitive badge of honour, don't necessarily have any advantage over people like me, who are more than happy to say: 'I do my research and I put the time in, but I'm no expert.'

Furthermore, it is a 'real job', in fact it's a job that you can never escape from. There's no clocking out, no leaving at the end of the day and relaxing... but you know, it's like having a baby. Unlimited stress but also unconditional love.
So, two negatives and two positives to go into 2017 with. But I'm feeling weirdly optimistic about this year, in spite of all the awful goings-on in the world. 

On a personal and perhaps selfish level, I am working my dream job, I have a wonderful apartment, and have met some incredibly special people last year who will continue to be in my life in the Newcastle start up scene.

The global outlook may be bleak, but if we can all stick to our guns as individuals, pursue our own happiness and the promotion of everything that is good and fair and kind and pushing back against brexity trumpiness, then maybe 2017 won't be as bad as we are all anticipating.
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As always, thanks for reading and make sure you leave any comments you have below!

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