2016: Year in Review

It was only last year that I decided to write an actual summary of my year rather than answer a generic questionnaire like I did in previous years. I wanted to do something creative for this yearly summing-up post, but nothing comes to mind except a brief overview and the monthly sort of recap that I did last year. Also, there will be no Achievement Unlocked post for this month because I’ll be summing up the whole year.

Well, 2016, thanks. Apart from the general disdain most people have about the heroes that left us this year (Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Prince, and Alan Rickman, to name a few), on a personal level, I can say that you have been an insane rollercoaster with some really big ups, and really low, low, downs. I cried at a lot of stuff this year, I’ll be honest with you. Like Liz said, I wasn’t personal. I didn’t share everything about the year, especially the lows, and in a way I felt like I was hiding stuff. But I wasn’t. As I mentioned in my very important Blogging Values post, my blog is a positive place. I didn’t want moody posts to come to fruition, because I knew they would be extremely vague. I don’t want to share everything. But we all have our problems and our troubles, and my rants and upset, unhappy feelings found their way into conversations with my friends, where things got resolved, and I felt better. There is nothing better than to have a friend by your side when you are in need.

That makes me think of the sadness that surrounded Donald Trump’s win this year. So many of my friends were heartbroken by the results, and, on the other side of the world, I felt useless. I really felt for my friends. I honestly wished they could move to Australia. As things have died down a little, it’s also occurred to me that I haven’t even met some of these friends at all.

Which brings me to the internet. A simmering pot of trouble at worst, it’s a lifeline and a true friend (in itself) at best. I’ve met a lot of my friends online, through blogging, and this year I have become closer to quite a handful of them. Some of them have returned to blogging (hi Pauline!) while others I’ve known a long time (Liz goes without saying, and there’s Tara too). There are even a few I have met in freakin’ real life (I have known Holly for way too long, I can’t remember a time I didn’t know her! Ditto Georgia)!

At the same time, yes, I’ve noticed that for every awesome, smart tweet on Twitter, there is always some dickhead in the replies who counters the original statement and just ruins everyone’s day. Always. 🙄

In personal achievements… I started going to the gym again. I’ve made so much progress that my clothes are starting to get too big for me. I travelled a lot, around Europe, Singapore, went to San Diego for a work trip, visited Indonesia again, and went to Perth. I went to a few conferences, gave a handful of talks throughout the year, and attended more meetups than I could have believed I would attend. I came out of my shell a little bit, pushed myself to learn and contribute more at work, and made progress.

And gracious, I can’t even begin to explain the wonderful tangle that is my best friend Nicholas. He has been there through thick and thin and he can so easily put a smile on my face or turn a frown upside-down. It’s been a wild ride for both of us, but he graduated and changed jobs twice, and I’m very proud of him. He’s in a happy place. 🙃 He asked me to marry him in June… I would have been a fool if I said no. 😍

January

  • We saw The Wombats live in concert again. They were sooo much fun.
  • I went to Melbourne for the first time. This honestly feels like so long ago. We saw a couple of tennis matches, saw some penguins at sunset, ate at a very fancy restaurant called Vue de Monde, ate at a lovely hipster cafe called Hardware Societe, and did some shopping.

February

  • I did a talk at a Girl Geek meetup that was held at my workplace, Campaign Monitor. I think I inspired a lot of people – you can watch the recording of the same talk I did on a separate occasion.
  • I deployed a new theme to my blog named bermuda v1.2 ‘Flores’. I had been working on it for a while and I’m still very proud of it!
  • I went to an engineering camp organised by my company, which was a couple of hours up north, by a lovely beach.
  • I featured on the CM blog for International Women’s Day.

March

  • Went on Hey Geronimo’s tour bus for their Longest Shortest Tour! They played ten gigs in one day at ten different places!
  • I bumped into Jess – she saw me at the train station and said hi. She was pretty shy but didn’t hesitate to tell me that she reads my blog. ☺️
Hey Geronimo at The Bald Faced Stag pub.
Hey Geronimo at The Bald Faced Stag.

April

  • I went to the Respond conference and wrote a blog post about my learnings.
  • Nick graduated from his Bachelors degree! 👨‍🎓
  • I was voted in as one of the members of Campaign Monitor’s diversity committee.

May

  • I did a presentation for A11y Bytes. I was thrilled to have been chosen. I really wasn’t expecting it.
  • I celebrated my birthday by going with my family and friends to a Japanese restaurant.

June

  • Nick and I headed on a month-long trip to Europe! Holy shit. We flew business class on the way there.
  • I met Holly! And Georgia!
  • We went to Liverpool and saw a lot of Beatles-related things.
  • I saw Stonehenge. Those rocks I loved as a kid, in real life!
  • We did lots in London. Shopping, high tea, Harry Potter tour, met up with an old coworker, obviously saw all the sights and went to as many museums as we could.
  • Had a great time in Paris, eating a lot of delicious local food and sweets. We went to so many museums, Palace of Versailles, saw the Eiffel Tower of course, went to Disneyland… I was mostly wowed by the Picasso Museum and a lot of the artworks in the museums we visited.
  • Spent a couple of days in quiet Zurich. It was Nick’s birthday and I got him some pyjamas! He was in dire need of them.
  • Nick proposed to me while we were in Varenna and I said YES and cried and oh my god. ❤️
  • Varenna was fucking beautiful.
  • Venice was a bit smelly.
  • Florence and Rome were very interesting. I wrote blog posts about our whole trip which you will find under posts tagged with nickgeorgieEU16.
Myself and Nick with one of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies murals as a backdrop
In front of one of the famous Water Lilies paintings by Claude Monet
Elizabeth Tower (also known as Big Ben) with roads and traffic in view
Elizabeth Tower, well known as ‘Big Ben’
A blue sky with scattered clouds on the lake in Zurich
Beautiful sky in Zurich on the lake
Nick proposing to me
I cried a little bit.

July

  • Finished off our Europe trip by passing through Singapore! It was so, so hot. We went to the zoo, met up with my friend Daniel and also got our feet pampered in a nice fish spa.
  • Nick created a short video of our trip.
  • Hey Geronimo released their debut album Crashing Into The Sun! Yesssss! 🚀🌍☀️🔥
  • Went to San Diego for a work trip for a few days at the end of July, unfortunately came back feeling very, very ill. 😦
View with Singapore Flyer and Supertrees
View with Singapore Flyer and Supertrees

August

  • Nick and I saw Aladdin the musical!
  • August was the Month of Catchups. I deliberately filled the spaces in my calendar with lunches, dinners and coffee catch-ups with old coworkers, university friends, school friends and people in the web community. It was so much fun basically catching up with one person almost every day.
  • Nick and I went to the Tea Festival but it was not really what I expected. It was fun, but the tea was all marketed at well-being and other bullshit, whereas I wanted legit tea. 😜

September

  • Nick and I saw Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza. It was a fantastic show.
  • We joined a gym. As in, actually joined and paid for a gym. We had been using free passes from our old workplace before.
  • I went to my cousin’s wedding in Indonesia. I was only there for a very short time!
  • I started to try and learn JavaScript this month. Like, really try and learn.
  • My coworkers and I did the Steptember challenge. We walked 10,000+ steps a day to raise awareness for cerebral palsy. We raised $831.06 and in total, we walked 1,482,130 steps!
  • I bought the new iPhone 7.
  • Nick’s sister Beck graduated from high school. 🎓

October

  • We saw Brandon’s favourite band, Mayday Parade. It had been a while since I had seen a punk band so I was really thrilled. They did not disappoint.
  • I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time, and have been going every month since. I am happy with the results. 😄
  • I did a talk at a Girl Geek meetup again. My third Girl Geek talk!
  • I got a ballin’ pay rise. 💰
  • This month was my one year anniversary working at Campaign Monitor. The company of my dreams, basically. 💕
  • I went to Perth for the first time, to attend Mixin Conf. I met so many people and had an amazing time. I stayed there for the weekend and met up with my friend Kim, whom I met many years ago through one of our favourite bands, The Griswolds.
  • My friend Pat started helping me out with my Fashion Friday shoots.
A view of the city of Perth from Kings Park
The city of Perth and the water surrounding it

November

  • Nick started a super exciting new job. Can’t say more, it’s a secret!
  • My mum fractured her foot and is still recovering. Ouch.
  • Brandon had a birthday and we went out for dinner. Nick and I bought him a protein shaker. He was ecstatic.

December

  • I coloured my hair purple. It didn’t last long, unfortunately. 😞 It’s already faded to a honey-mahogany colour now.
  • I spoke at DevFest. I think that was my first big sort of conference that I was speaking at!
  • We had our work Christmas party. I didn’t stay the whole time, but the photobooth was fun.
  • Attended a surprise birthday dinner for one of my closest friends Dylan.
  • Celebrated Christmas with my family and Nick’s family. That was fun! 🎄
  • I failed my driving test, as I mentioned in my previous post. Ughs.

I linked to the majority of the posts that do have photos or more detailed summaries, so there are only a few photos in this post. I noticed that Nick and I didn’t take a lot of selfies towards the end of the year – or we did, but they were too silly and I didn’t actually post them on my blog. You know what we look like, anyway. 😉 If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be able to see more photos from me.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, there’s my Best posts of 2016 post!

I think it goes without saying, but how was your 2016?

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Comments on this post

urgh, shame on you 2016! the year hasn’t been good for me too and although there have been several good things that happened, there have been more lows, like really really lows. i may not be a star wars fan but carrie fisher 😞 it’s also sad that her mother, deblin reynolds passed away this year too. of course, i’m so sad about alan rickman too 😞
i swear this year had too many unnecessary incidents, accidents and death. what a sad, sad year.

but still, i managed to find some good that have happened this year. you did too. for some reason it made me smile to know that despite the shitty things that have happened in 2016, when it comes to relationship, the year worked its magic — if that makes sense. i mean, nick proposed to you this year. i got myself in a relationship this year (even though there were several difficulties i had to deal with bf). it’s kind of ironic now that i think about it … 😛

i think your 2016 went by a lot better than mine. plus, you did quite a lot of useful things and got to experience traveling alone too! (and i’m happy to hear that, to read about the recaps in this post). mine was really shitty and i know i should be over it — stop being negative and all, y’know but well, that’s kind of the truth right there. i had to deal with funeral (though not mine), family arguments, financial issues, etc. it wasn’t pretty, to say the least.

i hope 2017 works out just as nice or if not, better for you, for all of us. fingers crossed! 😄

It sounds like you had a really busy 2016! It was fantastic to meet up with you on your travels and I loved reading all of your posts about the places you visited.

Before writing my yearly review I felt quite bitter about 2016 because of so many negative things that happened in the year. But then I soon realised I’d actually achieved quite a lot and that I felt proud of how I’d developed as a person. It wasn’t a complete write-off after all.

I hope you have an amazing 2017!

OMG, I can’t believe it’s been a whole six months since you got engaged! This year has really flown by. I’m so happy for you two, and hope that you have many lovely years together. Definitely the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen on Instagram.

I’ve been more personal than usual on my blog this year, but there’s a lot of stuff I’ll never share on there. As much as I’d love to be able to share some more personal stuff, it’s just not possible sometimes, because of the people involved and/or the situation. I don’t think it matters though. It’s more important to do what you’re comfortable with and enjoy it.

Can’t believe how many amazing things you’ve done this year! It’s so lovely to read all of that! Also, good luck with future driving tests. I almost crashed on my first test, so I’m sure you won’t have been nearly as bad as me (and I managed to pass the second time, like what?!) Hope 2017 is amazing!

There are a lot of things I don’t share about myself on the internet but… they don’t really need to be said, or they’re too private. I definitely don’t want anything to come bite me in the butt. 😆 I’ve thought about a confessions-like post, regarding some things from my past, but I don’t know if it would achieve anything. (Also, like you said, the people involved…)

You have had such a big year. I am not even sure how you were able to fit all of the things in just one year. I do hope that 2017 will be a really awesome year for you. 😄 ♥️

2016 was a pretty eventful year. I can’t believe how many big-name individuals passed away this year. I’m glad that you’re able to talk things out to turn that down mood around. Communication can be as rich as gold if one really utilize it.

I’m proud of your achievements and happy about the adventures you’ve been through this year. The proposal is a big highlight (yay!). I love how you’ve been rocking at talks and work this year! I can’t believe how it seems like the whole year flew by quick because it feels as if Nick graduated a couple of months ago 😆. Oh man, it sounds like he works as some undercover government personnel or something 😉.

I have some inside info! But I’m not allowed to tell. He’s working for a startup that’s really going to break into the industry so it’s gonna be really good for him. Just can’t let anyone else know about how they work – otherwise ideas get stolen… 😜

Wow! Awesome post! Overall, 2016 wasn’t a great year for the world, but i feel it was great for me (yay)
You have grown close to so many bloggers, that’s amazing! I think I will start becoming frequent in this world so that we can also get a chance at known each other better (what say 😄)

Your highlights of the year are great! Btw, going to the gym is suiting you, from your most recent Insta pic.

Happy New Year, and I hope 2017 is even much much better.

2016 has been one crazy year for all of us. All the celebrity deaths were just shocking and unfortunate, and then there’s that thing with Trump that I don’t want to to think too much on, and jksdfjkjklfsd. So many crazy happenings, but yet with you, there’s been a lot of great stuff, too 🙂 From your proposal to your amazing trip in Europe to all the talks you did . . . many things have happened to you that have further shaped you who you are today. I know some things have been tough for you, but what was difficult only made you stronger in the end. I’m happy for you and Nick, and I wish you two nothing but the utmost happiness and awesomeness in 2017. ♥️

Hi Georgie!! 🙋🏻

Ah, I’ve been reading a lot of yearly round-up posts and I can’t help but get a little emotional at everyone’s achievements. I feel very proud of myself for remembering all the things you mentioned in each month – think I’ve been keeping up with the blogging world pretty well 😛

My blog is definitely also a place for me to share positive things going on in my life, and although I don’t like sharing the bad, sometimes I write them up and draft them and decide whether or not to post them. Either way, they make me feel better and the blogosphere makes me feel awesome with the supportive comments! I do find your blog to be super positive and it really has a very uplifting and inspiring ❤️

I’m still not over you and Nick, I feel like it’s a fairytale unfolding every day 🙈

What you’ve achieved so far has been amazing, the talks, travelling and milestones – I am forever proud of you! I hope 2017 brings only the best!

Aww, Pauline! Love you! 💖 I’ve seen lots of great posts from you in 2016 and I think you inspired a lot of people too. It’s just wonderful having a friend who is on the same page, and I feel like we were more connected & in sync last year. I always look forward to great things from you! 💪

What a great summary of the year! I think it’s easy to be negative and think of ditching 2016 for a new year but that’s not the best way to look at it, really.

Still so happy we a) met and b) you and Nick and c) everything in this post, arghhhhhh.

2016 has been a bit of a strange year for me. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Most of early 2016 was my first year at uni, which kind f sucked. I was away from home for the first time and it took me a while to make friends. I was working in London over the summer and I missed my family and friends a lot. And I’ve found the political crises everywhere (Aleppo, Brexit, US) have put a damper on my mood and make me worry about strangers on the internet I follow but don’t know.

But I feel like 2016 has been a year of decisions. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I think I’m more confident and grounded, and this year I’m going to work on some real self-love. I was beating myself up a lot about not getting all this stuff done that I wanted to get done but I’ve taken a step back and am working on prioritising things. For instance, I love blogging, but it’s not a priority for me. I actually deleted my blog and depressingly it was more of a relief than it was sad. I’ll still be around obviously – in the comments and you have my email! I also am going to stop waiting for someone to come into my life and make it better, lmfao. I am personally seeing 2017 as a bit of a reset.

Do you have any more talks planned? They sound really rewarding to do. I also loved your fashion Friday posts this year. I am also trying to embrace a simpler wardrobe. Mind I just love your blog in all its entirety.

Anyhoo, I hope 2017 treats you and Nick right! Give em hell. Drop me a line any time 💕

Ahh, don’t feel bad that deleting your blog was more of a relief. I think that that’s how I felt about some of my fanlistings recently that I chose to delete. I just wasn’t into it anymore. I’ve still got the Nirvana and Kurt Cobain ones, but even then…

I find that a reset works very well in my life in terms of decluttering and when I need to clear my mind.

I do have one small technical talk planned, but I haven’t started that yet. I have to get a little creative with it because it’s design-related. But yes, they are very rewarding in the end. 🙃

Thank you for sticking around and reading my blog 💗 And we have each other on iMessage too!

Wow, Georgie! You did have an amazing 2016! I think getting engaged to Nick’s the highlight of your year! I can’t wait to hear more about your wedding this year! I tell you, the days will fly by so quickly! Happy New Year, Georgie!