2015 In Review

I'm not usually one to say that the year has gone quick, but I'm going to break that trend in 2015 and say, man did this year fly!

I think it's good practice as a year draws to a close, to sit down and think about everything you have accomplished during the past twelve months. The ups, the downs, the exciting and the not-so-great times. It's good to take a moment to realise what you've learnt from the past year of your life and how this could help you in the one to come. So rather than doing this internally, this year I want to share my thoughts to my friends of the Internet and take a look at both what I've done, and things I hope to accomplish in the year to come (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). I don't want to call them a list of New Years Resolutions because some aren't about change, but more just goals I hope to kick in 2016.

This year I took that first step that comes at some point in everyone's life and moved out of my parent's home. The main reason was so I could live in Newcastle because I was already travelling 40 minutes to get there almost every single day of the week, so it just made sense. In moving out, I managed to force myself to step outside my comfort zone and move in with two girls I didn't know. When I made the decision to move out, I also made the conscious decision that I had to move in with other people I didn't know. I have a quiet and shy personality when meeting people for the first time, and I wanted to challenge myself and try and get over this fear or anxiety I have of meeting new people. The two girls I moved in with were absolutely lovely, I think I got really lucky to find them as housemates, and I loved the place I moved in to. As much as I love my parent's home and somewhat miss it when I go back to visit, I know that choosing to move out to Newcastle was a really good decision. I moved out at the start of February, so it was a great way to start off the new year with something new, fresh and challenging.

After living with the girls for six months, it was time to move again. I eventually decided I wanted to give living by myself a crack. I'm an only child, so I'm use to spending time with myself during the day and having my own, uninterrupted space, so I knew living alone wouldn't bother or scare me, in fact I was pretty certain I would love it. I can now say for certain that I do. I ended up finding a studio unit to live in and it's my pride and joy. I can keep it as clean or as messy as I want without bothering anyone and I can be my weird self without anyone noticing. Most nights are either spent with my boyfriend at my place or me at my boyfriend's, so that probably helps ensure I don't get lonely, but during the day I love having my own space to create or do whatever it is I want to do.

During this year my first car got written off in a car accident. It was a little sad to see my black Peugeot convertible go, but I also knew exactly what car I wanted next, a fluro yellow Suzuki Swift Sport. Armed with the money from my write off, I went on the hunt for some second-hand models. I quickly noticed that if I was going to get one, I was going to have to learn and buy a manual. I had always meant to learn manual, I thought it was just something that would be good to know, but with my previous car being automatic, and my boyfriend's car being automatic, there just wasn't really that push to learn. When a yellow Swift popped up for sale in Newcastle, I knew I was going to have to pounce on it (because those babies are tough to find unless you travel to Sydney, which I was willing to do). I also realised I would have to learn manual. It's been a few months since I got my car and manual doesn't trouble me at all anymore, in fact I feel weird jumping in an automatic, I don't know what to do with myself. I'm glad I was also to cross this one off my to-do list this year, and now I get to zoom around in my fluro yellow baby, so much joy!

This year marked the end of my fourth year at University finishing off my law degree. Next year is my final year at uni. Obviously each year at Uni is one step closer to the end, but when you know the year ahead of you is all that's left, it seems like a more important and bigger step. Personally, I'm kind of excited to finish Uni because I have some plans for the year after (see below) and law isn't really my thing. I'm also excited to be able to say I did it! I survived! I have a law degree! Because even if you're not particularly using it, it's kind of cool to say. I will however miss my friends and knowing I will probably see them everyday. For years we all knew what basically the next would hold, but once 2016 waves goodbye anything could happen. People could move away or become really busy with full-time jobs in the city, who knows. I feel our group is strong enough to still stay in touch though, even if it is just through our Facebook chat.

Technically this did start at the end of 2014, but it really came into full swing by the end of January this year when I was working two freelance writing jobs. I never really loved working before with my previous casual jobs, but I finally found myself loving my work. I mean I was getting to write and take photos for my job, how could I not love it. I got to go out into Newcastle every week and meet new people and discover new places, and when I wasn't out, I was able to sit at home and do what I had to do. No going to an office and sitting inside day after day or putting on some silly uniform. I still don't know if I've got all the financial and business side of things worked out completely, but I can confidently say that I found what I want to do with my life - be self-employed and freelance. I don't think I could ever go back to a normal job again.

Sure, we have birthdays every year, and turning 22 in Australia doesn't really have any particular meaning (expect now I can sing along to the Taylor Swift song and it makes sense). However, even though we have them every year, I still think a birthday is something to be cherished and seen as special. Whether you have some extravagant plans, or just chill out with friends and family, it is still a special day. This might just be me, but I find that during the day on my birthday, literally nothing can make me upset. I even had a law exam this year on my birthday and I didn't even care. It's like everything in the world has been painted with an extra coat of positivity and happiness, and I find myself walking around feeling upbeat and jolly all day. True, we should really be trying to do this every day of our lives, but I find it comes a lot easier on my birthday, don't you?.

Not only did I start finding freelance jobs, I also starting losing them, which is inevitable in the freelance world. None of the losses where any of my fault, they all basically came down to the companies needing to save money, and the easiest things to cut off in those situations are the freelancers. I always knew the world of freelance wasn't stable, but because I'd managed to get these great jobs and they seemed to be running smoothly I think I kind of forgot about it. So, as sad and hard as it was to lose the jobs, they taught me valuable lessons and reminded me of the type of world I want to get in to. I still love freelancing though, even though anytime I get a job I know I could possibly lose it tomorrow with no prior warning. But you can't have everything, there is always a pay off, and in this case, flexible working hours and the opportunity to be at home more and spend more time outdoors and doing things you love means possibly not having a job tomorrow, but I can deal with that.

I did a previous blog post on this, but this year my Dad and I got to take part in the Red Bull Billy Cart race in Sydney at Centennial Park. This is definitely a stand out moment of the year, mainly because it is just such a random event to take part in. I mean how often do you hear people around you talking about how they spent their weekend flying down the track in a professional billy cart race; not that this race looked anything remotely close to professional with all the crazy cart designs. It wasn't just the event though, getting to spend time with my Dad building a billy cart is also something you don't do every day, and I love being able to look back and say 'hey remember the time we did this, how random was that!'. If you ever have a once-in-a-lifetime event like this come your way, follow my advice and jump on it. I promise you'll have so much fun, it might even just make your year.

This might seem like a really silly one to put in, but I am really proud of them and love looking at them each day. I would be referring to my plants here. I currently have a plant ladder that is housing a few babies, including my first ever cactus named Kevin (who instantly makes me happy every time I look at him, is that weird?). I have more room there to add plants, so I can't wait to grow my garden. I then have a big suitcase garden (watch out for a blog post on this soon!). In there I've got a few more succulents and leafy plants as well as three more cacti (Steve, Bob and Stewart - all named after minions from Despicable Me). The story behind finding the suitcase (which I'll mention in a blog post to come) is half the reason I love the garden so much, and it also just look so cool and unique. Also anything involving cacti just makes me happy. I'm surprised none of my babies have died yet, and I think my plant obsession will only grow in 2016. They're such a part of my life that I know whenever I move from now on there has to be a good place for growing plants or I ain't moving in.

This year, obviously, I started this blog, The NoiseInWonderland. I've attempted to start blogs a few times, but I never really stuck with it because I never really knew what I wanted the purpose of them to be. This time however was different. I created this blog to share, not only random life things, but also my love of photography and to teach you guys bits and pieces as I learn them to. This blog and its photography content is essentially going to grow with me as I grow as a photographer, and I'm so excited for its journey in 2016. In the year ahead I would love to grow the audience of the website so I can start interacting more with people of the Internet and just start having conversations, whether they are about photography-related topics or anything else in between. I've really enjoyed creating content for this blog the past few months, especially as its given me a good reason to start picking up my camera and phone, and start taking photos again, and I hope you will continue to come along with me here in 2016.

At the end of November/start of December this year I've finally starting working on a project that I've had floating around in my head for most of the year. Nothing really stopped me from starting it before except my own lack of motivation and just choosing to sit up and do it, but now I am! I know people hate when others say they are working on something and then give zero details away about it, but because it is still so fresh and really only sitting in the planning stages, I don't really want to talk about it to much. I'm honestly not sure how long it will take, especially once Uni starts back up next year, but the goal is to either have it done by the end of 2016, or be extremely close to being finished. I promise, once the project has some actual content to share, that I will put out details about it. It is photography based though, and something I am really passionate about and excited to finally start working on. Keep your eyes peeled!

The end of 2016 will mean I have finished my Law degree, finally! As interesting as it has been, I still don't feel the area of law is for me as a career, so I am excited to finally finish it off. It really is because of my degree however that I meet most of my Uni friends and had so many opportunities and memorable social times, and I am really grateful for that. Even though it may not be a degree I particularly use in the real world, I believe I was still meant to do it so I could meet the people I did and do the things that I did over the past five years. Afterwards I do plan to have a sort of gap year, because I never had one after finishing high school. However during that year I do really want to do my Diploma of Photo Imaging online so I can really start to get some experience and qualifications behind me as a photographer.

When I was working my freelance jobs, like I said above, I was getting to spend time each week out in the Newcastle community, meeting people and finding new places. I knew I loved this, but honestly, it wasn't until it was taken away from me that I realised how much I enjoyed it (as the saying goes, you don't know what you've got until it's gone). Newcastle, despite looking fairly large, is actually quite a tight and well connected place. As I went out and meet more and more people, I started to find all these connections, and I loved that! With that freelance job gone, there was nothing pushing me to keep going out and talking to people and making connections myself, and so I kind of got lazy and didn't do it, so I think in 2016 I need to push myself more to do this on my own, and this is something everyone can do. I always heard things about getting involved in or getting to know your local community, and I didn't think it was necessary, but I find that doing so can make you feel really happy. You feel a part of something and feel valued. I don't know how exactly I'm going to start connecting with people again in 2016 , I just know that I should and will.

This is something I work on everyday, and something I want to keep working on in 2016. It's something we can all work on. This year however I tried my best to make more of an effort in this area. Anytime I found myself getting upset or angry at something, I tried to take a moment to step back and think, is this really worth being upset over, or is it time to let this go and move on? As humans it is impossible to not get upset, but it's about knowing how much time you should be letting yourself stew over whatever it is. A lot of the time, at least in my case, the things frustrating you are minor, unimportant things. I find that as soon as you take yourself out of that headspace and think is it worth feeling like this, you find it's not. Doing this helps you to get over whatever the issue is quicker, meaning you get to spend more of your time and life the only way you should, feeling happy. With more serious incidents, it can be good to spend a little extra time feeling those feels about it, but you have to know when it is time to let it go. You can't let yourself brew over things for to long. When you do, you stop being happy, and when you stop being happy, you stop noticing all the great little things in life and don't let yourself enjoy the moments that you really should.

Whatever you have planned for the Christmas holidays and New Years, I hope you have an amazing time, be safe, and get ready to kick ass in 2016.

What are your goals for 2016 or what is something you achieved in 2015 that you are extremely proud?

What's your opinion?

  1. Haha holy crap this is a uh long post. But I did read it!
    Congrats on moving out! Me too it was a big step, and then living on your own! Nicee. I'm also proud of all the plant babies I've accumulated!
    Can't wait to see your blog grow!

    1. Hahah, yeah it is, but I guess a lot can happen in a year. Never fear posts won't normally be this long haha.
      Plant babies for lyf!

      Thank you x..xx

  2. Love your detailing in this post!!! I am in love with Cactus plants, too. Thanks to Instagram and Pinterest. Moving out is such a big step. I stepped out of my mom's house to live more independently at my grands' house and I can happily say "NOOOO RAGRATZ" about it.
    My college ends in 2016 & I am going to apply for a summer school abroad. These two events seem to be the highlight of the upcoming year, but you never know what future holds. Eeep! Though I'm so excited for the new year to come.

    Noor | Noor's Place

    1. Hahah Instagram and Pinterst just makes me want allllll the plants :)

      Studying abroad sounds awesome! Where do you plan to go?


    2. It's a summer exchange program in USA. I REALLY want it to happen.

    3. Oh that would be awesome!! Good luck! Hope it happens for you to :)


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