New Years: Reflecting on 2016 and hopes for 2017

Happy New Years Eve

2016 is almost at an end, and what a quick year it has been. It has also been a positive one for me. This night last year, I left a job after four years being there. I’d worked there for two years during college and then stayed on full-time once I graduated, having no idea what the next step in life was supposed to be. At first it was fine, if nothing else it was a bit of money in the pocket. But then I started to feel like many people do: trapped. So without another job lined up, or definite plan in place I just decided to hand in my notice in December and I was out of there on New Years Eve.

Then in January I decided to take stock and decide where I wanted to get in life. I had obtained a Science degree in college, but mid way through that, I realised that it wasn’t where I saw myself forging a career. While unemployed, I decided that a career in Journalism would be something that I would like to pursue, as I’d always had an interest in it. So I decided to apply for a Masters in NUI Galway and see what happens. Thankfully I ended up getting in, and I’m already half way through it and loving it. Well, most of it. Like everything, it has its good and bad points. And I managed to get another part time job to help fund myself soon after I left the last one, so sometimes taking the leap without the safety net works out for the best.

I also wanted to give blogging a try. It was something I had always thought would be fun to do, and I guess it was my own lack of confidence that stopped me from pursuing it before this year. But last April, I decided to bite the bullet and just set it up and so The Journals of a Journalist was born. It went through a few name changes and facelifts before it felt right, and I know it’s not the biggest blog in the world, but I’ve really enjoyed creating it and hope that people have enjoyed reading it.

So now that the countdown to 2017 is upon us, I’m thinking about making some New Years Resolutions. Putting in the work to grow the blog further and making it bigger and better is definitely at the top. And of course obtaining that Masters is also up there. And anyone who knows me will know that I’ve dreamed of making a move to New York for some time now, so I’ll also be making moves towards getting closer to achieving that.  But of course it wouldn’t be New Years if I didn’t go with something more cliché. So I’m going to give getting fitter a try (again 😉). The last couple of months working, blogging, college, the recent Christmas excess and my own lack of motivation have not been kind to my waistline it’s fair to say. So I’m definitely going to strive to be better on that front in 2017.

I’m not only thinking about personal goals I want to achieve, but also some stuff from life in general that I’d like to see change. I would love to see the back of the PC brigade for a start. It seems like everyone is offended by the slightest thing these days. Just last week, we saw the actor Steve Martin savaged online for a tweet he posted about Carrie Fisher following her death. He wrote: “‘When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well”. He was branded sexist amongst other things and forced to delete the tweet following a wave of abuse. Why? Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, like it or not, was one of the most iconic sex symbols of all time. Martin’s tweet acknowledged her beauty, but also her sense of humour and brains. How exactly could it cause offence?  There are many other examples of people overreacting throughout the year, but I think people need to wind their necks in and stop being offended by the slightest thing. Hopefully we see more of that in 2017.

Speaking of Carrie Fisher, I’ll have to acknowledge the loss of some of the entertainment industry’s greats in 2016. Fisher, as well as David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Rickman and a whole host of others sadly passed away this year. And while it is sad that they have left the world, they leave behind an incredible legacy with the various films, songs, books and more that are testament to their talent. It’s more than I can say for some of today’s so-called “celebrities” who have zero talent, and in some cases, zero morals. I’m talking of course about those whose only claim to fame are Twitter squabbles, sextapes and turning up to the opening of an envelope. Let’s hope 2017 will see less reporting of the fame hungry and more reporting on people who actually have something to offer the world.

Some of you may have read an article I shared on here earlier this year about an episode of Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge which didn’t paint men in the best light to say the least. You can read that here. In a discussion about the idea of a rape culture in Ireland, tarring all men as violent and abusive, which has become so prevalent this year, reared its ugly head again. I’m by no means saying that rape doesn’t occur. Nor am I saying that many men aren’t the perpetrators. It’s a fact that they do. It’s also a fact that women are capable of sexual assault, despite that being swept under the carpet all too often. The bottom line is, not all men are the same, and not all are out to attack and demean women. It also really annoyed me this year when that video showing Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women by the pussy was shrugged off as “mens locker room banter”. Not all men feel women are beneath them, and I hope 2017 sees less of this way of thinking. All it does is divide the sexes, by telling one they should fear the other.

Phew! So I may have went on a bit of a rant there towards the end, but anyone who knows me will know that is nothing new. Ultimately this New Year, I wish nothing but the best for myself, my family, my friends and society in general. And of course, that includes anyone who is reading this. Thank you for your support over the last couple of months, I really do appreciate it. Happy New Year to you all, however you choose to spend it.  🎉😀


For now, it’s time to head out and have a few drinks and ring in 2017. I’m running late of course. I think I’ll add better time management to my list of resolutions while I’m at it. See you all next year. ✌🏻

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