“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” -Neil Gaiman

Since the end of 2016 is here, I want to use this time to reflect on what this year has brought for me. While I know a lot of people say this year has been a terrible one, it really hasn’t been quite as awful to me. Yes, it hasn’t been a very great year either, but I’ve had a lot worse happen in my life in comparison to what I’ve had from this one year alone.

In this year, I feel proud of what I’ve managed to do. Now, I didn’t do a whole lot to really be proud of, but I’m proud of myself for my continuous effort to blog on here even at times where I didn’t think any writing would get done. I know I didn’t keep up my promise to write multiple blog posts in one week. I know that was something I genuinely wanted to do. But I understand now with my writing that I’d rather it not be rushed and that I’ll always be looking to improve myself like this with each new year to come. I’m proud that I kept up my blog during the year, despite all of the different things that happened during this time and that I haven’t lost any followers since I’ve been here on WordPress. My goal for this new year is to continue putting up work on my blog that people will continue to enjoy. And if there’s anything I can do at all to make sure that continues to happen, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in this post below with ideas or suggestions of things you’d like to see here. I’m always open for new ideas, new topics to be explored and want to do the best I can to make sure that happens.

Besides continuing to improve my blog, I hope in the new year to continue improving in my writing as well as continue working on improving myself. While I know most of the writing I do ends up here on Vook: Books + Video Games, I still want my writing to get better. I want my writing to improve each year in some small way or another, even if there’s nothing wrong with the way I write. I also want to write more too. I know there’s never any guarantee of that happening, but I always want to hope for the best whenever I can. I also want to work on improving myself too because there’s always room for self-reflection in life.

I know how critical I can be of myself. I know it’s mostly because of the troubles I’ve been dealt in life. I haven’t always had things as easy as I do now and know how fortunate I am to still be here. I think about my past, about what I’ve been through in such a short amount of time and am proud of how strong of a person I am. I know at times I blame myself for the things that have already happened, as if I had control of those situations and could stop them from happening. But I know now that there wasn’t anything I could do and that I’m the person I am today because of it. So with this new year, what I want from myself is to continue letting go. To stop criticizing myself every time I make a mistake. To stop saying “I’m sorry” to people when you haven’t really done anything wrong. To stop thinking of the troubles of the past and continue embracing what is to come in the future. To live like every moment will be your last breath. To stop letting the past break you down and leave you with scars that will never heal. To never forget, but remember that there is more to life than what you were once dealt. To stop letting your emotions get to you and realize that you are surrounded by people who love you. To continue giving chances even when you get hurt because you know you are strong enough to pick yourself back up again. I hope in this new year to come, I’ll be able to do these things and feel confident enough to share stories of my past without breaking down into tears.

While 2016 is ending, I’d like to bring hope into the new year. I know 2016 has been a rough year for a lot of people, either because they lost someone they loved or because of other personal traumas they might’ve experienced that they are still coping with. While I know this year didn’t turn out the way people wanted, know that you will be okay. Things might seem rough and difficult now, but know there are people that if you let them will be there for you when you need them. I say this, both to everyone following my blog or not. For those who are struggling, I am here. To listen, to learn, to understand—to be here when you need someone close by.

What I’m trying to say but realize now I’m not doing such a good job is that I hope things get better for you in 2017. Look at this new year as a fresh start. If you see certain things in your life aren’t working out and you know what you can do to change them, then do so. Make those changes, make things a little easier for yourself. And if you make mistakes along the way, that’s okay too. Embrace those mistakes and learn something from them so that you can continue on your way.

Happy 2017 everyone. I hope this year you are able to get accomplished everything you want and more. That all of your dreams come true and have a fabulous year.