2016 felt like a parody on itself. Seriously. Every referendum and election went full nuclear. Following the news has never been more surreal.
Weirdly enough, for me personally, it’s been the best year in a long time.
The last three years have been stained with several losses and a breakup. When I stepped into the new year, most things had stabilised, but I still wasn’t as happy as I wanted to be. Naturally, I decided to sit down and figure out what was still bothering me and try to find solutions.
I came up with two things.
Firstly - me and my ex were still buddies, but I felt like I couldn’t be the kind of friend I would like to be. So I told him that I needed a ”break” from our friendship and that I would get in touch when any extra feelings were gone.
Secondly - I didn’t feel like I had ever really found my place in London. Not only did I live in a shabby house in a rough area, it was also the place where me and my ex had spent two years together before he moved to Argentina. I decided that I was going to finish my contract and find a new place. For the first time in London, I was going to find a real home.
But first... In January I went to Africa for a month. I’ve mentioned this trip before so I won’t get into much detail, I just have to once again stress that it was the best possible timing for me to get away. I met some amazing people who are still my friends, and I'm so grateful that they helped me find my old self again.
As soon as I got back, I had all the energy I needed to start doing changes to my life. I called the agency and gave them my notice, then immediately started looking for new rooms.
The first one I looked at was in Clapton. It was stretching my budget a little bit, but it seemed to fit all my requirements. It was clean, in a nice neighbourhood, with friendly people who seemed to actually want to spend time together. Heck, they even had a living room! I came back the next morning and gave the landlord my deposit. The rest is history.
It’s quite fascinating what a difference it makes to have a real home. People to hang out with when I get back from work, have dinners with, even travel with… It feels like I’ve known these people for ages. They’ve definitely been the best addition to my life this year.
Then came summer. It was intense, to say the least. To sum up May through September, I was working hard and playing hard. Just look at all these people who let me into their lives for one intoxicated day.
When I wasn’t shooting weddings, I’ve been shooting events as usual. With more weddings in the calendar, it takes up less time than usual, but it's still one of my favourite things to do. This year, there was especially one event that touched me. I got to follow a Swedish class through their graduation day. Same town, same school from where I graduated myself eight years ago. I even got to meet my old teachers. A powerful day, filled with young euphoria.
Last but not least, I just want to thank my family who on every occasion welcome me with open, warm arms. They helped me put together an incredible midsummer's party this summer, they always support my life choices, and I know they will always be there whenever I need a hand or a shoulder in this reality called life.
I hope 2017 will be just as good.