2016 has been the most influential year of my life. I realised that instead of suppressing and isolating my emotions, I can use them as vehicles to evoke change. I learnt that numbness is malleable – and that no feeling is eternal, despite its intensity. I realised that individuals in society possess varying levels of privilege – and when privilege is dismissed, oppression is immortalised. I recognised that feminism is a movement which is perpetually evolving. I learnt that in order to truly eradicate violence and oppression, feminism must be intersectional. Throughout 2016, I came to the realisation that political and societal complexes can cause individuals to experience much grief and suffering – and that it is imperative to support those who are less fortunate.

During 2016, I made efforts to become more forgiving of myself. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder – which at times, has been incredibly debilitating. I often felt engulfed in a myriad of conflicting emotions. As a result of my anxiety disorder, I experienced lingering feelings of dread and fear – which would rarely subside.

However, I wish to live a life of peace, in spite of my anxiety disorder. This year, I endured panic attacks, I did not succumb to anxious thoughts, I made an effort to thwart uneasiness and dread, and most importantly, I realised that contentment is truly the key to living freely. I recognised that I possess the ability to deviate from what I categorise as “perfection”. I am imperfect, and I suffer from a mental illness – yet I can thrive in spite of it. I can allow myself to truly and unequivocally reach contentment.

I am so, so grateful for the individuals who have allowed me to be free from the shackles of anxiety, and learn coping mechanisms. My incredibly compassionate mother has supported me unconditionally this year – and I am eternally thankful for her kindness.

In 2017, do not be afraid to forgive yourself – and allow yourself to engage in mechanisms of self-acceptance and forgiveness. I wish that 2017 encompasses peace, safety, and allows for healing. I am eternally grateful for life – existing freely is the purest form of contentment. Happy New Year.
– L.F


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