Wednesday, 27 January 2016

"It's all in your head"

"Are you sure you have to do that?"
"What happens if it goes wrong?"
"What if it's dangerous, or scary, or you don't like it, or you want to go?"
"How will you get out?"
"What will they think?"
"What if you fail?"
"What if you're ill?"
"You don't need to do it. You can just stay here"
"Go on. Stay here"

It's easier to talk about anxiety when you're not feeling anxious. It's easier to talk about anxiety when you're surrounded by people who understand you, people who are also anxious. So that's why I'm writing about it now, and why I didn't feel like I could six months ago. In the last year I've battled with epic anxiety, to the point where I worried about everything and to the extent where sometimes I didn't want to, or couldn't, leave the house. It is one of the most debilitating things I have ever felt. It's also one of the most consuming feelings I've ever experienced. It's a feeling I cannot vocalise, and I never could have imagined until it had gobbled me up. 

As a child I was never shy: I never had any trouble making friends, I revelled in the idea of meeting new people, I had no problem with being the centre of attention, and all I wanted to do was be on stage. I had never felt properly nervous around other people, or in new or different situations. I couldn't really understand people that were quiet or self-conscious - not because I thought there was anything wrong with it, just because that had never been me. I was confident in myself and in my own abilities - a trait which my Mum and my school had been really significant in instilling in me. There was very little to be truly afraid of. 

Sometimes feelings of anxiety come on slowly: they build up, gradually, so you don't realise what they're doing to you. Sometimes it's sudden: like one minute you're fine, and the next you don't feel like you can cope. Sometimes it's both. Moving to university, feeling unsettled, isolated and confused started it, I think. But it was absolutely manageable - just nervousness, you know? Last year I suffered quite a bad electric shock, from which I was lucky to walk away with only some very charred fingers and a pretty mashed up back. I was out of bandages and physio twelve weeks later. Mentally, I was a shadow of my former self. The trauma of the shock itself, the pain during the recovery, and the constant knowledge that I was "lucky to be alive" soon became a bit too much. There's something about becoming so aware of your own mortality that is terrifying; something which slowly drives you into a corner where death and destruction is all you can think about. I left the house mostly just to have my dressings on my hands changed or go to the physio. What do you do when you're terrified to leave the house, but you're also terrified to stay? When you don't want to plug anything in or turn anything on for fear that the same thing might happen again - but this time you're on your own, and who's going to look after you now? 

You turn to someone you love, and someone who loves you. For me, it was my boyfriend. You break down; he picks you up. He shows you what you've become, and he helps you get all the support you need to get better. It's really easy to drift into an existence of anxiety and normalise it, and sometimes you need someone to point out to you what's changed and who you are. Understanding that, talking about that, and seeking help for that is the biggest possible step you can take. 4 weeks of talking therapy and 8 weeks of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  (CBT) later I could leave the house without feeling overwhelmed; I could eat out at a restaurant; I could be in the house by myself; I could begin to appreciate the things and the people around me again. That was the beginning, and now definitely isn't the end...but we're getting there, and I can talk about it. And talking about it has proven to be the best thing I can do: talking not just to a psychologist, but to friends who experience the same things. The knowledge that you're not alone in your fears, but you're one of many irrational humans trying to make their way through day-to-day life without becoming overcome by fear. Seeing the illogicality in others anxiety helps you to realise and reason your own. 

One day soon, I'll be the little girl who always wanted to be the leader, always wanted to be known, always knew what she was doing, always wanted to be at the centre of social situations, always wanted to be in the spotlight. Only by losing yourself can you find yourself again. To the anxious, the worriers, the hypochondriacs, the OCD-ers, the "I'm scared and I don't know why" - you're more than that, you're not defined by that, you'll come out the other side of that. Surround yourself with people you know you and love you and listen to you; realise it; talk about it; write about it. Don't fear it. 


Monday, 25 January 2016

Happy Mondays #1

Following my Blue Monday post last week, and the response it gained, I was inspired to write a weekly post, on a Monday, to write about the things that have made me happy over the last week and the things I'm grateful for. 

This week has been a busy week of dissertation writing. I'm only in my second week of university term, but Christmas feels like such a long time ago and Easter is still forever away. In this week of enjoyment / frustration / satisfaction / boredom, it's been really important for me to stay motivated, positive and remember all the things that make me happy and excited outside of the never-ending pit that is my dissertation. 

The things that have made me happy this week: 

1. Frosty winter days 
I tend to associate winter with wind, rain and darkness. These last few weeks have been everything but, and we've been treated to long, sunny, chilly days. It makes me love this time of year, and I look forward to wrapping up in my bobble hat and gloves to venture outside. Sitting at my desk all day is made a million times better by bright, sunny days, and being able to go out and walk during my breaks is proving wonderful for my mood/sanity/motivation. I hope the frost, but mainly the sun, continues FOREVER. It's days like these which make me so excited about days spent outside, in the garden, in the park, at the beach - and help me struggle through all the uni work. 

2. Having lunch with my Nan
I love my Nan. She's the best Nan ever. Last week we had a little lunch (and fixing her new laptop) date, and it was really lovely to catch up and hang out. Every time I see her I realise I'm basically a mini, well younger, version of her and we share all of our woes about low blood pressure and poor circulation. Sometimes I worry that I'm basically a little grandma. Anyway, it was really nice to see her and hear all about what she's been up to - even if it always makes me realise how much more active her social life is than mine. 

3. Baking 
I haven't baked anything for ages, like since before Christmas kind of ages. That made me sad. This week I decided that I'd procrastinate / reward dissertation work by baking something new. Given the wintery weather, I opted for some apple, raisin and cinnamon muffins and they were tasty! Since they're basically cooked apple bound together by cake mixture, I'm trying to justify them as healthy, breakfast food etc and I'm pretty sure that's ok. One of my new year's resolutions was to bake more, so I'm going to try and keep this up. Any willing cake-samplers are welcome. 

4. Spending the last of my Christmas vouchers
Every year I finish my birthday and Christmas with a hefty collection of vouchers. With my birthday being so close to Christmas and the January sales just after, it always seems sensible for people to buy me vouchers - and then I can get what I wanted. This year I mostly received Amazon vouchers to go with my new Kindle, but I spent last Saturday spending the others. I picked up a few bits of new make-up, hair products (and some Lemsip...) in Boots, and treated myself to some killer bargains in H&M. It's such a satisfying feeling leaving a shop, with a bag rammed full of stuff, and knowing that it only cost you £2 thanks to your trusty vouchers! I am now new-clothed and not even poor, woohoo!

Happy Monday! x


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Recent Reads #6

My new year's resolution is holding strong. I spend approximately 6 hours a week on trains (plus all the time spent at stations/on stationary trains because of delays) so I've got a lot of time to read at the moment. And it's great, I love it, and it's the only thing that makes commuting bearable. I'm still making my way through 99p Kindle Christmas buys, all of which are books I knew virtually nothing about before starting to read them, and all of which I've been pretty impressed with. 

Games People Play - Louise Voss
This was a good'un. Also a long'un, taking me a good week or so to read. I thought it was really good though. I love a novel with multiple narrators: why have one perspective when you can have three? Why learn about the deepest darkest thoughts of one person when you can know it three? Needless to say, we met three narrators: Rachel (daughter), Susie (mother), Gordana (grandmother, but not Susie's mother) - all of whom were really likeable, especially Gordana, but I'm a sucker for a grandma and a troubled past. So the story plays out from several different angles. Rachel, a rising British tennis star, goes through a rubbish time: boyfriends, health, family; Susie, a runaway mother, also faces some troubles: fiancé, guilt, ex-husband, new-boyfriend-who-isn't-actually-new-boyfriend; Gordana has it the worst and stays the strongest. Games People Play is, above all, a story of family - and the importance of family in the face of troubles. With love stories, scandals and quite a bit of tennis interwoven, family remains the constant, providing the integral support all the characters require. I laughed, I *almost* cried and I was shocked. There's plenty of twists and turns, characters you hate, and characters that you learn to love. A really good read with a killer plot and a happy(ish) ending. 
4.5 / 5

The Good Girl - Mary Kubica
I began this book unsure, but thankfully I was on a train with nothing else to do so persisted - and it was probably worth it. I've decided that I love a good crime novel on the train, because it keeps my mind busy and means that I don't get too scared (because it's daytime and I'm surrounded by people). We start with a kidnapping, Mia, the 'good girl', a teacher and respected member of the community. Mia is also daughter to one of the most famous judge's in Chicago, from a family of extremely wealthy lawyers - but has rebelled, prioritising morality and community over money, and has very little contact with her family. So, as the parents of a daughter from whom you are relatively estranged, what do you do when she goes missing? We follow the journey of Mia (pre and post kidnap), her mother, her kidnapper and the detective in charge - we are spoiled by four narrators! Whilst I found some of the plot fairly mundane, becoming slightly disinterested in Mia and her kidnapping, I was constantly fascinated by the story of her family - and this was the real appeal of the novel for me. Having said that, the narrative of Mia post-kidnap was really interesting, and a very moving portrayal of loss and grief. This book was good at doing the unexpected, and this all became very clear towards the end when everything was tied up. I was not prepared for the enormous twist at the end, which was very brave, but I wish a little more time had been spent on this; in some ways, it felt like a bit of an afterthought, plonked on to the end of the novel. It was definitely one of those books that you don't absolutely adore when you're reading it, but you appreciate it at the end. 
3 / 5

Starter for Ten - David Nicholls
Sometimes, at 9am on a Thursday morning, a Scandinavian crime novel where a woman has already been sexually assaulted and murdered in front of her daughter in the first 10 pages, is just not what you need. So it's time to turn back to a trusty classic, one of my favourite books. I've read Starter for Ten at least four times before, and seen the film even more times, but I love it and it never gets old. Though it's David Nicholls' first published novel, I think it's his best: it's his funniest, his most honest and his least cliché. We follow Brian Jackson, a seemingly unlikely university candidate, through his first year at university. The first-person narrative, I think, was an excellent call - as we really get to know Brian - we root for him, we feel sad with him and we cringe with him. The plot focuses around the University Challenge team; a huge fan of the show as a child, Brian, through a series of misfortunes (his and others), manages to secure a place on the team. It's a story about being the odd one out, and about finding a place for yourself; about not giving up; and an embarrassingly authentic representation of your first year at university. If you haven't read it, please read it. If you're not going to read it, at least watch the film. 
5 / 5

Monday, 18 January 2016

Blue Monday

A great night's sleep, a productive weekend, and still high off the excitement of snow, I woke up this morning in a really good mood. But then I discovered the notion of Blue Monday. My first thought was that I actually quite like Mondays, but then again I don't have a job, so Monday isn't really any different to Sunday. My next thought was that was that Blue Monday is a bizarre, a ridiculous and an unhelpful concept. The media love to perpetuate an "I hate Mondays, aren't Mondays the WORST" culture far greater than any individual's actual experience of Mondays, and Blue Monday just takes this to the next level. So instead of spending today thinking about how we're all failing at our new year's resolutions, chubby and poor from Christmas, and have really cold toes, why don't we just focus on all the really good things and all the things that make us happy. 

Today I'm happy because... 

1. I have dairy free cheese
After months of searching for dairy free alternatives for everything, the only thing I was still deprived off was cheese. I tried some vegan cheese a couple of months ago, but it was like that weird chewy burger cheese and I decided it wasn't worth it. Yesterday I finally found some Arla lactofree cheddar, and it is a game changer. It tastes like real cheese, it isn't too crumbly and it melts amazingly. Cheese and pineapple, melted cheese on crumpets, cheese and crackers...and that was only yesterday. I am unreasonably excited to make up for 6 months worth of cheeselessness. 

2. I didn't come last in a PlayStation DriveClub race 
"If you can't beat them, join them" - this is the attitude I'm gradually embracing with regard to Simon and his PlayStation 4. I don't like a fighting game, and I get too confused about which control is for moving and which is for looking and end up running around, looking at the sky, and then getting shot. We decided a driving game might be safer. After a couple of weekends of getting to grips with DriveClub I completed my first ever race on Saturday morning where I didn't come 12th...out of 12th. I did come 11th admittedly, and my racing driver career is still on hold, but this was definitely progress... 

3. I had a really productive weekend
Very rarely do I do university work at weekends - I prefer to work super hard all week and then have weekends off. Girl gotta have a break, right? But this Sunday I found myself at a bit of a loss, so smashed loads of reading so I could spend the week focusing on my dissertation and smashing that too. It's currently 11am on Monday morning and all I've done so far is make a map (true geographer) but I will write this analysis if it kills me. I've decided that I owe it to all the lovely people who gave up their time to talk to me about their dating habits to make sure I analyse so hard, and make them part of some obviously seminal cyber geography work. I also should do it because, you know, it's my degree. 

4. Planning ADVENTURES! 
I keep getting really excited about post-degree life, and then remembering all the things I need to do before I get there. The thought of lots of travelling and trips the other side of dissertation/essay/exam stress, however, is getting me through. My annual excitement for a summer of fun is a billion times multiplied at the thought of a year of fun! The hardest bit is trying to narrow down where to go, when to go and what to do from my infinite list of lifetime travel goals. 

So on this Blue Monday, whether you're feeling blue or not, think about all the things that are making you happy. Don't be blue because someone says you have to - there'll be worse Mondays.
What is making you happy today? 


Friday, 15 January 2016

For the weekend...

In the midsts of ALL the uni work imaginable with the knowledge that there's more around every corner. Words of wisdom among final year blues...


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dear Mr Cairns: On Single-Sex Education

Today I had the utmost pleasure of stumbling across this article: I recommend you give it a read if you've not seen it already, and be prepared to be appalled...and then amused. After having spent 9 years in co-ed schools, followed by 6 years in a single-sex school, I feel fairly well positioned to be able to comment on both - and reassure Mr Cairns that I can just about manage to hold a conversation with a boy. So...

Dear Mr. Cairns,
I'd like to talk to you about single-sex education, and the "deeply unrealistic world" you seem to think that it embodies. After having spent my school years at a mix of co-ed and single-sex schools, I know exactly what both kinds of institutions are like, and I cannot say that I feel in any way "disadvantaged" from having attended a girls' school. I would not have changed my school experience for the world. 

My parents and I made the decision when I was in year eight that I should move schools. I wasn't happy at the school I was then attending, and I was ready for a change and a challenge. Our decision for me to go to a girls' school had very little to do with the fact that it was single-sex: it was simply an excellent local school, with good facilities, plentiful opportunities, an impressive academic reputation - and one which I had a really good feeling about when I visited. The transition to single-sex education was a surprising one, but definitely not unpleasant. The first thing I noticed was that the girls I was surrounded by were confident, happy and ambitious: they were not afraid to put their hands up in lessons, and they were self-assured in their opinions, eager to engage in debate. The second thing I noticed was that girls are generally much friendlier towards each other when boys aren't there: the rumours of 'bitchiness' I'd worried about were rendered inaccurate, because when there were no boys to argue over, or boys to clash with, there were significantly fewer squabbles. The final difference I noticed was that girls were empowered, more so than they had been in co-ed schools I'd attended. There was no sense that some activities, sports, subjects were for boys - but the promotion of the idea that girls can do anything. I was surrounded by girls who weren't discouraged by gender constructs - who were as happy to play cricket as they were netball, to study maths AND textiles, to aspire to be engineers, designers, politicians, lawyers, actresses and doctors. They were girls who were always told that they could do anything - that didn't feel pressured, by boys, into conforming to stereotypes. The ambition, the opportunities and the freedom prevalent in girls' schools is just one of the reasons why they consistently perform so well. 

I understand that one of your real concerns about single-sex education was that students would not be able to "meaningfully converse and communicate with male colleagues" and that this would obviously put them at a huge disadvantage. I agree, what an awful reality it would be only to be able to talk to other women. Thankfully, this is an outdated and archaic view and by no means a reality of students leaving single-sex schools. This assumes that girls at girls school solely communicate with girls, which is rarely the case. I, for example, have a brother - a real life male with whom I lived. I was part of drama groups outside of school, where I met boys; I regularly participated in public speaking and debating competitions, where I met boys; I already had friends, that were boys; and my friends had friends who I then met, who were boys. Just because a girl doesn't go to school with boys, it does not mean that they don't spend their evenings, their weekends, their school holidays, their hours on Facebook communicating with boys. Sometimes they even have boyfriends too. I suppose this reality of free time, outside of school, is something you and Brighton College pupils are largely unfamiliar with - thankfully I didn't have to spend 8 and a half hours a day at school, and most weekends, and every revision clinic going during the school holidays. This opinion also assumes that women who don't regularly spend time with men will suddenly perceive them to be some sort of alien species, with whom they couldn't possibly coerce. Fortunately most women don't experience any significant issue communicating professionally with men - girls' school or no girls' school. 

I also challenge the notion that students in co-ed environments experience greater kindness. I'd be interested to know on what basis this comment is founded, because my experience at a girls' schools revealed one of the closest, most supportive communities I've ever had the pleasure of being part of. I do not claim that co-ed schools do not produce these thoughtful communities, but there's something particularly exceptional about being surrounded by students who are going through the exact same things as you - and you can talk more openly about your problems, worries and pressure. But that's about camaraderie, not specifically kindness. Kindness is in schools all over the country, kindness is not gendered. 

There is one thing I do agree with you about however: that schools should provide "a place for everyone and environment where girls and boys can be themselves". Absolutely, and I wish every student in the country had been lucky enough to have experienced the same feeling of belonging that I felt at my school. But that place where a girl or a boy can be themselves is not necessarily a co-ed school, neither it is specifically a single-sex school. It is no secret that different schools suit different people, and wouldn't it be wonderful if all students had the opportunity to experiment with lots of different schools, co-ed or single-sex, to find the one that was right for them. There is nothing wrong with co-ed schools, but there's nothing wrong with single-sex schools either. 

Yours sincerely, 

Laura Warner


Monday, 4 January 2016

Recent Reads #5

The end of term was approaching. The threat of essays was looming. My train journeys were subsumed by academic articles: urban mayors, gentrification, why DO we treat objects as people...

But then I got a Kindle, and my whole life changed. My bookshelf, full of importable hardbacks, was replaced by a 6" screen device, full of 99p books, ready to read to my heart's content. So that's exactly what I've been doing, and I'm on a winning streak with some unexpectedly wonderful books. 

Can You Have It All? - Nicola Horlick
Ok, so I actually read this pre-Kindle - but it was one of the most compelling, un-put-down-able books I've ever read. Given to me by my Nan, as a story of someone's life who was turned upside down, just as mine was, by a relative being diagnosed with necrotising fascitis, it was overwhelmingly relatable in a very chilling way. One woman's tale, woven with stories of her marriage, family and career, which asks the important question: "can you have it all?" - is the marriage ever perfect? What do you do when your child faces life-threatening disease? Can you manage your high-powered career alongside a challenging family life? It's a distressing, empowering and honest read - written like a novel, but made even more powerful by the realisation that this is a real woman living a real life. I found the journey through her life exhausting, physically and mentally, and I was only sat reading about it on the train. If there's one book to make you appreciate your own life and the people in it, it's this one. 
4.5 / 5

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion 
I was a bit late to the party with this one, after having had it recommended to me by lots of people over several years. But I finally got round to it, and I'm glad I did. The Rosie Project tells the story of one man's quest for a wife using a formulaic questionnaire; but it takes a very different turn when Don, our protagonist, meets Rosie - everything he is not looking for in a woman - and helps her with a very different project. It's a tale of love, tenacity and science, blended into a light-hearted and lovable concoction. The only thing I really struggled with was that the novel's set in Australia, but nothing about it felt Australian to me - I couldn't help but imagine the companions working in a London university, walking down the streets of Fitzrovia, and hitting up bars in Soho. Otherwise, Simsion creates interesting, unusual characters who carry us into and a through a fast-paced, well developed plot. An ideal train or beach read. 
4 / 5

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes - Denise Grover Swank
I downloaded this book on a whim, on a Kindle free book, '12 days of Christmas' whim. It's nice to read a book without any preconceptions sometimes, and that's exactly what this was. Whilst uncertain about it at first, I fairly quickly became absorbed by Rose's life: her visions, her abusive mother and her strange upbringing. Something about it felt almost post-apocalyptic, but I think that's just the disjointedness associated with reading about someone's life which is so distanced from 'normality'. The author does a brilliant job of writing what is, essentially, a crime novel without making it too gory, too jumpy and with a plot not entirely focused around the police force. Rose is a clever character who I took an instant liking to: naïve and perceptive at the same time...and ambitious, writing a list of twenty-eight and a half wishes to complete before she dies. Little does she know that she's being watched, hunted and she might have to achieve her wishes a little more quickly than she'd anticipated, fighting baddies on the way. I loved the fast-moving plot, and a mystery which kept me gripped and constantly changing my mind about what I thought would happen at the end. Full of twists and turns, likeable yet unsettling characters, and well-written. An excellent mystery. 
4.5 / 5


Saturday, 2 January 2016

New Year's Resolutions


“For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice.”
- T. S. Eliot 

I sit here, on day two of 2016, and the first thing I think is: "It can't be as bad as 2015". For me, 2015 was a rollercoaster ride: starting off just fine, fairly unexciting, but stable - but then it, and I, dropped, fast, and lower than I thought I ever could...before gradually pulling myself back up, finishing pretty tired, but pretty happy. My memories of 2015 are riddled with thoughts of university stress; electric shocks and fingers with no feeling; anxiety; and a yearning for cheese and chocolate. It's easy to forget, in amongst all these dilemmas, all the good things that happened and all the people who have carried me into 2016. So when I contemplate my resolutions for this year, I'm going to try and think of last year as a learning curve: a year in which I learnt a lot, about life, about other people and about myself, and one which has made me ambitious to make 2016 infinitely better. 

Resolution one: Graduate
You know those forms you have to fill out, where it asks for your year of graduation, and you put 2016? THAT'S THIS YEAR. I've found university a bit of a struggle, to say the least, and I am excited and relieved that it's going to be over in 6 months. After 15 years of school and 3 years of university, I am done with academia for now. I can't wait to get out of the routine of reading journals, writing essays and stressing about exams. I can't wait to do something different for a bit. 

Resolution two: Run. Until March. And if I still hate it, find another form of exercise to do. 
I am not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I wish I was. This year I am going to take up running, and stick at it to try and get past the "I hate running because I'm rubbish at it" and make it to something less soul-destroying and more enjoyable. If, after a good few months of trying, if I still hate running, I'm going to take up something else to keep me from getting Type 2 Diabetes, like cycling. 

Resolution three: Ballet
I miss ballet, so I'm going to do it again. Weekly. Starting 11th January. If resolution one does not go to plan, at least I'll be on the right track to becoming a ballerina...

Resolution four: Travel
2016 marks the beginning of GAP YEAR OF DREAMS. I'm going to speak French, travel outside of Europe, do things that make me scared, and also things that make me excited, happy and so very worldly. I want to meet new people, unlike people I've met before, and go to new places, and do things I've never done before. I want to see elephants, go diving, go on a roadtrip, and eat a corn dog. 

Resolution five: Read more books
I have £65 worth of Amazon vouchers, a Kindle, a 3 hour round trip commute to uni and many 99p book offers. I have no excuse not to read. Reading for pleasure is one thing I've found really hard to do whilst at uni, so I'm keen to get back on it. The books I am desperate to read this year are: Toni Morrison's God Help the Child, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and Margaret Atwood's The Heart Goes Last. 

Resolution six: Get less stressed
I am queen of stress. I worry a lot about a lot of things, an issue which has really successfully manifested itself in 2015. This year I will try to worry less and stress less. I will do the amount of work that I feel I want to do, and I can do, and I will make time to do the other things I want to do. I will do my best without destroying myself in the process. 

Resolution seven: Cook more
My mum bought me a dairy-free cookbook for Christmas, and I want to make pretty much everything in it. I love cooking, and I find it a really satisfying and relaxing thing to do - so I want to make sure I make time to do more of it. I want to try new recipes, and experiment with new foods. 2016 is the year I become a culinary goddess, watch out. 

Resolution eight: Blog
I started my blog way back in 2013, but I never really got into it. This year has been the first year I've properly committed to writing regularly, which I've loved and found really rewarding. I love having this platform to share, and discuss, and rant - this year I've had an amazing response from people reading and relating to it, and for using it as a medium to publicise problems and instigate change. I've also started writing for the TES Student Blog, which is a really awesome opportunity - and I can't wait to become more involved with that. 

Resolution nine: Make a vague plan for becoming a grown-up
I'm currently unsure as to what this involves. I hope I'll work it out along the way. 

Resolution ten: Eat more lasagne
I love lasagne and I literally never eat it. I want that to change. 

So there it is: that's 2016 sorted in 10 resolutions. 
Wish me luck. 

Happy New Year!

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