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2016: My Review of the Year

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Fulfilment.

 

That’s the word that perfectly sums up my 2016.

I’m just going to come out with it and say that this has been the best year of my life. It’s knocked 2011 off its perch. Seriously, I’ve experienced so much over these past twelve months than I ever have in my entire life. 2016 has truly been a special, life-changing year for me. I have nothing but firm, happy memories of this year. I entered 2016 with a head full of goals and expectations, and I have accomplished them all.

Why was it so great? Why do I rate this year so highly? There’s so much I have to go through. Where do I even begin?

I talked at the beginning about how the word ‘fulfillment’ is the word that sums up this year, and by that, I mean that I fulfilled a lifelong ambition of mine to attend WrestleMania. That dream of mine became a reality for me on April 3rd at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Holy cow, what an experience! Being in that stadium with 100,000 + fans just blows my mind. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. It went above and beyond of what I expected it to be.

By going to WrestleMania, in turn, also saw me achieve another ambition of mine: travel to America. Growing up, America was everywhere in television, films, books, comics. There’s something about America that gives it that unexplainable IT factor. Why do you think people talk about “The American Dream”? Why is it that if you can make it in America you can make it anywhere? It draws you in and you can’t explain why. I guess it’s like what I said before about growing up and America being everywhere in our lives one way or another. Reflecting on my experiences in America was amazing. Take it from me, when you live in the shitty arse end of Sunderland, visiting America is like visiting a different planet. The way of life over there is completely foreign to what I know. Americans really pride themselves on manners, which was refreshing to see in this day & age, and they just love the English! They really do! I just can’t put it into words or give it the accolade it truly deserves. It has to be experienced to really fully understand the grandeur of it.

Simply put, America is awesome.

Sticking with the theme of traveling, I did a load of it this year alone. Aside from Dallas I’ve also visited Amsterdam, Alkmaar, London, Manchester, and (twice) Liverpool. It was my first time in Holland, you would have thought that with my brother living there I would have been out there more than once. There’s more to Amsterdam than the Red-Light District and coffee shops. It truly is a beautiful city, just a shame the seedy reputation overshadows it.

Liverpool is a city that’s very dear to my heart. It’s a city that I love. It will mean even more to me now because on November 20th I turned 30 years old.

Spending my Birthday in Liverpool was something else. I experienced a lot and I meet some great people along the way. The highlight has got to be singing “Yellow Submarine” and “Get Back” in the Cavern Club. It was such a great vibe and something that I’ve never experienced before. When that place is truly rocking, believe me, there’s no better place on earth than right there. It truly was the ultimate high of my life. It’s times like that I wish it would last forever, but I know it’s not possible.

I wrote a blog not long ago about what turning 30 meant to me and the response I got was incredible. I get loads of nice messages all the time but not as much as I did for that blog. How do I feel about being 30? Honestly, I don’t feel 30. Sure I’ve changed. My waistline may have expanded but I still feel like that energetic 20-year-old kid that I once was. The person I used to be. Full of life and ready to take on the world. I lost my way in life for a short time but managed to steer myself back on the right track. I just feel I’ve got a whole new outlook on life now.

I’m still single, Ladies (don’t all rush out at once……)

People were accusing me of being too pessimistic in my turning 30 blog when I talked about relationships. Listen, guys, I appreciate the kind words of support, I really do, Would I like to be in a relationship? Of course, but I know in my heart of hearts where my future lies in the relationship department. It’s just never going to happen again.

Not everyone was as lucky as me. 2016 has been a terrible year for some, and that’s too bad. It’s our job as humans to make this world a better place for years to come. It starts today. You want change, you make a change, and you make that change now. Go out of your way to make someone happy, make someone feel like they belong. You never know how powerful your words can be. It’s common for people to use the “New Year-New Me” phrase at this time of year. Why wait until the New Year to make a new you? Do it now! Do it today! It’s a New Day, yes it is!

Take my advice kids, do what it is that you love in life. Screw what anyone else may think. The naysayers are only there to put you down, your job is to prove them wrong. Do you really want to spend your life working in a dead end job working for some prized prick? I know I don’t. If it makes you happy that’s all that matters. There are so many dreams that go unfulfilled and just end up on the scrap heap, do you really want to contribute to it?

Last year, for my review of 2015, I wrote: “The seeds have been planted to make 2016 the best year of my entire life, a title currently occupied by 2011”. I’m happy to say that

As a kid, I had big dreams and I lived through them. I’m still here. Alive and well. Not broke, not broken.

Everybody worries about something, I worry about the simplest of things. it’s a natural part of life. At aged sixteen, eighteen, my greatest anxiety in life was that I’d never achieve anything pure, or noble, or true in life. But that was when I was young. I’m 30 years old now, and I like to think I’m a lot wiser and cooler about these things.

Tomorrow, everything begins again. 2016 was bigger than my wildest of expectations. But I can’t live in the past. I need to move on and remain in the here and now.

There’s no need to worry about me anymore, guys. I’m in a much better place in life than I ever was before.

2016 has truly been a magical year.

I entered 2016 with optimism, and I leave 2016 fulfilled. Life moves on. I’m looking ahead, not back, and I’m ready to search for the next big challenge in 2017.

Greatest year of my life, no doubt.

Enjoy your New Year celebrations, guys. Thanks for making 2016 the best year of my life.

All the best for 2017

 

Andy “RIF” Sheriff

Sunderland, England

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