Tuesday, 19 June 2018
"Smile" "Smile"

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one!

By  Ivana Smilovic Dec 31, 2017

This was a great year for Dubrovnik. I don't even know how many times I used the term ''record-breaking'' when writing about tourism in 2017 (a record-breaking number of times I bet).

This was also a great year for The Dubrovnik Times. I think we are just starting to realize how far we can reach. Sometimes, when typing something in my living room/my office, I feel like nobody ever is going to see it, just like I'm writing something in my diary. And then – boom – answers come from all over the world. Most of the times that's enough to make my day, a fact that somebody that doesn't even know me, that lives far away, took a minute and wrote 'good morning'. Sounds silly? Who cares! We try our best to improve and we are already thinking about novelties for 2018. Just stay with us and see.

When it comes to me, I can't say that my year has been so great. I remember, around this time last year my boss told me – 2017 is going to be your year! And to be honest, on the January 1st, I was pretty sure that he was right. Like the world is beneath my feet. But, I was surprised with snowflakes and bad news 10 days later. And just like snow, most of my hopes and dreams melted away.

I spent the last couple of days saying what a crappy year 2017 has been and how it was the complete opposite of ''my year''. But it got me thinking – how I can even say that? Well, it was utterly tiring, but it also made me learn so much. And my uncle always says: ''You can't escape from your own skin'' – which got me thinking that if it wasn't my year, whose was it?
The biggest lesson I learned this year is that you can't control everything. If life is a roller coaster, I think I've been on that upside down part during the whole year. I watched people I love hurt, I was hurt by the people I loved. When I thought I got more than I can handle, I was given one more burden. I felt like I giving up, but that wasn't an option.

So I smiled. I faked being happy and day by day, I felt like I even might be. I discovered good in people in the hospital room, in the guy who made my dad laugh every single day, even though their diagsnosis were equally terrible. I discovered that my family is stronger than it seems and that they are the glue to my broken pieces. I found out that some people can't handle the pain, so they walk away. I lost some friends. I got enormous help from those that stayed.

I would love to say that all that happened made me yell ''YOLO'' (You Only Live Once), while partying hard and sharing motivation with everybody around me. But honestly, sometimes I don't even feel like getting up from my bed in the morning. But even when I feel I can't – I do. I must. I will. That's life.

And every morning is a start of new battle. For happiness. For love. For friendship. For inner peace. For all the things that make me – Smile. This Monday morning won't be any different. And I tell you – 2018 is going to be my year. Just like any other else.

Ivana Smilovic

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Ivana Smilovic or "Smile" is a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times, passionate book lover and a self-confessed coffee addict. As a local, she loves to bring news and stories from Dubrovnik...

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