This year has been an eventful one. So much has happened. As I sat and reflected I realised there are so many things I have learnt that I need to take into the new year.
Grab a tea and a snack – this is going to be a long one!
No rushing, no skipping
The biggest thing I’ve learnt this year is that life can’t be rushed. There are so many times this year that I wished to skip to the good part. The part where I’m making good money. The part where I had finally left the nest. The part where I was in a happy, healthy relationship.
All things take time. And now looking at it from the other-side, there were things I had to go through in order to get to this point. I had to go through my really low period. The point where I spent everyday in bed thinking nothing was ever going to change. This very low point of my life was actually beneficial to me in more ways than one.
- It inspired a great friendship. One of my closest friends found herself in a similar situation. This meant we became really close and most of our unemployed days were spent together. We did many different things to keep our mind off our current problems and to keep the hope alive. It’s crazy because when we look back at those days, it’s amazing how far we have come. I truly don’t think I would have had any upbeat moments if it wasn’t for her.
- It made me seek help in making myself employable. I often talk about the 2 week employability boot camp that completely change my outlook on life. In these 2 weeks I went from being a victim that blamed everyone else for my circumstances to someone who was beginning to think – maybe it’s me? This is when I decided that I was having trouble finding employment so the apprenticeship route was my best chance. Future LDN (the people who ran the course) taught me lots of practical things that I still use to this day.
- It made me set realistic goals for myself. Maybe applying for marketing manager positions wasn’t what I should have been aiming for at that time. It would be less deflating to set achievable goals and build up to that dream position. That’s what I did. I’m still very much on my way, but 1 step at a time.
You just can’t skip over the sucky parts and I’m glad. How will I know when things are amazing if nothing ever sucks. This is something I have to be sure to bare in mind as life goes on. It really is a roller-coaster, I can handle when it sucks because I know sooner or later it’ll turn amazing again. When I actually work hard and build towards something, it will happen when it is meant to.
Friendships are so important. The older I have gotten the smaller and tighter my circle has become. Back when I was younger the ‘cool’ thing was to have as many friends as possible. The bigger your circle equalled how popular you were, you were the social butterfly that all cliques welcomed.
Things have changed so much since then, now there is more emphasis on solid friendships that can stand the test of time.
Over time I have had to get rid toxic friendships but for the most part I am very fortunate to have friends that remain. My best friends are the most positive, talented, aware, beautiful and ambitious people. You can tell who are your actual friends when going through a bad patch. It is easy to be there for someone who is on top of the world. The people who are there to pick you up when you are down and out, who sit with you while you cry, who you lean on for financial support when you are struggling are the ones you can always rely on.
As important as it is to have good friends in your life, it’s equally as important to be a good friend. Just because they will always be there for you don’t take advantage. It is not okay to make them an afterthought. If you have a busy schedule, you HAVE to make sure that they are part of it and given as much time as everything else.
Letting go of my ego is something that I have not mastered but I’m learning to do. One of my best friends messaged me a while ago quite upset because she thought I was leaving her out. Although I had my reasons, I could see why she felt this way as I would have felt the exact same. I called her up immediately, explained why I was acting the way I was and apologised profusely. I had to let her vent her frustrations to me and apologise as much as I could. I thought nothing of doing this, the friendship is way to important to me to let my pride get in the way. In the end she was grateful for the call and apology and I was just happy that everything was easily resolved. I tell this story because so many times we let silly things mess up our friendships. Things that are minor in the grand scheme of things. I also tell this story to demonstrate that just like all the other ships, friendships take work. Work mending any fences that have been damaged, and work making sure to make time for everyone. Having a sisterhood as tight as mine is totally worth all the effort!
I haven’t learnt much about family this year that I didn’t already know. The only new thing for me is learning to live independently.The need for balance becomes more and more vital. I have never met anyone who balances life perfectly, I don’t think that person exists. However you can tell by the different ways people juggle, where their priorities are.
My parents are my backbone and my biggest supporters.
Moving out has put a slight strain on our relationship because things aren’t as organic anymore. I have never been in the position where I had to make an effort to see my parents because I was either at university or living at home.
Now I have to set aside quality time with them. No one likes to feel neglected or like second best. I definitely don’t.
2018 will be about spending quality time with them and demonstrating why me moving out is a great thing. In theory space is the best way to remember all the good things about someone. In practice you need to make sure that the ‘space’ you are taking is only for a minute and not a decade.
I have been quite deflated at work recently. I am not enjoying my job the same way I used to and have experienced a many financial hiccups. It doesn’t help that I constantly compare myself to other people who have achieved more by a younger age and come down hard on myself for where I am. This isn’t a competition, there is plenty of time to achieve what I want.
Taking the time to save money and plan my next steps is NOT settling. There is no need to jump into something I am not ready for yet. Money is a necessity for most things so taking the time to make sure you are in a decent financial position before jumping into the next venture is not a bad idea.
The biggest thing I need to remember going forward is not to get comfortable. I am by nature a lazy person, who loves stability and knowing exactly what’s going to happen next. Sometimes this is a great way if thinking, but other times this can really hold me back. I second guess every new move, and think critically about every way it effect life as I know. Knowing change is a good thing and actually being accepting of change is not the same thing.
Change is great, staying the same is impossible. I must learn to seek change and accept it when it comes.
Letting go of grudges is a difficult one. I am not the most stubborn girl in the world but when I know I am right and you were way wrong, my automatic instinct is to separate myself from you. This is hard one because I don’t want to hold on to unnecessary negative feelings. It’s like dragging around dead weight.
However I do acknowledge that this behaviour is not beneficial for anybody. Communication is key and in some ways I feel that distancing myself can be quite unfair. How can issues be resolved when the other party are not even aware there is an issue?
I am drawing a blank on this one. I had no actual solution to how to get over these feelings. Grudges come from a place of deep hurt and rage, tied up in 101 reasons of why.
There is one difficult conversation I must have before I know how I feel in the issue. Sometimes you find the answer by actively seeking it. Hopefully this is one of those times.
No matter what positive effect you think you have on someone, you can not change them. Change comes from within, and it comes from a deep wanting of change. As I have said before – I am no-one’s mother. If you are having a problem, it is your duty to resolve it. In the past I have driven myself insane trying to change people. Trying to inspire them to do better and be better. I failed sometimes because this is not my job. Where I have succeeded was ultimately not my doing. People change because they want to. All the massive changes I have made to myself are because I wanted to.
The only life I have control over is mine. I decide whats next for me. My physical and emotional health is my main priority.
That’s not to say there is no room in my heart for anyone else. I can still be a good, positive person by helping where I can. I can continue to encourage, advise and support the people around me. The decisions that they make comes from them.
I have also learnt not to allow anyone to hold me back. And to not be held back by myself. When you are at the end of your days and you look back on all the choices you have made, the worst thing will be not pursuing what you wanted to because of someone else. The people in your life should be encouraging you to go after all your dreams.
You hear of people giving up on their ambitions to accommodate someone else without the person even knowing! Have faith, and trust in your loved ones. They are there to help you get over your fears. They are there to scream over that voice in your head saying ‘you can’t do it.’
Most importantly be the hero to your own story. Encouragement from others is great, but how much does it mean if you don’t believe in yourself. Be your own cheerleader and biggest fan. The only thing holding you back is your own imagination! 2018 can be an amazing year if you want it to be. Will it be perfect? No. Nothing is. But it can be a year filled with more highs than lows if you want it to be. If you work hard for it to be.
Quitting your job and moving to the other side of the world isn’t as easy as people make out it is. However if it’s what you want it can be done. Tomorrow you may decide that you want to be a doctor. Yes it’s takes years of studying and super hard work. However the decision to do it is that easy. As long as you are prepared to follow through.
As for me
this year overall has been a good one. However I do get complacent easily. I need to take my own advise and make that next bold move. I have an idea of where I want to go, now for the following through..
So goodbye 2017, bring on the Christmas dinners, gallons of mulled wine and epic NYE celebrations.
2018 I’m ready for ya 😉
Also a big shout to Ineffabless UK for this beautiful silver bangle they sent me!
Click the picture which will link you to this bracelet. If you want to have a deeper look at their website – http://www.ineffabless.co.uk. Everything is affordable and so pretty!
Stay Bliss, Laura