What a year it has been, 2017 will forever be etched in my brain as one of the best years of my life. Following it’s predecessor that was filled with heartbreak, bereavement, and depression, I took a leap of faith at the end and headed out into the great unknown.
By the time January was rolling around last year, I was fully immersing myself in new cultures, I was completely giving over every part of my being and throwing myself into facing my fears, gaining new experiences, learning about the world and ultimately working on myself.
So, here I am at the start of another year. January is a wonderful time for reflecting, on the highs and lows, what I loved, what I could have done better. As I get older, I grow increasingly more aware and so much more grateful to see in another year. That arrogant sense of invincibility you have in your teens has well and truly faded, you’ve had a few kicks, your hearts been bruised, you’re a little more jaded and fully aware of how incredibly cruel and unfair life can be.
I’ve seen people the same age as me suffer from debilitating illnesses and unfortunately pass away in unforeseen circumstances. I can wholeheartedly say that I am very, very aware of how precious life is these days. I could waffle on all day, but perhaps for readability sakes, I’ll do a good old list about what I’ve been reflecting on as we head into this new year…
- Life is short and precious
As I mentioned above, none of us are invincible. Life is short and unpredictable, each day is precious. You can make more money, but you cannot make more time, so set aside time for your loved ones. Visit your family, even if you don’t find the company stimulating, just make that effort whilst you are able to.
- Focus On The Positives & Learn to feel happy
For some people, this is easier said than done. I’m guilty of being pessimistic, and I’ve suffered from depression in the past. I’m on a road to learning, sometimes you have to force yourselves to see through the clouds.
- Make your happiness a priority
If you’re one of these people who finds that you’re spending all of your time making other people happy, but you’re not feeling it yourself, then you need to change your priorities!
- In fact, focus more on self-care in general
How easy is it, with the busy schedule that modern life imposes, to forget to set aside time to really truly focus on yourself? Whether that’s soaking in a hot bath with candles or spending an afternoon curled up in bed with a book, sometimes you need a dose of self-care.
- Love your body and feel beautiful
Again, something I have struggled with ever since I can remember! Sure, I still have moments, I’m certainly nowhere near on track with my health / fitness goals but for once, I’m actually still happy, regardless! It took a long time to get there, but learning to love the skin that you’re in is so incredibly important!
- Beleive that you have something to offer
Don’t let self-doubt ruin your confidence and hold you back! Have a little faith in yourself, believe that you have something to offer, something that is worth doing, something that you excel at.
- The fear of something is often worse than the reality
I’ve experienced this on a number of occasions now, where I’ve had a deeply rooted fear of something, something that trying to tackle has reduced me to tears, stops and panic attacks on too many occasions to count. When all is said and done, and I’ve finally managed to push myself enough, I’ve come out the other side realising it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be!
- People may surprise you
Several times recently, people have surprised me. Someone that you didn’t expect to hear from has contacted you with some lovely encouraging words, or someone’s really come through for you when you didn’t think that they would.
- Blessings come in all forms, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time
How many times have I been disappointed, let down or in a shit situation, only for it to all work out well or even better in the end? Honestly, more than I could count on my fingers, that’s for sure! Sometimes, a situation seems less than ideal and ends up working in your favour.
- Be unapologetic of your true self
Honestly, I can confidently say that I am at that point in my life where I am not ashamed to admit who I am and what I enjoy. Yes, I’m anti-social, I love staying inside reading books, drinking tea, and listening to weird music. I’m the weird friend that actually likes gherkins when you go out and eat burgers, I’m forever sleepy, I get super angry when I’m hungry, I’m obsessed with cheese, I randomly burst into song and even though I can’t make accurate Wookie noises I still attempt it more than I should.
- Chase those dreams
Seriously, really truly go for it, hell for leather, 110%. Give it everything you’ve got and then some because there is absolutely no better feeling in this world than that surreal moment when you’ve achieved something you’ve dreamt about since you were a kid.
Well, It would have been great to get a nice round number for OCD’s sake, but I think that perfectly sums up everything that I’ve been reflecting on!