As 2018 draws to a close, just like any other year I’m taking a few days before January arrives to look back and reflect on what has been this year.
I haven’t made any huge life decisions in terms of my career, relationships or living arrangements this year, in fact it’s been a year of slowing down and keeping my feet on the ground a little more often. 2018 for me, more than any other year has been a huge year of personal growth.
I’ve been pushed to my physical and emotional limits which had me feeling very lost on a number on occasions this year but in doing so I’ve dived deeper than ever into myself and I’ve been once again reminded that in our struggles we do indeed find our biggest strength.
I’m going into 2019 feeling calm, focused and very aware of the life I want to lead, at least for now anyway. Though I know, as life does, I’ll get thrown some hurdles and probably evolve even further in ways I don’t even know yet.
Change doesn’t scare me anymore, for from experience I know that the greatest things really do sit around the corner.
So let’s dive in, what are the biggest lessons I’ve learnt this year?
1. I take it back, I love routine.
I’ve spent years preaching about breaking free from the 9-5. Honestly, I never thought i’d be someone to enjoy that walk of life. But I’ve travelled like crazy over the last 4 years and 2018 has had me hit the next chapter and seek something a little different.
I kinda thought I’d lost the plot back in January. I was in Australia hopping between friends sofas and presumedly ‘living the dream’ but I wasn’t happy at all. I was very unsettled and coming home to my belongings in boxes (I’d moved out of my flat and jumped ship to Australia for 2 months) left me fed up and ready to grow up a bit. I didn’t want to be here there and everywhere so much. I wanted to cook in my kitchen, I wanted 8 hours sleep a night and I wanted to get to the gym to get my body strong again.
2. I figured home is where you invest your time most, not the place you dream about the most.
The grass can always seem greener and trust me i’ve spent years thinking it. I had to go on that journey of always wanting something different and constantly looking to the next trip to arrive to where I am now. Home, I’ve realised, is where you invest your time and build connections. Something that by moving location ever 5 minutes, I was never doing. Something I was never feeling as a result, was any sense of ‘home’. Though I know London isn’t the place I want to grow old or invest any long terms roots in, I’ve managed to build a home simply by giving it a chance to be. That’s all it takes.
3. Meaningful relationships take time
Any friendship or relationship worth having is one built over time. As an impatient generation, we want things and we want them now. The key I’ve learnt is to invest. Consciously look around you, open your eyes and invest. Stressing out about non existent relationships will get you no closer to having one. Invest your time in people and let the universe work its magic.
4. Friendships can break your heart too
This has been a sad truth for me this year. It’s been shitty. Things can change, people change and so do peoples priorities. I guess it’s life. If your values are compromised though, sometimes you have to make the call to draw the line, even when you have a million memories tied up with them. Friendships built on love, honesty and understanding are everything to me and just like in love – I will not settle for anything less.
5. There are only so many times you can make the same mistake before change stares you in the face.
Oh wow. I’ve learnt a lot about my habitual choices this year. I think I can speak on behalf of many girls when I say that the bad guys usually catch my attention. I usually know right from the start that I’ll get hurt, way before I actually do and yet I do it anyway. Crazy I know but until it wasn’t exciting anymore, I was happy to keep doing it. I figured I just needed to continue getting hurt and going for unavailable guys until the light bulb came on. Now it has. What was once appealing, is not so anymore.
My realisations have got a lot to do with reading ‘Women that love too much’, I’d highly recommend it if you are drawing a parallel between your relationship outcomes and are ready to look In the mirror.
6. You can break your own heart and you can fix it too
For a lot of our outcomes, we only have ourselves to blame. Great news is, when you’re ready, you can get fixing.
7. There’s ALWAYS more to learn about yourself
For the majority of 2018, I’ve had the support of a counsellor. I begun because I found myself in an emotionally difficult place at the beginning of the year and then, with a schedule that had me in London more, and with more reliable funds behind me, I decided to keep it up.
Counselling and the money it can cost can be hard to justify for a lot of people but I’ve had countless ‘ah ha’ moments this year and it’s been worth every single penny. It’s allowed me to identify so many things that I would never have had it not been for investing in this time. I’m so happy with the person I’m becoming and counselling is responsible for a lot of that.
8. What it actually feels like to disconnect from technology and responsibility
I had a seriously life changing week back in November. I took my first ever holiday, and alleviated ALL pressures, campaigns and responsibility for an entire week. No emails, no social media requirements, no thinking about work. It was unbelievable and a HUGE wake up call.
9. Seeds will always grow where you plant them
Law of attraction. I can’t believe how many of my dreams are coming to fruition at the moment. Christmas catch ups had friends and family give me the ‘you’re doing so amazing’ which is flattering but I feel like its all easier than ever. All I do is frequently ask the universe what I’d like, I brainstorm where I’d like my life to go and you know what? When you plant the seeds, you tend to walk in that exact direction.
10. The company you settle for will be the life you settle for
You become like the people you surround yourself by. Become a good reader of the energy that surrounds you and be wise with your decisions for company.
11. When you become aware of plastic, plastic waste is insane
I’ve never spoken up about meat consumption or plastic use but both are something I take into consideration daily and have gently become more and more aware of. I travel with re useable water bottles and coffee cups and that alone has got me counting just how many plastic cups I’ve avoided using. 11 on the flight i’ve just taken to australia alone. You can’t help but scale that up and want to take more action.
Last but certainly not least…
12. Human connection must stay a priority
Ever. Don’t give in to technology. Connect with each other over everything.
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Love as always + happy adventuring,
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