I never understand why at the beginning of a New Year, everyone frets over what they’re going to change about themselves in the following year. I’m all for being healthy, financially stable and productive, but sometimes this desperate desire to change oneself can have a detrimental effect on your happiness
(speaking from experience). January is depressing enough already!
This year I’ve decided that instead of worrying about New Year’s resolutions, and the unrealistic promises I would normally make to myself about what I can achieve in a year’s time, I’m going to look back at what I did achieve, in the previous year. Hopefully, by remembering what I’ve already achieved, it will spur me on to do new things in 2017!
Me and my Grandpa
1. Moved into a new flat
I used to live in a house share with horrible people, and if I’m perfectly honest, I was really miserable there. I didn’t have many friends, I’d just started a new job, and I felt lost and lonely. I’d already moved twice that year (due to job relocation) but I decided I didn’t want to live my life being miserable in a house that was nothing like a home. So I took the plunge, and moved! And I’m so much better for it now.
Survived 6 months without my best friend
I was heartbroken when I got a call from my best friend, Lauren, telling me she’d got the job in Sri Lanka and she was moving there for 6 months. It was at a point when we were spending so many weekends together in London, and what with having no friends (lol) I really relied on seeing her and doing things together at the weekends. But somehow I managed to cope – mainly due to the godsend that is Whatsapp audio, thank you technology.
3. Travelled alone for the first time
Following on from number 2, I made it a goal that I would go and visit Lauren in Sri Lanka. I’d never been outside of Europe, and I’d never flown on my own. This was something I’ve always been anxious about: travelling across half the world stuffed in a flying tin can with a bunch of strangers? I hate people that enjoy flying. My. Worst. Nightmare. But I did it! And I was only sick once. Lol.
4. Started helping out with a homeless charity
I’d been meaning to go along and help hand out food to the homeless for months and months, but I was always ‘too tired’ or ‘it was raining’ or I ‘couldn’t be bothered’. When I finally did go along, however, it gave me a whole new perspective on life. Not only did it get me out the house, but it made me more open-minded and forced me to not feel sorry for myself because the Co-op had run out of my favourite sourdough loaf (get a grip, Emma).
5. Met my boyfriend
Having had a previous catastrophic relationship, it was only in January last year that I really felt content being on my own. When you’re so used to someone’s constant company, it’s so difficult to go cold turkey and suddenly find yourself completely alone. I consider it a huge achievement that I got to a stage where I was ready to let someone new in. And that wasn’t because he was a necessity, but because he was a positive addition. Also, as my boyfriend doesn’t live down the road (just the short distance of 149 miles away…) I consider it an achievement sustaining a long distance relationship and not having constant breakdowns because there’s yet another train strike (argh!).
Jumped out of a plane
God. This was something I never thought I’d do. I’ve never been a thrill seeker. I cried when I went on the Baby Dragon roller coaster at Legoland. Honestly, I have never been more terrified in my life. I had to take Kalms tablets for weeks leading up to the event, but my gosh, when I landed, I was so bloody proud.
7. Spent lots of time with my Grandpa
I’m overjoyed that at 24 years old I am still able to spend so much time with my wonderful Grandpa. Every time I visit him I learn so much from his hilarious stories, and I will always admire his incredible inner strength. In this day and age, where everyone’s so consumed with their work, it’s an achievement to set aside valuable time with the people you love most in the world.
8. Did an art course
‘Why didn’t I do one sooner?!’ I yelled when I had my first session at a printing workshop I signed up to. I was so nervous going on my own, but determined to go nonetheless. It turned out to be my little Wednesday afternoon retreat and reminded me that it’s never too late to learn something new!
9. Became more confident
This year has been pretty testing in numerous ways and has forced me to gain skills I never thought I’d have. I’ve had to negotiate, become more headstrong and really believe in myself and my ability. I’m still learning now, as it’s certainly not a skill set you acquire overnight. But it’s taught me how important it is to know how much you can achieve when you know how capable you are of it.
10. Started blogging more!
I’m so happy I started blogging more and didn’t give up because I thought no one would read it. I loved the year of creative writing I did as part of my degree and was sad when I thought there was no way of me carrying it on. How wrong I was! I’m super grateful to anyone who’s ever read, commented on or shared one of my posts. Here’s to more in 2017!