This probably should have been a post to go up at the end of 2017 but I was a little too busy filling myself with prosecco and mince pies to realise that, so it’s turned up now. I hope you don’t mind.
I think we can agree that the last year has been both the best and the worst on a world scale and also for me, on a personal level too. It was a year that was quite frankly, like a rollercoaster, and started at possibly the lowest point I’ve ever been in. However, aside from the first two (pretty dismal) months, it was definitely a year for me to find my focus and goals again.
It’s probably been the most important and character-building year for me as a person so far, and also my last as a teenager, so one can hope that I’m now also a little bit wiser. I’ve come up with a few pearls of wisdom that I’ve learnt over the last 12 months, so I thought I may as well share them.
1. You are stronger than you think
Okay, grab your snorkels, we’re jumping in at the deep end. Thinking back over the last year there have been points when I’ve felt completely and utterly hopeless. I know I’m extremely fortunate compared to vast numbers of people, but when your mental health gets the better of you it is, unfortunately, rather all consuming.
Earlier in the year when I had glandular fever I genuinely felt completely stuck and had no idea how I’d get through the seemingly never ending and debilitating fatigue. It’s a little hard to think about slaying life when you can’t even stand up long enough to brush your teeth. But I got through it and here I am, stronger and better than ever.
2. The best things in life will turn up when you least expect
I’d basically resigned myself to the fact that I’d be well into my 20s before I met a potential boyfriend (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), until Jack popped up. We came across each other on Tinder, we met IRL when he came to see me while I was ill with said glandular fever (romantic I know) and now the rest is history. Talk about funny timing haha.
3. Relationships aren’t all that bad
Following on from my previous point, just over a year ago, I would have said “I can’t think of anything worse than seeing the same person everyday, I’d get soooooo bored”. Well, I’ve been with Jack for pretty much a year now and I’m definitely not bored of him yet; in fact, I’ve never been happier. I guess relationships aren’t all that bad really.
4. Anxiety is not forever
The last few years of my life have been cloaked somewhat by the little devil that is anxiety. At times I haven’t left the house for weeks but I think I can finally say I’ve got a grip on it and it’s crawling away back into its little hole.
5. The first step is always the hardest
The main way I’ve pushed my anxiety back is by facing my fears. Not being in control and knowing what to expect has always been a huge source of anxiety for me, so starting university was slightly terrifying, to say the least.
Yes, there were mornings where I cried hysterically and tried to find every reason not to go, but once I did, I realised how much I loved it. The first step is most often the biggest hurdle.
6. Don’t give a damn about what anyone else is doing
This year I pulled out of my place at the University of Exeter and decided to stay at home for university and to be honest, I think it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made. At first I was worried that I’d be left out and people would think I was a cop out for not moving away, but home has definitely been the best place for me.
Don’t give a damn about what anyone else is doing, you do you and trust your instincts.
7. Stop being so nice
Now I’m not saying you should stop being nice completely, just stop being so nice to people that don’t deserve it.
In the past I’ve bent over backwards to be nice to people that just weren’t worth it and in the end, I just wound up hurting myself the most.
Know when people aren’t worth your time, cut your losses and move on.
8. Let go of bad feelings
If the time does come to cut your losses and move on, don’t be bitter.
For quite some time I felt rather resentful towards certain people, but at the end of the day it’s just a waste of energy. Having bad feelings isn’t productive. In the long run, it’ll only eat you up and make you feel worse when you’re at your lowest. We can’t be having that now, can we? Just let it all go, no matter how it ended. It’ll be a weight off your shoulders.
9. Try new things
If I hadn’t tried something new I wouldn’t be here now and I damn sure wouldn’t be on the degree I’m doing now either. Go on, try something new – it might just change your life.
10. I’m more creative than I thought
Taking photos, writing and creating my own part of the internet is something I’ve fallen head over heels in love with. Before I started blogging I always thought I wasn’t creative enough to come up with (let alone actually create!) enough content ideas to run a blog, but one year on I’m still going. I am creative, I just didn’t know it.
11. Home really is where the heart is
I’ve always taken this to mean home as a place, where you feel most comfortable, but I’ve come to see it more as where a person/certain people are. Home can most definitely be a person, not just a place.
12. I really need my 8 hours sleep
What can I say, this girl doesn’t function well on less than 8 hours.