So I spent a week in Germany, snowed in at the most wonderful home on the mountains; I didn’t really spend a lot of time online, I just enjoyed the company of others, caught up on some much needed rest, and totally went sledding because I am mentally a child when it comes to snow. Along with most people in the world, I took some time to reflect about what I want, what I want to do or be and my values.
I have changed a lot in the last year. Hell, in the last six months! I learnt when to let things go and when you should stand up for yourself. I learnt I matter, I have value and talent. I learnt who my friends are and what it means to be a good friend. I learnt how to love again, but most importantly, I learnt how to love me. (Lame, but true.)
These are lessons you generally think you would learn before 26, but no, I did not.
Let’s rewind to the beginning of 2014: 2013 had been very bad year for me. I was only just coming out of my depression, felt a bit lost and my trust in people was a little shot making me guarded with others when I shouldn’t have been. I was, however, living more in the moment than working towards anything specific and ready for a bit of a shake up. Not all bad, but not all great either. I wanted to redecorate my room, meet new people and leave behind negative people, which I feel I have successfully done. I genuinely don’t think there is a person in my life who I allow to bring me down any more – and this was the hardest goal to achieve. Basically, I did a ‘spring clean’, but of my life.
And I do think it was great I had all these superficial goals. I guess I figured ‘change my environment and a change within will occur’ and it certainly sparked something. I have some really memorable (and not-so-memorable memorable) days and nights from 2014. I really did have so much fun. I got so blind drunk, followed by the worst hangover of my life, at the beginning of the year that I have never drunk to excess since. It was both mortifying and hilarious, but I learnt the lessons my body was telling me. I decided I did want to travel more! And that I have. Starting with a really great weekend in Berlin where I had fun, despite the below freezing temperatures. I also went to Lausanne, Venice, Ireland, Kent, Bath, Glasgow, and Frankfurt and I aim to go even more places this year!
The biggest change last year was within myself.
I don’t apologise for doing (what I believe is) the right thing anymore, even if it makes others uncomfortable and I do not apologise for my successes now either. I truly believe I am ‘kind of’ good at what I do now and I do not tolerate people being awful or rude to me. In fact, I usually just say “I have to be somewhere else right now”. It saves an argument and I put myself in a better environment. Which ties in with not being in environments where people attempt to cause drama. If I make nothing of it, it won’t be anything. Boom.
I am more honest. I go to people directly and ask them if I feel there is a problem that we need to talk through. Honesty actually works. Shock. Horror. And I try to understand the other perspective or perceptions of things too. I learnt to not care what others think of me from idol hearsay or silly gossip. If a person does not care or respect me enough to even attempt ask me what is going on, even if they don’t agree, well they were never people I should have cared for in the first place. ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ and all that.
Photo credit: Jon Barker
I learnt to trust others again. Not all people want to put you down or see you hurt. Some want to help you grow. These are good people you should feel like you can talk through your problems with, and vice versa, and just be your stupid self around. I made an effort with people I wish to maintain a strong relationship with. I try to remember to text or call if we haven’t spoken in a while or at least reach out when I can to see them. But I also learnt relationships should not be one way and they all need work from time to time.
Lastly I found out a lot about me. I generally gained some goddamn self-worth and stopped building my worth on what ‘others’ thought of me. I make things I enjoy now, I wear whatever I want to wear – recently all the boyfriend jumpers – and do my hair whatever style I want. I also wear minimal makeup unless I feel like wearing more and jazzing myself up, then boom I will. I just think I am more at ease with my face and not needing to hide ‘flaws’, also I realise people are not there judging my face, why would they?!
Photo credit: Philipp Ammon
So for 2015, I am pursuing my goals with more belief in myself than ever. I resolve to learn from how I have been treated in the past and to treat others with kindness. I want to give more compliments and commend people when they have done something awesome. Lord knows, I have had people in my past who have kept me down because they said they enjoyed seeing me fail. Instead, I will endeavour to bring people up and support them on their dreams and goals. Most importantly, I will not take on or care about what others opinions of me are. I will not make their ‘business of me’ my own. The only opinions that matter on that are mine and those close to me, that is good enough for me. And so I will continue to nuture the most important relationship I made this year, the one with myself, as I like my new found self-confidence, self-esteem and worth.
And of course I have actual tangible goals for my work and such in 2015… but that’s for another post.