It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was writing my ‘Lessons Learned in 2016’ post, but wow that was really a year ago now! At the risk of repeating myself, where the hell did that year go?! I was sceptical about writing a reflective post this year – mainly because I feel like i’ve done a heap of reflecting on the blog these last few months as it is. But, as you know, I love a deep post, so was I really gonna let this opportunity pass me by? Hell to the no.
So much has changed from where I was at this time last year , but yet, I somehow feel a real sense of familiarity too. This time last year I had just gotten into my first healthy, adult relationship after 3 years spent chasing a very unhealthy one. I was loved up as hell and reflecting on how far i’d come in letting go of the negative relationship I’d been holding onto. I was finally ‘together’ and emotionally stable – it’s safe to say my ego was feeling pretty bougee.
A year on, I’m single again and navigating the ups and down of adjusting to this change. If i’m honest, there have been moments where I’ve felt like this means I’ve gone backwards. Last year I was spending Christmas with my then other half and all of my family, I had everyone I loved in one room and was truly content. It felt like i’d grown up so quickly and suddenly arrived into my domestic adult life. Now I’m back living the single life of a girl in her 20’s again. At a time when my friends are all thriving in long term relationships, getting mortgages and moving in together, sometimes I do feel like I’m missing something.
One thing I’ve learnt this year is that life is an obstacle course. I found happiness last year and naively thought that that was it for me now – no more pain, no more heartache, no more adversity of any kind. Now I realise the importance of these things. I firmly believe that every obstacle that comes our way has a purpose. This year, despite perhaps not being as ‘at peace’ and content as I was last year, I am stronger, I am more independent and I have a stronger sense self. Last year, I needed a hero to come and save me from the toxic spiral I was in… this year, as cringey as it sounds, I’m learning to be my own hero. Every time I go through something that’s difficult or challenging, I grow and learn so much. So in a sense, this time is so much more valuable than the times when everything is perfect.
At the risk of sounding like a 90’s RnB song, with every heartbreak, every bad relationship and every shitty job you experience in your 20’s – you are primed for what’s to come, so when your dream career, dream opportunity or perfect match arrives you’ll see the real value in that and love the shit out of it, not take it for granted.
I’m not a spiritual person but I really do hold the belief that there is a path for me and that what is meant to be, will be. I feel like, despite there being so much love left in that relationship,I found myself to be single again because I still had work to do on me. It was not yet time to take my focus elsewhere. And in this time, I realigned my priorities and found the motivation to push myself with my business.
I feel like in 2017, in finding myself that bit more, i’ve found my blogging voice too. I used to struggle so much to find the words to go with my pictures, whereas now I write for hours and then desperately try to find photos to go with my posts. I’ve accepted that my blogging identity is being a bit of an oversharer, openly discussing the feelings and thoughts that I guess I should be embarrassed to say. And we all know I have a shit load of feelings haha. This has manifested in many different forms from the post where I found over 10 different ways to say noonie as I ran you through my brazillian experience, to open letters like this where I just lay my heart bare.
Finally, I’ve learnt to embrace my feelings and actually feel them. As 2017 draws to a close, I may not be as happy and content as I was last year but that’s okay to say. I’ve realised there’s no shame in being honest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy either, but if you’re always functioning at optimum happiness, you’ll never appreciate the value in that. There is plenty of time for me to have that domestic happy ending , but i’ve realised that the journey to that stage is an adventure and I need to embrace it, not rush it.