Now that Christmas has been and gone, I always get a bit reflective of the year that’s been and it’s fair to say, it’s been quite the year. 2015 has had its highs and its lows: I’ve bought a house; I’ve quit a job and gained a new one; I’ve reunited with old friends and made brand new ones. I started this blog. I’ve been a busy bee.
In the past 300 or so days, I’ve learnt an awful lot not just about life but about myself as a person. I turned 26 this year and it’s been a huge turning point for me. Whilst I can’t wait for next year and to see what it will bring, here are some reflections on the year that was and some important lessons I’ve learnt…
Quitting a job is hard but amazing
After three years of working in London, this year was the year to quit. I hated the commute and had started to plateau but did love the opportunities the role itself gave me. Quitting, therefore, was not an easy decision. It took weeks to get the courage but quitting was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s opened new doors, introduced me to new people and most importantly, given me that work/life balance that I was so desperate for.
True friends are there no matter what
The past 12 months has brought with it it’s fair share of lows and in those times, you really learn who your true friends are. I’m very lucky to still be close with my best girlfriends from school and although we don’t meet as regularly anymore, when we do get together, it’s like no time has passed. True friends are people that you are 100% yourself around, people that make you laugh, people that you can turn to even in the darkest of days. My girls are the best.
It doesn’t matter what people think
I’m still working on this lesson but I’m getting there. To be completely carefree and ignorant to what people think of you is a dream state. I’m well aware that I’m far too preoccupied with what others think most of the time and it’s not a quality that I’m proud of. But slowly and surely, one day, I will only care about what I think of myself, not others.
A good day is defined by small achievements
I have a tendency to get hugely anxious about certain things in life and it’s something I’ve been working on this year. What it has taught me the most is that it’s the small achievements in a day that are the most rewarding. Like travelling on public transport or going somewhere new. I try hard these days to note down the small things I’ve achieved in a day so that I can truly relish them.
It’s OK to feel down
On a similar vein, whilst it’s important to celebrate your achievements in life and feel positive, feeling down is OK too. Sometimes, we try and fight “down days” because we don’t want to feel like a failure or like we’re lazy. But there are days when all you need to do is snuggle up under a blanket, watch Netflix and eat chocolate. And that’s OK. It’s just one day and you deserve to wallow every now and then.
Buying a house is expensive
Toby and I bought our first house this year and it’s been an amazing six months. Saying home-owning is expensive probably sounds obvious but I don’t just mean the bricks and mortar; I mean the “stuff” that goes into it. Homebase has taken a lot of our hard-earned money this year but it’s been totally worth it.
My boyfriend is the best
I’ve known this about Toby for years (we’ve been in each others lives since we were 13) but this year has solidified the fact that I really do have quite an amazing boyfriend. He’s thoughtful, caring, funny and completely genuine. He’s my best friend and I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring us.
Life is short
This year, a friend of mine lost someone extremely close to them and it’s highlighted to me just how short and precious life is. It’s so important to tell those around you that you love them and to make the most of our time on this planet. No one knows what will happen tomorrow so we have to make today count.
Hard work pays off
This year, I think I’ve worked the hardest I’ve ever worked. I worked hard to get a new job; I worked hard to impress in my new job; I worked hard to start this blog and I’ve worked hard to manage my anxieties. All of that work has started to pay off and I can now see what the phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ means. We have bills to pay, aspirations to fulfil and relationships to maintain and none of that can be done without some graft.
I think 2016 is going to be a great year for me – I’m already feeling determined to make changes, big and small, and positive for what results that might bring. I hope you’ve had a great 2015 – let me know what lessons you’ve learned in the past year in the comments! xo