A year of transformation...
As the nights begin to draw in, the days get shorter and shorter, and the outside transforms into a flurry of bitterly cold air that somehow you never quite get used to… the world tells me that’s my cue to begin my reflections of the last year.
Every winter leaves me feeling the same. As fresh hopes and dreams for the unknowns of a brand new year start to fester in the peripherals of my life, my soul begins to yearn for the year that is coming to an end, for all the wonderful and gut-wrenching things that have happened, and for all the people we will leave behind.
December is always a month coloured with contrasting emotions for me. The turn of the New Year signals a time to evaluate the chapter that is ending and ponder over your goals for the next twelve months.
On New Year’s Eve 2018, I vividly remember waking up accompanied by the most overwhelming feelings of fear, for what I had already labelled before it had begun, as the biggest year of my life. The year where everything would change and true, adult life would commence.
I believe the older you become, the higher significance you place on the idea of a New Year… or at least this has been the case for me. It’s not just a ‘new’ year, it’s a new opportunity. It’s a second chance. It’s the prospect of change and transformation. It’s the idea that something better is waiting and that this time, it’s going to be different. It’s the hope connected to a year yet to be written, that you are in control of and haven’t yet tarnished.
2019 has been one of the most truly transformative years of my life. I completed my degree, stepped onto the career ladder, started learning to drive, and gained financial independence… If you had told me three years ago that I’d get to this point, having achieved the things I have, feeling how I do right now, I would have never dared to believe it.
The physical achievements are one thing and whist I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, they absolutely pale in comparison to the transformation that both my mind set and outlook have undergone in the last twelve months…
Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to tell people that I did well in my degree and that I’m in a job that I really enjoy and the polite congratulations that come along with it… but what I love more is how I’ve managed to end this chapter of my life feeling.
Proud. Self-assure. In control. Content. Confident. Truly happy.
The biggest year of my life began with fear and ended with the realest, most pure sense of self-love, I believe I have ever allowed myself to feel. So forget my achievements for a moment. Congratulate me on the smile on my face and the stability of my life.
I now realise that my goals of finishing university, learning to drive and starting my career weren’t my most important goals for the year after all.
Instead it was the last on my list that I can proudly say is well and truly my greatest success of the last year…
“To have more happy days than sad days.” I did it.
It's been a minute...
When a study break turns into a full-blown, three month hiatus
I always knew this year was going to be a crazy one. The crippling anxiety that plagued me at the start of the year was fuelled by my inner monologue, constantly reminding me that milestones were coming. I have hands down never been so apprehensive for days to pass and change to happen, but they did and it did and I have lived to tell the tale.
Fast forward 5 months and here we are:
Blog award = WON
Dissertation = WRITTEN
University = FINISHED
Graduate job = STARTED
How has this happened? And all so seamlessly? That's not to say it was easy - there was so many late nights, sad nights, stressful days, days so full of self-doubt that I didn't for one second think I'd be sat here writing this right now. But I am. And I feel so privileged to be doing my thing.
I count my blessings everyday that I'm happy and healthy and have the greatest support network there is around me, encouraging me to always do my best and be my best.
A quote from my favourite book, The Five People You Will Meet In Heaven, perfectly sums up my feelings towards this transition:
"All endings are also beginnings, we just don't know it at the time."
So, as I say farewell to the last 3 years of my life, I say hello to the next chapter and all the unknown possibilities it holds. Here's to seizing opportunities and being my best self!