If I think back, year by year, I can identify something that signifies what lesson I learnt in a specific year. It isn’t intentional, but there’s always something that represents what that year meant to us, taught us, gave us. 2017 was about my new job, that in turn, changed my life for the better. 2016 was about overcoming depression and turning my life around. 2015? Finishing university and surviving adult bullying in the workplace. I feel like I’ve come such a long way since 2012 – when I ended a 6-year long bad relationship and met the love of my life. I started university that year – something I never thought I’d do. And since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride through life.
2018 started on a positive. I had finally secured a fantastic job that I love in 2017. My relationship was better than ever, and I was financially stable. I didn’t know what 2018 was to bring as I didn’t envision or plan to make any changes in my life. 2018 was going to be taking it’s own path, and I was just going along for the ride. And it’s been a ride I didn’t see coming.
At the beginning of 2018, I heard the news that an old childhood friend had been brutally murdered by her husband and had left behind 4 young children. I hadn’t seen or spoken to her for probably close to 20 years but I sat in my kitchen and wept for her. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I wondered, if given the chance, she would look back on her life and be happy with her choices and her life when she died and it started me thinking whether I was happy with the choices I had made in my life. If I were to die now, would I be happy with what I had done with my life? And so, I started my blog.
My blog consumed me – I wrote frantically as if I’d never wrote anything before. I had so many ideas and threw myself into building my blog up. It was the one thing that I seemed to be good at and people enjoyed. I made a lot of friends and connections, my social media following grew. I went full-on for a few months until I got busy at work, and I had to cut back and it almost came to a standstill. In the meantime, life outside of the blog went on. And my life did change in ways I didn’t expect this year.
2018 for me was all about friendships – making and breaking. I started this year with a strong but small circle. I thought I had people around me I could trust – people who had been in my life through the toughest times of my life. But I started to see situations differently. Instead of allowing myself to be walked over and treated bad, I started to step back. And I lost friends because of it. They weren’t used to me being assertive and standing up for myself. I got hurt in the process, but not as hurt as I have or would have been if I continued to accept it. People I looked up to as parent-figures, my best friend. They’re not coming into 2019 with me because I refused to let them treat me badly. And I’m better off for it. It started a process that should have started a long time before. And it’s seeping into every part of my life. I’m more assertive at work, with my family, in my relationships. I no longer accept the poor deal. I tell people how I really feel, I question bad decisions.
I reconnected with old friends – friends who had remained in my past for no reason other than our lives didn’t move forward together. I am going into 2019 with the friends I spent my youth with. I haven’t yet decided if they’re all good for me – but most have been a huge welcome back into my life. These are the people I grew up with, who know me better than most and who I can be my complete, weird self around without judgement. Friends like that are hard to find. I realised who my true friends are. People who are there for me no matter what, who treat me how I deserve to be treated and know what being a friend is. It’s better to lose bad friends than to keep people for the sake of having them.
The most consistent part of my life is my relationship. He’s my best friend of them all and life wouldn’t be worth living without him in it because he makes me want to be a better person. He makes me want to work harder for a better life, and to make things happen for me and my happiness – not just ours. And 2018 marked the start of the next chapter in our life – buying our first house. It’s been a dream of ours since we first met, and something that was made possible and found our perfect home. We get the keys in January 2019 making next year the start of a brand new era in our lives and our relationship.
So 2018 wasn’t all bad – it’s was a game-changer. It marked the start of new, big things and the end of things that weren’t good for me anymore. I said goodbye to drama, stress, ‘bad vibes’. 2019, I hope, will be the start of many new and good things in my life. But I don’t put pressure on it, I don’t make resolutions or goals that make me feel inadequate when I don’t meet them. I entered 2018 without any expectations and it was a whirlwind all by itself – and I expect 2019 to be full of events and new beginnings and endings. But that’s what life is all about – the unexpected – weathering the storms and enjoying the sunshine.
Happy New Year to you. x