Earlier this week, I spotted a post over on the lovely Pouting in Heels blog about her reflections on 2014, along with a call for fellow bloggers to share what’s been happening in their world as part of the All About You link party. This year has been a real transitional year for me and I’ve learned a fair few things, so I thought I’d share my reflections from 2014 here (plus, it’s a good excuse to blog more – my super early ‘New Year’s resolution’, as such, is to breathe more life into this little blog!)
Here are a few things I’ve discovered this year:
Living alone is not that scary after all
It’s really not. In fact, I’ve really enjoyed having my own space since I moved into a little place of my own just over a year ago. I’d always been quite terrified – seriously – about the thought of living alone. Who would I talk to when I got home? Could I cope financially? Would I just go crazy with no one but little old me for company?! Just over a year ago, I took the plunge and rented a place on my own after my relationship ended – it was that or move home to my parents and, at nearly 30, I really didn’t want to have to do that. The first few weeks were filled with tears and repeated asking of the question ‘WHY?!’ Slowly but surely, however, I realised it was actually nice to come home to my own space. I realised that I was really glad that I wasn’t living in a shared house situation after a few years of living with a partner (which is a different dynamic altogether), like I had done in my early twenties. Whilst living with friends can be ace, it was really nice to come home from work and not wait for a slot in the kitchen or living room whilst a housemate cooked their tea or watched a TV programme. Of course, I now have my little housemate Theo, who comes with his own quirks (demanding food, waking me up in the night for cuddles and, as he is doing at the moment, eyeing up the Christmas tree) but he’s the loveliest housemate I could wish for!
It can take longer to get from A to B than you think
When you’ve felt stuck in a certain part of your life for so long, you can feel so eager, and desperate at times, to move things forward in life and move on to a happier place. After making massive changes in my life over the course of the past 12 months, I’ve been so keen to feel ‘moved on’, to feel changed for the better and I’ve felt downright frustrated and impatient when the realisation has hit me – repeatedly – that you cannot just flick a switch and move from A to B in your life. As the saying goes, ‘Never give up. Great things take time.’ I’m beginning to get this now.
You can’t control other people’s actions and behaviours, but you can control your reaction to them
This one I’m still working on a little. One or two things have happened this year that have been unexpected and whilst I’m fully aware and accepting of the fact that people will always do what they want to do, I’ve really let myself get upset on a few occasions this year, when I’ve felt at my most vulnerable, about things that people have said or done. Chances are, they’ve not been aware of how I’ve felt but when I just don’t ‘get’ why someone in my life has said or done something, I can really internalise this and ‘stew’ on it. I’m fast realising that the only person who is getting hurt here is me. Sure, if someone close to me has done something that I genuinely think is quite hurtful then I have a right to express that emotion. But the thing is, you can’t always predict what other people are going to do, so unless it’s something really hurtful they’ve done towards you, then it’s not worth beating yourself up over. Plus, everyone is dealing with their own thing, so it’s worth questioning why they are behaving, or have behaved, in the way they have – they might actually need some support from you.
Turning 30 is really ok
I hit the big 3 – 0 in June and like I’m sure a few people have felt, I was pretty apprehensive in the run up to it. Scared of leaving my twenties behind, also a little scared of where I was at in my life as I approached the milestone. Shouldn’t I have, or be on the track towards, marriage and kids at this age? Well actually no, I’m living my life in the best way I can, in a way that feels right for me. Here comes another saying: ‘You are right where you are meant to be.’
Hang on to your loved ones
Don’t take them for granted. Their love and support is priceless through tricky times and it brings a lot of joy, and brings you closer together, when you can return that support. I’ve learned to appreciate the special people in my life this year. I’ve also learned that just because you don’t hear from some friends very often, it doesn’t mean you’re not in their thoughts and vice versa. Sometimes life just gets in the way, which is why you don’t often hear from some people, so reach out more to those you care about.
The only person who stops you from feeling amazing is YOU
Again, I’m still learning on this one. At times, I can beat myself up incredibly about all the things I’m NOT doing. It’s tiring when I’m having this internal battle and, again, I’m the only one who’s suffering. Self-awareness and growth is good, really good, but ruminating too much on your supposed failings is damaging. I’m now trying to be more kind to myself, think about all the good things I AM doing. So, the final saying I’m sharing is: