‘I want to thank each and every one of you for being here’
What can I say about you? You’ve been unexpected to say the very least.
You have been my worst enemy BUT you’re the year in which I have gained myself back.
You have stripped away some of the things I enjoy the most BUT made me find joy in the smallest places.
You have caused me down and anxious times BUT have created some cherished memories.
I have seen posts on social media stating that 2020 was the year that we were given to slow down, reflect and work on ourselves; I don’t feel entirely comfortable with this as for some people lockdown has not been full of cosy nights and Netflix. ‘Stay at home, stay safe’ is sadly not a reality for many and as the saying goes, we may be in the same storm BUT we are NOT in the same boat, so it is important to remember and respect that.
This year I have; missed out on celebrating my 30th, longed for travel and holidays, drifted away from people that I was previously close to, not been able to see friends as often as I would like and mourned my previously taken for granted freedom to do what I want, when I want. However, I have also; practiced self care more than ever, learned to love myself and be proud of the person I am, met my boyfriend that I’m so grateful for, started my Instagram account and blog and learned who and what is important to me.
I was already on my journey of recovery from depression since last year when I reached my lowest point and finally accepted that I needed support. The pandemic was not the catalyst for my self-growth, and it has made the road harder in some ways, yet easier in others. On the days when I have struggled since March, I needed connection and my usual routine which lockdown did not allow for. However, it also provided me with the opportunity to write again and focus on how to influence my actions and handle my emotions and feelings more than ever.
Do I feel thankful for lockdown? The answer is no, as I would love nothing more than my normal life back BUT I can see some goodness amongst the bad.
It can be so hard to see light within darkness; when we experience hardships, the last thing we need to hear is ‘everything happens for a reason’ but once the dust settles, it can help to reflect on these times and if we can, see them as learning experiences. Life hands us times that are cruel and unfair but as we make it through, they shape us and often teach us valuable lessons. I watched a TED talk recently on resilience and it blew me away; the speaker talks about everyday tools that we can adopt to make it through the tough times and one thing she spoke about was asking ourselves, ‘will this harm or help me?’ It stuck with me as at points during this year it could be so easy and justified to stay overwhelmed by the negatives but our response to these situations will either help us or make us feel worse. That’s why being mindful and in control of our behaviour is so important as the power to make it through our struggles lies within us. Yes, it is important to ask for help if we need it, but I have also learned that I must take the time to nurture and look after myself in order to grow and adapt.
I don’t want to list all the things that have helped me this year or every lesson I have learned as all of us are on our unique journey but I want to share with you some takeaways that I will undoubtedly hold onto as 2020 draws to a close:
Loving ourselves should be at the top of our to-do list
All struggles are valid and we don’t need to justify our pain, just as we wouldn’t measure our happiness
You can’t find true happiness externally until you work on the internal
Not everyone will like or appreciate us and that’s more than okay
Good things can unexpectedly fall apart but more often than not, better things will replace them
Do you have any lessons that you want to share from this year? What have you done or practiced that you want to carry into the new year?
I’m making a promise to myself to:
Continue to write as it’s therapeutic for me
Spend money on experiences more than things
Focus on my health, both physical and mental
Do some things for the first time
I don’t want to call these resolutions as how many times do we say that we will do X, Y and Z only to find that within a couple of months, our good intentions have fallen by the wayside? In the past I have felt self-imposed pressure to stick to the unrealistic goals that I set myself and it’s exhausting; I therefore want to make these promises to myself instead as I deserve to prioritise things that will benefit my wellbeing and make me happy (and so do you!) Have you got any promises you want to make to yourself? If so, I’d love to hear in the comments below!
I want to thank each and every one of you for being here on my blog/Instagram account; this online community has honestly been one of the best things to come out of this year and has reinforced the power of connection and shared experiences. I don’t want to get all cheesy and cliched, but I want this to be your reminder (and mine) that we did fucking amazing this year and we deserve all the good things that are coming our way.
See you in 2021. Big love.