Giving thanks for the lessons of 2018

This time last year, I was in a very different place. I was still fighting depression and anxiety on a daily basis, while I kept a smile on to the world, trying to convince everyone that all was OK. I felt like it should be ok by that point. But the truth was I was really low. As 2018 began, I embraced the guiding word I choose, SURRENDER, and let myself trust in the process. I stopped fighting against how I was feeling, and instead did what I could to work with them.

Looking back, I feel like an entirely different person to the one that entered this year, feeling unsure of herself and what life would bring. It has been one hell of a year, not at all one that I expected to be living, but as 2018 draws to a close, I am feeling thankful for all that life has taught me and given me this year. It’s been a year of highs and lows, of losing myself entirely, letting myself be drawn into something that wasn’t what it seemed. But it’s also been a year of self-realisation, of finding myself again, of realising how strong I am, that I am not prepared to sacrifice myself for anybody. I’ve found that I know what I want and don’t want out of life, that I am no longer willing to put up with others unacceptable behaviour, no matter what that means.

I am definitely less naive than I was a year ago, I’ve learned so much, not just about myself but about other people. The me of a year ago was desperate to be loved. Desperate to be wanted by somebody. I felt inadequate, like I was only a half of a whole, that I needed someone to complete me. This meant that I allowed myself to overlook so many warning signs, that I bit my tongue, and made myself be quiet and meek, easily molded and forgot my values. I forgot to keep speaking my truths.

The last couple of months of the year have seen me, slowly, making a stand for myself. Finding my voice again, acknowledging that not being true to myself was killing me. Finding myself crippled again with anxiety and depression, that I tried to put down to early pregnancy hormones, was, in fact, a wake-up call that I wasn’t being honest with myself. It’s taken a while, a lot of soul-searching, many, many tears and some long conversations with friends to start to put things back on track.

The old me would have beaten herself up for allowing herself to be so wrong, but this me? I see the beauty in the lesson. I have learned so much in the last six months and it has opened my eyes and heart to what is really important to me. It’s shown me patterns that need breaking, and issues that need resolving. I am so much stronger going into 2019, the lessons from the past couple of years have shaped me into someone who knows what she wants, and isn’t prepared to settle for second best.

At the start of last year, I wrote a list of goals for the year. Looking back now over the list, there have been some I have kept, some I have failed at, some just stopped being relevant.

The learning to drive thing still hasn’t happened. To be honest, this one is really bugging me. I think deep down, I have a fear that I won’t be able to do it, and that stops me from moving forward with this goal. I find a tonne of excuses as to why I haven’t started – lack of time, lack of money, etc but ultimately it comes down to a lack of confidence.

The exercise-related goals {run a 5k, daily plank challenge, work through #BBG} stopped being so important to me. I still work out, just no so obsessively. I practice yoga most days, and still try and hop on the cross trainer a couple of times a week. But it doesn’t rule my life in the way in did a year ago. There is more balance now – exercise is still important to me, it’s just not the be all and end all now.

I’ve kept a {almost} daily gratitude journal all year, and it makes such a huge difference I’ve stepped waaaay out of my comfort zone many times, as well as said YES more. I totally smashed my goal of reading 12 fiction books – I’ve lost count, but it’s probably closer to 50 books I have read!

It’s been a pretty good year, lots of unexpected things happening {hello baby!}, lots of lessons learned, lots of fun had. I’m definitely coming out of it stronger than ever, and ready to face whatever 2019 throws my way ♥

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