We're well on our way into January, but I still can't quite shake the feeling of reflection. Reflecting on what 2017 brought with it, both good and bad, and hoping that 2018 is just as good and less as bad, if you catch my drift.
Resolutions wise, you know I love them, but I'm more of a seasonal goal setter, of which you can read the latest of here, aside from continuing with my fitness journey, reading more, giving less of a shit and learning to drive I'm swerving resolutions and focusing on what I learnt from last year and how to put those lessons into play for the year ahead.
I'm feeling a little bit rusty on the ole blogging game right now. I don't know if it's a little bit of self doubt or if 12 days off from work and drinking too much prosecco and eating too much cheese, have turned my brain to mush, most likely a combination of the two, so do bare with me if the posts are few and far between for the next week or two. I'm having trouble thinking of fresh ideas. Perhaps I need a digital detox altogether, or a holiday that will hopefully bring with it "thinking" time that will leave me awash with inspiration and ideas. Or perhaps I just need to not force it. Maybe it's time I just stopped caring, for a week or two and just see how that treats me?
I don't really know what I'm saying.
All I know is that this new year hasn't brought with it the optimism and excitement that previous years have. I'm feeling uninspired, deflated and dare I say it, out of the loop.
But alas, I'm sure this feeling won't last too long and until then, here are some of the key life lessons that 2017 brought with it and how I'm going to tackle them head on throughout 2018 and beyond.
I'm gonna kick off with some key adult life lessons about money, mortgages and accounting. Three words that send my stomach somersaulting at the thought of them.
I've been running my own business, full time for the past three years and I've only just got my head around the accounting side of things. That's even with an accountant carefully trying to explain each and every aspect of it to thicko Ellaby over here. The penny finally dropped in the summer of last year, mainly when I was in the process of purchasing our house. I had no choice really but to understand what the heck was going on with my money, so I set up countless meetings with my accountants, financial advisor and after some dumbed down explanations from mine and George's parents I FINALLY got to grips with the whole thing.
And alas I feel a lot more stable because of it and in-turn much more grown up and put together of sorts.
The real life lesson of this, and something for you to think about if you're not quite grasping it yet is don't push it and certainly don't beat yourself up about it the way I did. The lightbulb moment will happen and you'll finally pull your adult socks up and be ready to make the next move in business or in life, just give it time.
Despite what I thought I knew about myself I've learnt this year that I actually really bloody enjoy exercise. Since taking the plunge and finally booking that all important first personal training session I've learnt SO much about myself and my body. I've learnt that it really is true what they say about exercise and endorphins, who'd have thought it hey? That thing I was adamant was a myth, is in-fact very true indeed and I leave the gym feeling SO good about life, work and about myself. I want to continue feeling this way so will vouch to stick with Kaif, my wonderful personal trainer and see just what my body is capable of. I'm determined to have this summer as the summer where I don't feel self conscious, I want to feel great and I want to love myself and what I see looking back at me in the mirror.
Last year I was really let down by someone I loved. They were a big part of my life for some time and they let me down big time. I felt like my heart was broken and to be honest, it kind of still is.
As sad as it is that, that particular friendship broke down, it taught me a lot about myself as a person, as a friend and as a business woman. It taught me not to trust people as easily and as fully as I do. I've had this problem throughout my life but it's only now, at twenty five years old that I'm able to realise that something needs to change. I'm trusting and I'm loyal by nature, but this was the final straw. This kind of betrayal and greed was enough to make me realise that I needed to alter a little bit. Not fully. Just a little bit to make myself tougher and a better woman overall.
I've learnt that sadly, people let you down. Even those you love and trust the most in life. So in order to not let the same heartaches happen twice over, I've learnt to be more of a closed-book for a little longer, to keep my cards close to my chest and to not rely on others. It's taught me to be more self sufficient, something I have been for the past five years since I set this little blog up by myself and it's something I will continue to do so with even more gusto from here on out.
Another personality lesson I learnt last year is that it's actually alright to be an awkward person.
For all of my adult life I've spent countless hours fretting over the fact that I feel awkward amongst crowds. That I feel as if my personality is swallowed up whenever I meet someone who is self assured and loud, and as if everyone around me has noticed this and in-turn thinks I'm weird or even worse... Rude.
I've learnt that you know what, this is just me and it's actually what makes me the person I am. I'm a little awkward and sometimes quiet, but once I'm comfortable I'm fun, loving and a hoot to be around, if I do say so myself.
I'm using this little bit of realisation to love myself a little more, to give myself the credit I deserve and to not be so damn hard on myself. I met some incredible ladies last year who are always unapologetically themselves, flaws and all, and I totally admired them for it. I took a leaf out of their books having left their company feeling inspired and promised myself to always be myself, awkwardness and all, 'cause thats just who I am and those who matter in life will love me for it.
Unfortunately last year I realised that the online world is cruel.
As I've mentioned, I've spent the past 5 years online and have been lucky enough to be spared any kind of online hate; that is until 2017. I guess it's through growing on YouTube and I suppose in general online that unfortunately trolls come out of the woodwork, but it doesn't mean it is an easy pill to swallow.
I was bullied as a teenager, so any form of criticism whether that be personality traits, the way I look (yeah I said it), or something about my life, cuts like a knife and really, truly upsets me.
It pains me that because we have found ourselves in a career that involves us sharing online, that some people automatically feel that it's okay to be cruel to us. It's something I'm praying will change in 2018 as more people stand up to these trolls, the way Lydia Millen did late last year, I was so proud of her that day for standing up for herself in the composed way that she did.
However, despite realising that the online world is cruel, I also learnt that I am getting stronger. The more words you read about yourself online and the more you talk it through with people who know and love you, the more you realise how ridiculous it all is. The things they say are often completely fabricated and down right hilarious, so why should I get upset about them anymore?
I'm becoming a tough old cookie in my old age and I'm really rather enjoying it!
And finally I learnt what a fabulous platform I have here online. 2017 allowed me to meet SO many of you and allowed me to do my bit to give back to my community through my charity sale. It's a powerful thing to be able to give back and I've learnt how wonderful it is to use my platform to do some good. It's taught me to do more and to do good, always. I'm hoping to come back this year with another charity clothes sale and hopefully some other bits and pieces to use the platforms I have built online to give something back and to do some good to help in anyway I can, plus it's always SO wonderful to meet you lovely bunch!
Just a few life lessons that 2017 brought with it.
It felt good to write that down I must admit. Some of those things I've been itching to talk about for some time so I'm somewhat relieved to have gotten them off my chest. And whilst I'm still feeling a little apprehensive about the year ahead, I think thats okay. It's okay to not be confident with your abilities all the time, to not feel inspired all the time because what comes out the other side is often way better anyway. It's how we get over these mini hurdles that's the important thing.
I'd love to hear about your life lesson(s) of the past year, so please, if you like, share them in the comments below.
Thanks, as always for reading. It truly means the world.