This New Year I have fully embraced the cliché of a good old fresh start. I am so happy to be sweeping out those cobwebs and find a new beginning. I don’t really want to say that I’m happy that 2018 is over, that brings with it the idea that I had a bad! year. It wasn’t that bad really, but I am still glad to see it gone. The reason for this is that 2018 was massively overwhelming. I felt so much pressure throughout and it is the nicest feeling to start a new year without a deadline looming over my head. There are plenty of other self-made deadlines, but nothing that’s going to either make or break my actual future career, which is a pleasant change.
2018 left me completely exhausted. So many things, both good and bad, were condensed into a relatively short period of time, and yet I still felt like nothing moved forward. The big change of the year was obviously graduating from university. I am so proud of this achievement, especially as for a while it seemed so unattainable. Even so, while many of my friends and peers have gone on to begin incredible careers, it was somewhat anti-climatic for me. I felt like everybody around me was either travelling or kickstarting amazing jobs and I was still stuck at home feeling sorry for myself. I am excited to escape this rut and fully begin my own journey. I know that 2019 is going to bring positive change. I don’t want to tempt fate but I truly believe that this year has big things in store. It feels so good to start a fresh year knowing I could do whatever I want.
Unfortunately, 2018 also brought with it a series of saddening losses that have affected both my family and friends. These bereavements have demonstrated to me how strong and resilient the people I love can be, and whilst looking back makes me sad, it also makes me proud. I hope 2019 will be slightly less cruel to us. Having said this, we did have a whole extra year with our family dog, Sweep. He wasn’t expected to see it past Christmas 2017, and while he’s the biggest, dopiest, blind, deaf, baby – somehow a Christmas miracle pulled through and he’s still happy and with us today.
I am proud to say that I went through a lot of personal growth last year. 2017 was a terrible year for my mental health and therefore my physical health, grades and personal relationships. I’d like to think that I had a Sweep-like miracle and have started to pull it back. I think I owe a lot of this development to bullet journaling, which I know sounds dumb but I really believe it helped me a lot. I expressed my thoughts about how this method of organisation has helped me mentally in a previous blog post. I forced myself into this habit and the difference it has made is phenomenal. I am so happy to be able to say that the dark periods are growing fewer and fewer, and that for the first time in a long time, I can see things clearly and positively.
After realising how good bullet journaling was for me last year, I picked up new interests during the summer as a way to distract myself from everyone around me catapulting themselves into their futures. I started doing yoga as a way of managing my anxiety. Straight away I kind of just knew that this was what I’d been missing in my life. It keeps me grounded but also encourages me to keep on pushing myself and improving on my abilities. I used to go to the gym in Cardiff and this was great when I’d fully got into it and had a decent session. But, the stress it caused before I even got there (in terms of how busy it was or if I’d bump into anyone I knew), stopped me from going too many times. In comparison I get excited to get my yoga mat out in the living room, and my goal this year is to start going to classes, but I’ll do it at my own pace. I also embroidered a couple of t-shirts and I’m keen to broaden my creative outlet. I find this so therapeutic and the people who have received my creations seem to love them, so watch this space.
I have given myself so many more realistic goals this year and I am genuinely enthusiastic to get started on them. ‘Care Less’ is one of the main ones. Not about people, but about petty things that drag me down. I don’t need that drama and gossip in my life, and I know it never makes me happy. I hope January 2020 will find me full of joy and pride for 2019. I know that this year is going to hold the big turning point in my life and it both thrills and scares me. I will look back on most of 2018 with fondness, but I am very ready to move onwards and upwards with vast amounts of positivity. Here’s to new adventures and big beginnings.