Reflecting on 2018, Patting Myself on the Back and Expecting the Unexpected

People, kids, humans, guys and gals, we did it, we made it through 2018. Hurrah.

What a year it was, hey?!

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It’s impossible not to feel reflective when the clock strikes 12, the bottles pop and the fireworks explode on the last day of the year.

It’s true, looking back over the year isn’t easy for me; it’s been one of the bumpiest journeys to date and I couldn’t be further from where I thought I’d be.

Having said that, and despite all the pot holes, scratches and turns in the road, I’m still proud of where, who and what I am right now.

As a Brit and a girl, it’s easy to feel like shouting about your achievements is just showing off, but why the heck shouldn’t we? Looking back is all part of moving forward in my opinion, so what have I learnt and what have I achieved this year?

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I Learnt to Enjoy Life 

The biggest lesson so far (and one I’m still struggling with) is learning to enjoy life. While working for myself can be stressful and hard to juggle at times, having the freedom to start and finish when I want, the freedom to take a holiday when I want and the freedom to choose my days off is an absolute luxury. For a long time I beat myself up about this, I’d conditioned myself to belive work should be painful and miserable and when it wasn’t I worried I wasn’t working hard enough. Which was not the case!

I Took my Career into my Own Hands 

At the beginning of 2018, after five years of writing for free, I was desperate to get paid for putting words onto the screen and I was determined for 2018 to be the year it happened. After pitching to hundreds of different publications and thousands of editors, I finally started to get paid for my work. Amazing!

I Got Published on the Huffington Post

The end of summer was a particularly difficult time for me this year and when my mental health issues really came to a head, but despite this I still managed to have not one but TWO articles published on the Huffington Post website. This was one of my proudest moments and a huge highlight of 2018.

I Swerved Binge Drinking

For years I’d toyed with the idea of being alcohol-free and after my summer of hell, I decided it was time to give booze the elbow. Although I haven’t stopped drinking completley because, well, mulled wine, I have stopped binge drinking. I didn’t set myself any unrealistic goals, I didn’t swear I wouldn’t drink a drop ever again, I just wanted to see how it went and yeah, I’m going to continue to see how it goes. So far so good.

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I Walked the Walk and Talked the Talk 

When I went freelance this year I had no paid writing work (don’t try this at home); I was pitching, writing my blog and dog sitting to make ends meet, but I told people I was a freelance writer/blogger and slowly that’s what I became. I do believe if I’d been coy about this, I wouldn’t have got as far as I have. You have to believe in yourself.

I Ghosted Diet Culture

The ‘Don’t Salt My Game’ podcast has been my absolute saving grace this year. I’ve been on a ‘diet’ since I was about 12-years-old. Desperately punishing my body, restricting food, counting calories and over-exercising in order to obtain my ‘dream figure’. It’s safe to say, despite all my efforts, it never worked and I was never happy. Listening to this podcast gave me the courage to drop out from diet-culture, to trust my cravings, get in touch with hunger and realise what I eat or don’t eat, doesn’t equal my worth. It’s not always easy and I still have days when I feel fat, wish I could get into ‘those jeans’ and had legs like ‘her’, but I keep pushing. It feels unbelievable to say finally, after 16 years, I’M NOT ON A DIET and I want to keep it that way.

I Broke up with Foundation

No, I definitely don’t think I’m the best looking person on the planet, nor do I think I have the best skin, but I do know I’m pretty lucky when it comes to my complexion. Still, I was terrified of going anywhere without lashings of foundation on my face. It wasn’t until a colleague said I looked better without it I decided to go foundation-free and honestly, I haven’t looked back; I take pictures, I go to big events and even nights out without it. I’ve broken up with the bitch and all I can really say is thank you, next.

So What’s Happenin’, 2019?

As the title suggests the main thing I’ve learnt from this year is to expect the unexpected. So much can and will happen in a year, I hope I can continue working hard, spending time with the people I love and taking care of my mind and my body in a way I wouldn’t have done if 2018 hadn’t panned out like it did – I’m so f****n’ grateful for 2018.

 

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