Starting a new year fills me with such so much happiness. Hands down 2017 has been the worst year of my life. But in some ways it has been a year that’s taught me the most about life, people and myself. I like to think that this year has changed me for the better. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to see the back of it and I’m definitely going to drink too much prosecco to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived the year…..just about!
It’s hard not to feel reflective when one year ends and a fresh new one starts. 2017 hasn’t been all bad. I graduated, started to learn how to drive, found my love for running again, got a new job (2 in fact lol) and my beautiful niece Orla was born. As much as I don’t want to write about the negatives because that’s not how I want to roll. I will say this. I’ve learnt that life is about being happy and healthy. It sounds cliché and yes I know everyone says it. I mean there’s probably a cheap plaque with this quote on it, being sold in B and M bargains. But I truly know the meaning of this now. There’s been a few times in the past couple of months that have stopped me in my tracks and made me realise how far I’ve come and how life events have changed me.
The first moment was when I was picking my mum up from work. I just blurted out randomly “I didn’t realise it wasn’t normal to not be happy every day.” When I was living at uni with my narcissist boyfriend, I hated waking up. I didn’t want to face the day. I know now that I lived every day for 3 years feeling unhappy and not even finding joy in the most simplest of things, like when your jam comes on at work or eating a family bar of aero to yourself. Now I wake up most days (I’m only human after all, sometimes life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns) buzzing and ready to be sassy with whatever the day brings.
The second realisation was when I started my first new job, which I didn’t particularly enjoy. I had to stand at the reception desk (they wouldn’t let me sit down for the 8.5 hour shift, despite giving them a doctor’s note stating that I had to because of my clots!) and I started getting this achy pain in my chest. I thought to myself “ahh no I must be stressed!” that’s when it dawned on me that I hadn’t felt this pain in a while. But I had suffered from this pain in my chest for the last 6 months of my time at uni. I was solidly stressed with my dissertation and being in a mentally abusive relationship. This meant that the smallest things would make me stressed. Because looking back I wasn’t coping with life very well. I was a shell of myself. Struggling mentally, I felt old before my time and it was like I had a chimp on my back. After that stressed filled shift, I decided to search for another job. Because I didn’t want to sacrifice my health, life is too short to be wasting time doing something that doesn’t make you happy. And you’re only young for a short amount of time, so go out there be yourself and go after what you want. Going for a new job after only 2 months is not like me at all. I’m stubborn and won’t quit anything. I mean take university. I hated that for 3 years, but my pig headedness meant that I finished it and it destroyed me in the process. I really have got a perspective of what really matters. Now I’m in a job that I love and enjoy! In the past quitting or changing my situation I would have thought I was being weak and letting myself down. But changing jobs has given my life more value and happiness.
My next pause for thought came when I was watching old family videos. I was watching me as a 10 year old running and joking. To put it simply I was bonkers and fearless. I was singing and dancing in public all the time! It’s sad as we get older we become more bogged down. I decided to make a promise to myself. Be the person my younger self would want me to be. And although I’m not totally there yet. I feel like I’m becoming that fearless women again.
At the end of October I decided to have a clear out of my phone. I kept getting that annoying message pop up that said I had no storage left! So I transferred all my pictures onto my laptop. I had 500 pictures. Mainly from my birthday night out, nothing beats a snapchat selfie with your best friend! But there was a picture of me taken the week before my dissertation deadline. I actually remember taking it. It was 2am, I had just had a mini breakdown so I thought why not take selfie lol? I honestly looked ill. I’m not brave enough to share this horrific selfie with you. However, I was grey, my eyes purple from lack of sleep. My hair flat and greasier than a family bucket at KFC. When I saw this picture it shook me how ill I looked, that I cried. I couldn’t believe that I could neglect my health and mental wellbeing so much. I was dead behind my eyes. So another promise to myself. Nothing would ever get me that unhappy ever again.
The last moment came on November 15th, it was the day the Victoria Secret store opened in Milton Keynes. And I went up there by myself and spent £150 on new underwear. Why is this significant? Well, because this is when I realised how controlling my ex was. (He didn’t let me spend my OWN hard earned money on myself, or anyone else for that matter, then he would shout at me regularly and ignored me for a few weeks because I had some savings! I simply couldn’t do anything right) So here I was in the most luxurious lingerie shop buying myself £150 worth of the fittest underwear for myself because it makes me feel good about myself (plus I wanted the free tote bag lol). I felt empowered. I can do what I want when I want. I’m in control of my life.
2017 has been a year of lessons and mistakes. But I’ve come through it a stronger and more positive person. I’ll approach 2018 as a new better version of myself. My goals are to be driving my smooth green Fiat 500. Then run a PB in any distance. And in my end of season break jet off to New York (staying at the Hilton of course!) to spend my own money in Nike. 2018 I can’t wait to be sassy with you!