I didn’t think I would ever get to the end of 2017 and actually be able to say that I have accomplished a lot this year. I didn’t think I would be able to look back on the year and be as proud as I am right now. 2017 has been an honest year of reflection for me.
I started off the year as depressed I was the previous year. I was alone, angry and confused. Nothing made sense to me. The reasons I felt so depressed weren’t clear to me. I always wondered ‘why me?’ why did I have to feel this way. I had so much to be grateful for so why didn’t I feel happy? As the year went on I decided the best way to distract myself from these feelings was by immersing myself into my studies, my blog, the plans I had etc. As long as I had something to look forward to I would be fine.
Things started to look up for me, I sat my exams, joined an amazing business, met people who would inevitably change my life for the better. Then I began my gap year and suddenly I had all this free time. It was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I was able to catch up on my sleep however a curse because I had a lot of time to think. To stop and think of everything I had tried to avoid thinking about. Suddenly I had no choice but to think about everything. It was horrible. I put myself down so much and felt this weight come down on me and crush me. I tried to use my plans to distract me such as when I travelled however I couldn’t escape it this time.
My only relief came when I travelled to Istanbul and Madrid. Even though my thoughts wouldn’t loosen their grip on me i was able to push them down a little so I could focus on the cultures and new places around me. I did enjoy my time and I felt so blessed to be able to travel that much. I remember sitting in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and felt complete and utter peace and unity. It was so overwhelming I felt tears in my eyes.
It wasn’t until I travelled to Cyprus that I was really able to change my thinking to reflecting. Before travelling to Cyprus I remember feeling the lowest I’ve ever felt. I never thought I’d feel that low in my life and there I was sat in my room rethinking everything. Then I went with some family to Cyprus. It truly changed my life. Not because of the place as, although it was beautiful, due to unforeseen circumstances we couldn’t explore as much as would have liked to. No, it changed my life because I found that I was so far away from my problems that the time I had could be used to reflect and really act upon rather than dwell over.
I decided that the only way things would change is if I stepped up and changed myself. I thought about everything I wanted to achieve, all the time I spent sad or angry, the time I could’ve spent positively focusing on myself. I realised how little random people’s opinions meant to me and I truly realised that the only thing that mattered was my own happiness.
At the end of the day we live our own life, no one lives it for us. Why do we spend so much time pleasing other over ourselves? We are so aware today that life is short so why aren’t we living it the way we want to.
I passed my A-Levels, brought myself out of a deep dark place, published a book, finally decided what I wanted to pursue, kept up with my blog etc…
There’s so much for us to be happy about and focus on but unfortunately too many external influences block these things. Spending time alone doing nothing made me realise how I once hung on to every word someone said and for what? Did they thank me for it? No. Did I thank myself for it? No.
2017 became the year I found myself. 2017 became the year I realised that it’s never smooth sailing and we shouldn’t expect it to be that way. As long as we prioritise ourselves and our happiness then we can’t go wrong.
2017 saved me, I wonder what 2018 has in store for me…
(Image – extract from How To Be A Bawse by Lilly Singh – expect a book review coming soon!)