Thursday, 13 December 2018

5 Lessons Learned in 2018

The year is winding down and it's time for a little reflection on the past twelve months.

I've learned a lot this year, and I'm going to tell you all about the lessons 2018 has taught me.

Image: Wolf Bear - I believe in the good things coming, today and every day. 

1. I Can Do Anything I Damn Well Please. 

This year has had an overarching lesson above all - I am the master of my own fate. I can do whatever the hell I want and I don't have to justify myself to anyone.

Now, looking at this statement it's fair to say that it could be construed in a negative light, but I don't mean it as such. I'm not just rolling around doing whatever whims take me and I'm certainly not out to hurt anyone with my actions. What I mean is that I CAN move to India. I CAN quit my job and go freelance. I CAN propose to my man. I can do anything. And that lesson is so positive for me.

2. The Only Way Out is Through. 

I will say to almost anyone who asks that I loved my old job. I did. For ages. But then it became a chore. It became repetitive and boring and it eventually began to grate on my mental health. I knew that I couldn't just give up though, and so I persevered and made myself keep going as I searched for a job that would help me pursue my dreams.

I am glad that I kept going, that I openly discussed the issues I had developed with the job with my managers and my friends, and I am so glad that I am pursuing my freelance dreams, because it has only bolstered my opinion that the company I worked for prior to my freelance career are awesome - because they understood my viewpoint and they were there for me until the very last moment.

3. Intentional Living is For Me

India has taught me something about myself that I really never fully focused on: I am far more thoughtful than I ever gave myself credit for. I have learned that living intentionally is far easier and brings a lot of contentment to my life. I am trying to be more thoughtful about how I consume everything (which is bloody difficult in a country like India), and I feel the benefits of it already.

Granted it has only been a couple of months, but I am feeling so much better about my life and my footprint. As I write this I can happily state that I have managed to have an almost zero waste cup of tea in Starbucks - opting for a ceramic cup, not using sugar packets, not putting my teabag on a napkin, asking for a jug of milk instead of a UHT packet and so on.

FYI, I'll be uploading my What's In My Low Impact Bag in the future, so check that out! 

4. Make Gratitude the Attitude

I've always been the type to say thank you to anyone who has ever done something for me, but this year I have been more vocal about it again. From emailing companies who create a product I love and enjoy to expressing to my friends what they mean to me, gratitude is the most wonderful thing we can spread. Telling people that we appreciate them is so important. You have no idea what that small moment of connection and positivity can do for a person's mental health, your smile and positivity can bring real change to the world around you.

I've also been donating to creative projects by creators I love and enjoy where I can, though this is entirely non-essential.

5. Put Down The Tech

A lot of my life is lived online, but I have come to learn and further, enjoy putting my tech down. Making friends with people, learning about the world around me, feeding the street dogs in my locality - all of this has been facilitated by putting my phone down and paying attention to something beyond my screen.

I've been able to come off my antidepressants, I've learned how to mitigate my migraines, how to live more thoughtfully and how to actually be a human. When I do want to take a step away from the world, I don't feel bad - balance is the key, and there's no guilt on the occasions that I do need to block out the world - I'm just not constantly plugged into an electronic device.

So there are some lessons I've learned this year. I hope they were interesting to you and perhaps inspired you for 2019.