This essay is more for me than for anyone else, I’ve probably been drafting it for the best part of three months and it has acted as therapy to concisely summarise, sift through the nonsense and accept the lessons this year sent me. If you aren’t into big soul work revelations then by all means skip this one, on the other hand, if you do read it I hope it helps you reflect on your own year and find some clarity in the chaos…
I know I’ll look back, many years from now and remember 2019. I’ll tell stories about how when I was 28 my life changed. That I left a career I’d dreamt of since I was 15 and decided to build something completely new from scratch without any training or qualifications and I said goodbye to a nine year relationship that I thought would be mine forever and in doing so learned even more about love.
I know I’ll remember this as my level up year. A year where I discovered the real value of friendship, where I learned how to show up in my life, when I found my worth. This year taught me to be accountable, to take responsibility, to know the difference between things falling apart and falling into place. It taught me to be brave.
The cliches are all true. You really are stronger than you’ll ever know. Everything does happen for a reason. When doors close others do always open. It is frustrating sometimes how accurate the old tales can be, turns out they are that way for a reason.
It is ok to ask for help. Really.
Heartbreak is horrendous, it is painful and stealthy, it creeps up and washes over you at the most inconvenient of times, but it doesn’t hurt half as much when you accept that that person gave you everything you needed, to learn what you needed to learn, to become the person you need to be.
For me it’s meant embracing and accepting the place that person holds in my heart and appreciating that they are and will always be an essential part of me and my story. I will not throw it away, or deny it’s existence or belittle it’s importance, there’ll be no destroyed photographs or deleted memories instead I accept the grief and the lessons it is here to teach me. I will love him always, and that’s ok.
Working in hospitality is hard in a way like no other industry, respect your waiting staff.
2019 taught me how to be grateful when everything seems to be going wrong. It taught me to be careful for what you ask for, because someone is always listening. It taught me to trust in something bigger than myself, because on the days when none of it seems fair and fear is the strongest emotion you have, believing it is all for a reason, that it is here to help you grow, faith might just be the only thing that can keep your sanity in check.
Breakfast is the best meal of the day. Especially on Fridays
Answers are more likely to come to you staring at the sky than they are working your way through that bottle of gin. Because whether it’s drink, or exercise, art or meditation, you cannot out run your feelings and healing won’t come whilst you try to escape and bury it all. Sometimes you have to be willing to just sit with it, to feel the negatives, accept the space they take up, forgive them and then slowly rebuild. There isn’t shame in sadness. It is ok to be angry.
Tattoos really aren’t as painful as everyone made out.
This year reminded me to surround yourself with people who teach you to dream again, people who don’t tell you how to feel, or how to ‘fix it’, people that accept you in whatever state you show up in, people that always have snacks, and cups of tea, people that get you out of the house. People who don’t ask what you need or wait for your permission but do the things they know are good for you anyway. People that push you, care for you and always reflect back to you the version of yourself that you sometimes cannot see.
There isn’t a lot we can control in this life, only our reactions. And if you stop trying to control everything else and instead focus on responding as often as possible from a place of peace you’ll save yourself a whole lot of energy.
Love is hands down the most simple and complicated emotion we have.
A good dance and a great lipstick fixes a multitude of sins.
2019, I could never, in a million years have seen you coming, you threw more at me than I knew I could handle, but I’m going to end this by saying thank you. Thank you for showing me a new path and a new way, for bringing my attention back to the present, to gratitude and to grace. May this next year be for practising all these lessons, for adventure and love, and hopefully a few less tears.