this time last year i made a decision that now looking back altered the course of my life. entering my late 20s i was combusting – filled with ambition, quietly pining away at ‘it’ internally – struggling with what to do about it. i knew at the time that it would have to do with making decisions for myself, about myself. putting that ‘self’ before others and other things is something i was never good at doing.
because i was afraid of hurting someone and felt ashamed with being perceived as being selfish. wallowing in my own unhappiness and self pity i realized that i was cheating myself out of truly living life the ways i had always dreamed about: achievements that i wanted to work towards, fulfilling even. then, this time last year two weekends changed that – inspired me to find the strength and break away. it came with hard choices – ending a relationship with a person that i had admired but didn’t love in the way he deserved to be loved. secondly, deciding to leave behind a path i had been comfortably traveling although not reflective of the person i wanted to be. i have read since that your 20s are your formative years so at this time last year i acknowledged for the first time who it was that i was spring to be and from the striking embrace of a couple of friends who had been at similar crossroads, reached within and put myself first whilst promising not to lose perspective of the people or interests in my life that inspire me.
a year later i am on the cusp of where i want to be. it came with heartbreak, homesickness, uncertainty and financial stress but small prices to pay for an internal peace of mind. indeed, i am still far away from achieving my dreams but at least now i have a great sense of clarity and confidence. i am adamantly determined to seek things that are good for me while remaining loyal and committed to the love of my life – friends, family and caring for others. of course i will continue to grow and be influenced by my surrounding environment, experiences will mature me, failure will strengthen me, challenges will harden me and reflection will enlighten me. all of these things though will continue to propel me forward, unraveling life along the way.
i am still learning that putting myself first doesn’t necessarily make me selfish. all i can hope is that it makes me more honest and aware of what it takes to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
365 days of ‘self discovery’ definitely doesn’t make me an expert on life nor does it make me anymore unique than everyone else in this crazy world who is trying to make sense of it all. but i do believe that it has made me more humble, providing me with a sense of ease and comfort that my life is shaping in a direction that started to form as a little girl – somewhat planned, somewhat unknown and somewhat adventurous. and whether in a year or 20 years from now i will not lose sight of what i have learned since that cold day last november when i admitted to myself “i can’t do this anymore”. and that lesson is this: work towards loving yourself – your qualities, your talents, your virtues first and then embrace everything (both good and bad) else that naturally falls into place.
is this a profound revelation? not too sure but something tells me i still have a long way to go and a whole lot to learn, which is ok because i wouldn’t want it any other way.
so….in the last year i have:
- took a leap of faith for a boy only to not have feeling reciprocated but instead fell in love with myself
- achieved a profession goal – a professional accreditation in fundraising
- reduced my stress level by realizing that i can’t control every moment in life
- started truly valuing the gift of friendship
- realized my sisters are the loves of my life
- take time to enjoy coffee, a good meal an music
- delved back into writing honestly
- let myself sleep in when my mind and body needs rest
- discovered that the kitchen is the greatest room in the house
- thrown out material waster and enjoying owning just a few of m favourite things
- that a couple of beer and laughter is all you need for a good time
- that running and good health keep me sane
- and that being far away from everything i hold dear has truly taught me the art of appreciation