I don’t recall how I felt ringing in this decade. I wasn’t looking 10 years ahead but there is something cleansing about reflecting on the 10 years that have just been. I finished university and graduated, went on a three month European OE where I was proposed to. I have had a wedding and celebrated 8 wedding anniversaries. I have bought a house, and almost completely renovated it, including making it bigger. I have had two miscarriages. I have completed my post-grad. I have had a baby born by emergency cesarean. I became a mother. I have owned two brand new cars. I have had elective surgery. I got glasses. I have traveled and experienced other cultures in awe. I have taught at two schools, teaching well over 400 people. I have jumped off a cliff. I have climbed a mountain. I touched snow for the first time. I have lost friends. I have made friends. I have been challenged. I have celebrated and had more glasses of champagne then I could count. I have cried. I have laughed. I have grieved. I have loved.
I have learned.
I have learned that in life, we will be faced with situations that will test us – they may break us even. We can be pushed us to a place where we can not see the light at the end of the tunnel, where the walls feel like they caving in and we can’t breathe, stifled by our own resistance and self loathing. I have mourned the loss of babies who couldn’t grow in my belly and blamed myself. I have mourned the loss of friendships and blamed myself. I have felt the emptiness of my bank account and blamed myself. I have farewelled people who have left this earth far too soon, and those who lasted a century. I have felt grief so deep, and so raw, that surely my heart has ached enough for one lifetime. But, in life, we do not have control over what happens to us, we can only control how we let it impact us and how we respond. I have learned that when we feel anything, we cannot be silent. Holding on will only make us sick – sick of the mind, sick of the heart, sick in your soul, or even physically – it will eat you alive – you have to let it go by processing your feelings and choosing to look at what is in front of you, and take that step forward. I have learned that whenever we are faced with something bigger than we think we can handle, we can always get through and when we allow it, we come out the other end stronger – we grow, we learn who we are and what is important to us, and we continue to take another step forward. These things do not happen to us, they happen for us.
I have learned how important it is we surround ourselves with the right people; people who will push you to be the best version of you; people who will call you out on your BS; people who will laugh with you, cry with you, and love you unconditionally; people who will encourage you to grow, who will celebrate with you when you reach the stars, and pick you up off the ground when you crash and burn; people who will hold your hair back when you’re sick and love even the ugliest parts of you. I have learned that real, reciprocal loving relationships are open and honest, and that true love is felt when you first learn to love yourself wholeheartedly – broken bits and all. I have learned how to love the parts of myself I know are ugly, the side of myself I have worked so hard to excavate and heal – the parts I have pushed down and hidden, even from myself. I have learned that people will come and go from your life. They may be there for a season, they may be there for years, they may be there forever, but all are just as important. All people who come into our lives are there at just the right time, and for just the right reasons. They might be there to love you when you can’t love yourself. They might be there for the you you are now, but fade into a memory to the you you are to become. I have learned that we do not need to hold onto people because time and nostalgia tells us we should, but rather be grateful for the time, the lessons and the very fond memories, and allow yourself to walk a new path with no judgement, resentment or negativity. Always choose yourself first – your own happiness – your own path and surround yourself with people who support your journey and your growth, and you do the same for them.
I have learned how to be patient. I have learned that although we live within the instant gratification generation, good things really do take time. When you really want something bad enough, you first have to believe you deserve it, and then focus on what you want to achieve. It’s all too easy to get into the comparison game – she’s got that, he’s doing this – and here I am with $2 in my bank account scrolling on Facebook feeling sorry for myself. Looking at what others have with envy will only allow you to attract more feelings of envy into your life. Allow yourself to dream, believe and do. We really can have everything we want, we just need to know that things take time, and that we actually need to take action in order to manifest our desires into our reality. I have learned that when we put too much energy into comparing our lives to those around us, all that really brings is frustration, feelings of inadequacy and a whole lot of self-loathing and resentment, and nothing we really want. It keeps us stuck. You deserve everything you desire. Choose to take the first step, and keep going till you get there; your path will not be straight, the road will twist and turn and there will be hurdles to cross, but as long as you keep putting one foot in front of another, it will be impossible to not reach your destination.
I have learned how important it is to be grateful, to look for the small things in life that make me smile, that light me up and set my soul on fire. It is all too easy to focus on the things in our lives that are not going the way we want them to, whether you’re unhappy with your body, your job, your financial situation, your relationships, or the fact you can’t keep a houseplant alive. When we focus on the negative, we get more negative; but, when we show gratitude, true, heartfelt gratitude, our world really does start to change. I have learned how much of a role my headspace plays on my outer world and I have learned that we can control it. We can turn our belief systems around and we can create the life we want to live. If there are things in your life that you don’t like, change them – only you have that power, but you have to make a conscious decision to do so.
I have learned that not everyone you care about will agree with the decisions you make in your life. I have learned how important it is to look after your skin. I have learned that you should not take pre-work out powder before teaching a class of 25 ten year olds. I have learned that marriage takes work, but when you choose the right person, you can both be individuals who support one another’s growth and have a functioning relationship with mindblowng sex and open and honest communication. I have learned that parenting is hard, but the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I have learned to use my voice, and not stay silent. I have learned to heal. I have learned that our childhoods do not define who we are, but we do need to process our childhood trauma – we all have it.
I have learned that when I write, I let my soul speak and it frees me.
I have learned the power of patience.
I have learned the power of gratitude.
I have learned the power of my thoughts.
I have learned how to be happy.
I have learned to love myself.
The 2010s have been a journey of self-discovery.
I step into 2020 knowing who I am, and what I want to achieve.
Who were you 10 years ago?
Who are you now?
Choose yourself over and over again.
Love every inch.
Be grateful. Be patient. Believe.
You deserve a life you love.
Choose love. Choose happiness. Choose yourself.