10 January 2019

Growing Pains

2019 came quickly, didn't it? 

2018 was the fastest year of my life. From moving house and job to my mum finally getting married, it was a steam train of a year that I couldn't slow down or get off. I felt like I changed so much. Where there is change, there can be pain but ultimately, growth. The growing pains I experienced in 2018 were nothing short of extraordinary. It sometimes has been the type of pain that you know is worth it because once you get over the initial hump, it's a great road ahead [e.g. buying my house] but there have also been painful life lessons too. Here's my 3 life lessons from 2018 that I'm carrying forward with me.

1. Value yourself

I really sold myself short in 2018 and I mean that so sincerely. I work in PR for my day job and I know I can do my job well. I can sell the brand I work for really well but selling myself or singing my own praises? Nada. This meant that I was really under-valuing my self in relationships (both romantic and platonic) and in life generally. Doing the BBC Four Thought Podcast (which you can download here if you missed) about the topic of lost friendships really made me open my eyes to the good things about myself. I started thinking about all the friendships I have lost and the reasons for those. I'm a great believer in if you point the finger at someone else that you still have four pointing back at you. However, you can recognise your own flaws but still value your good human qualities that do make you a good friend. Having people recognise my good traits in 2018 really gave me the confidence to sit back and try to value myself more, particularly in the later months of 2018. This is something I really want to do throughout 2019. I let people run me down a lot & make me feel like I wasn't worthy in 2018. Not anymore....!

2. Take your damn time

2018.... I was constantly in a hurry. I rushed everywhere. I never sat down. This meant I got every virus going/didn't sleep well/eat well/give the gym my effort or energy. I also kept looking at everyone around me like we were on different time zones - people still living at home, people having babies, people meeting the love of their live.... A big part of me felt in a hurry to get to the next portion of my life. I realised this after many failed attempts and meeting someone decent. I realised I was trying too hard. You don't find love, love finds you. I'm walking at a different pace this year and hoping that things creep up on me when I least expect them.

3. Life is what you make it, not what happens to you

Amongst all of the great things that happened in 2018, there was a whole lot of nonsense and tears over stuff that really doesn't matter. I cried more in 2018 than I ever have in my life. I let the actions of others really sidetrack me from my goals. I let others break my spirit. I let others use their power to pray on my weakness. So many of these factors made me feel like I was drowning but in fact, I was fine. People can dramatise things and make you feel worse than you really should. I've really picked myself up over the last few months. There have been difficult conversations about what morals and values mean to me but these have really made me realise that I am in charge of how I feel, not someone else. It is with this notion that I know I can tackle 2019. 

Let me know what 2018 taught you over on Twitter @GemmaLEBond or Instagram @thatbelfastgirl