As so many of you are probably doing right now, as this year is drawing to a close, I find myself reflecting on how this year has been for me; pondering the highs and the lows that have been; wondering what the new year will bring, and where I would like to be in my life this time next year.
In a strange way, 2017 has been one of the worst years of my life, and yet one of the best at the same time. I have faced many challenges this year with my physical and mental health, and been informed I will be losing my job in the New Year due to a company restructure. In many ways, my life has fallen apart this year. I ran out of places to hide my feelings, and ran out of capacity to hold my emotions inside. I reached a point where I had nothing left to give to any part of my life, and I felt that I physically and mentally broke down as a person.
But because of these exact same reasons, the year was also one of my best yet. Strange, I know! But hear me out…
In falling apart to such a degree, it forced me to stop and reflect on my life, the choices I have made, and the reasons I have been unhappy for so long. It opened my eyes and my mind to the person I have become, and the person I want to be. And that is when it finally occurred to me…
The person I want to be has been within all along.
But in my constant attempts to please everyone around me, to give everyone else everything they want, and to meet the high expectations placed on me by myself and others, I have somehow managed to forget to make time for my own passions. After years of being told I am “too nice”, I have found myself hiding my feelings of empathy for others. After countless occasions of being told that my “cheerfulness” can make me seem less intelligent, I have found myself smiling less. And after years of being told I am “baby faced”, or look young for my age, I have found myself losing my own quirky personal style, through fear of not being taken seriously as an adult. Time after time after time, I have been told my interests are “boring,” or “geeky,” and in response, without ever really meaning to, I have hidden these interests of mine, and instead I have continuously spent my free time on activities to please others instead of myself.
And the sad thing about it all? I actually really happen to like the real me! I am quirky, I am a total geek to my very core, and I have an innate passion for learning. And if being “too nice” or “too cheerful” are the very worst traits people can find in me, then that is something I am pretty proud of!
I am a woman who smiles at everyone I walk past. I always find something nice to say to everyone I meet, and I get soft and mushy inside whenever I see any dog walk by. I love being bare foot, I wear bright colours, and sometimes I enjoy reading comic books in bed. My heart races with excitement the second I see the sea, and sometimes I just like to dance around my home for no other reason than because it feels joyful to do so. This is me; this is the very essence of my being.
So as the New Year rapidly approaches us, I know exactly what my New Years Resolution will be. There will be no “New year, New me” speech here. Instead, mine is simple. I just want to be more “me”. I want to remember who I truly am and what I stand for, and commit myself to being totally true to myself, no matter what the cost.
After all, this life of ours is so very short. We have to make every moment count, and live a life that makes us truly happy and fulfilled. And only we can decide for ourselves what this full life will look like for us.
So to any of you out there wondering what your New Years resolution should be, consider this- Just Be You. Be the you that you are most proud of. The you who laughs uncontrollably. The you who gets choked up because something moves you so much. Be the you who sings at the top of your lungs in the car, even if every note is out of key. The you who gets excited over the small things. Whoever you truly are inside, whoever that voice within really is, never forget who you truly are.
You be you. Be eccentric, be a little crazy, smile too much, and laugh too loudly. Live every second for yourself, doing the things that make you feel proud of yourself and make you feel complete. And always be kind. After all, your kindness to others may encourage them too to recognise their own worth.
And so, however you intend on spending your evening, and whatever your goals for 2018, I wish you nothing but love, positivity, and fulfilment. I wish you kindness and good health. And I wish you strength in every challenge you may face. I wish for you to have the courage to see the best in yourself, and to be able to recognise the beauty within you. I wish for you to give yourself credit for every achievement, no matter how small. And most of all, I wish for you to be able to love yourself. Your true self. To love yourself completely.
Happy New Year, and thank you all so much for the many likes, follows, and wonderful comments on my blog. I have been moved and inspired by you all, and am honoured to be amongst so many talented people.