2017 was a bit of a turbulent year for me for various personal reasons… my health had deteriorated, my boyfriend broke up with me, and I had ended up entering an unhealthy way of life. However, despite how absolutely crap this year has been, I have learnt so many important life lessons, and I wanted to share them with you.
1. Not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay
Before, if someone didn’t like me I felt this strong urge to try and please them, and this often led to me over-stretching myself, or me becoming someone I wasn’t.
There are over 7 billion people on this planet, and it’s okay if some of them don’t like me.
2. I don’t have to hate people who I don’t like
It’s a natural thing for us to have negative emotions to people we don’t like, but I have realised that it is such a drain on my energy and positivity. Of course, there are some people that I don’t like for various reasons, but I have learnt that there is no need to hate someone that you simply just don’t get on with.
3. Stop getting upset at stuff you can’t control
Sure, I missed the train and that’s really annoying, but there is no need to let that small detail ruin the rest of my day, and possibly ruin other people’s days. There are so many things in life we can’t control, but we can control how we react to those things, and you can choose to react positively and you can choose to move on.
4. Perspective is a wonderful thing
Do you ever look back at a situation and realise that you have the same number of IQ points as a tuna toastie? There have been so many times that I have cringed a ridiculous amount at something I’ve said, and then I have dwelled on it and ended up creating an even more awkward situation. I have learnt to just accept what happened and move on, and it has made such a difference to my attitude towards things.
5. I do not need someone to make me feel valued
I used to feel so self-conscious when I was alone in public, and I never would have had coffee or lunch alone. However, recently I have learnt the joy in taking a few hours to myself and relaxing. I used to feel like if I didn’t have someone then no-one wanted me, but that is not true. It’s okay to need some space and perspective, and it’s okay to like it.
6. I do not have to prove anything to anyone
I do not have to buy my coffee on a date to prove that I can, and It’s okay to accept a little help from people. I used to think that accepting help made me weak, and that I had to prove my strength by never showing weakness. However, I have recently realised how exhausting that is! It is okay to let someone buy you coffee, or to let someone give you their jacket, or to let someone help you. In fact, I have learnt that life is a little less lonely when you accept help.
7. Love and lust are completely different things
Love is an intense feeling of affection. Love is feeling completely safe and content in the arms of someone. Love is dropping everything for someone. Love is when the most difficult things become easy when they’re involved.
Lust is desire fuelled by passion, and while it’s okay to be in love with someone and to be in lust with them at the same time, I have learnt that it’s not as good to just be in lust with someone.
8. Eat that cupcake
As someone who has struggled with my weight and my body image, I have learnt that size doesn’t matter, and it is what’s inside that really counts. I have learnt that letting go of control is a relief, and that having all of that control just adds more pressure.
9. Stand up for yourself
After years of being bullied, tormented and put down, I have finally found my voice, and I have never felt more empowered than what I do now. I have learnt that it’s okay to say no, that it’s okay to defend yourself, and it’s okay to have an opinion. This is a lesson I probably should have learnt when I was younger, and unfortunately, I never did… better late than never!
10. Never be embarrassed about having a passion
I used to be so ashamed, embarrassed and afraid of being bullied that I never followed my passions. I never started that Youtube channel because I was too afraid of being teased. I never dressed the way I wanted to because I didn’t want to draw attention towards myself, and I never wore my makeup the way I wanted to in case I looked out of place.
I spent so much time trying to fit in, trying to be the same due to a fear of being noticed and teased. I did this to protect myself, but instead, I ended up losing myself.
Now, I wear what I want no matter where I am going, and I don’t care if I’m overdressed or underdressed. I wear my makeup the way I want to, and I don’t do it to look good for someone, I do it because I feel beautiful.
2017 has been the worst year of my life, but I have found my voice and myself. I am so grateful for everyone that made my life hell, because they are the people who have made me as strong, as empowered and as carefree as I am now.