Why I’m Reflecting on 2017 To Take Me Into 2018

2017 year round up

Happy new year, guys!

I know I’m 6 days too late but life unfortunately hasn’t been on my side for the opening of a new chapter that already seems to be going by at the speed of a snail.

I had a lovely festive break appreciating those carefree family moments where you sing along to the vinyls satiated with your atypical party food consisting of pastries, pizza, and Pringles, but then the day after Boxing Day I was struck with the deadly flu that seems to be knocking the entire population down left, right, and centre. Then I got my period. Then a flare up of my chronic pain. Not the best start, I must admit, but at least the germs allowed me to enjoy Christmas before they jumped into my system, right?! So kind.

I’m still unable to speak without representing a dying duck who has lowered the regular tone of voice to a croaky amplitude but I’m surprisingly feeling pretty positive and pretty zen about the year ahead of me.

This sassy coat pictured has helped me, along the way. It was a Xmas gift from my Grandma (chosen by me of course) and it’s one of those pieces that I can put on and it will completely transform my outfit and my confidence, enabling me to strut around like a queen. I think it’s fast becoming my most loved owned possession already; as are the New Look sale buys I’ve managed to pick up for less than £20!

These are all vaguely irrelevant things to mention but I just have that fuzzy feeling it’s going to be a good year, you know?? And as I’ve spent most of it coughing, spluttering, and zapped of energy, this – and the fact 18 has always been my trusty lucky number – is what I’m going by. I’m testing a fresh honourable approach of appreciating the little notions, and going with the natural flow of life. I do something I enjoy and do just that, enjoy it. Don’t dwell on what is to follow or what it means in terms of core goals I’m aiming for. I just let life and the pace of the clock lead the way.

I’ve kept up the tradition of doing a roundup post for a few years and as much as I get cathartic joy out of unravelling, reflecting on, and writing about my previous run of achievements, my goal is to stop setting myself unrealistic goals and concentrate on the basics. It’s so easy for me to get fixated on the pressure of being successful when really I don’t even take a step back and personally define what success means to me.

I scrapped resolutions a while back, mainly because I end up giving up about a week into January and end up cursing myself with guilt for doing so. It’s just additional stress and societal pressure I don’t need in my life and if I’ve learnt anything, it’s that putting yourself to the forefront is key.

That’s not saying I absolutely hate the idea of ‘new year, new me’ because I don’t. Yes, it’s a cliche social construct giving an ordinary day earth moving meaning when really it’s just another date on the calendar. However, it is the opportunity for a fresh start, a clean slate and somehow that’s comforting knowledge to indulge in. It motivates me. It gives me solace I don’t get from anywhere else.

I love the idea of leaving a whole year behind me whether it was amazing, terrible, or just tediously average. It feels like closure on the past, with the future you being in the spotlight. The feeling of starting over again, continuing to grow, becoming a better person, having a whole fresh year ahead of me filled with new chances, opportunities, and experiences. It’s the perfect way to have some well-needed self musing. Connect to your mind, your body, your feelings, your emotions, your ideas, and put all of them into perspective at your own pace.

So, in this year’s post, it’s going to be me revealing a short summary of my best 2017 moments and documenting the sentiments that I hope to attain, opposed to the lengthy must dos (although it’s getting v.lengthy already, nothing alters in that department I see).

Admittedly 2017 wasn’t a great year in terms of tragic events, political issues, and more devastating deaths. There’s been hurt and hardship both for the entire world, and for me, but overall it’s been manageable, it’s been breezy, and hand on my heart I can honestly say I’ve spent the majority of it happy as a lamb.

Of course there were struggles and blips, especially of the depressive and anxious kind. Times I was caught up in my own head, times when life tested me to the extreme, but I made it through and that’s the main. I try not to think of the pain that consumes me, but all the times I’ve moved past that and still continuously evolved in a positive way.

I’ve been on so many adventures, mainly to Manchester and back, but it’s become a standard routine that just feels so normal, homely, and uplifting. Most of my best friends are based there, as are the events I like to support, and the fun I have, so travelling for an hour or so is nothing compared to the priceless memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.

My friends are the most dominant impetus to my genuine happiness. I could talk about how kick ass, incredible, special, and inspiring they are for as long as my typing fingers would let me. This year may not have been a bed of roses but I’m so appreciative of all the wonderful, passionate, enthusiasts surrounding and supporting me and I know I’ve ended the year with the right people in my life.

2017 really solidified my friendships, I watched those I love dearly grow as people and felt proud, I grew closer to every single one of my girls and we connected as a unit, too. I even saw toxic true colours that are now removed for a healthier, more peaceful survival.

I went on my first girls holiday abroad which was mostly cloud and dancing in a shitty bar until 4am but it was still a week to remember.

I also went on family getaways that worked wonders for my inner spirit and really refreshed and revitalised my resolve.

I collected photos and moments that I can look back on and cry over, truly following my heart and my interests.

I really found my happy place… or places, the one where I forget the past that’s let me down and am so caught up in the current moment that I don’t even realise I’m ugly laughing settled with the warmest feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I also somehow discovered my style intuition halfway through the year, and curbed my spending habits with it. Something I considered impossible but something I’ve stuck to. When I’m shopping I now know exactly what’s me.

I became more independent, venturing off for blog and business related activities, or just for my own entertainment. I really am starting to feel secure in my abilities, my identity, and my sense of awareness and involvement. Deep down I totally think that’s because of the people who have made me smile everyday, who take the time to understand and accept me, welcoming me with opens arms, and allowing me to be braver and wiser with my choices.

I’ve become much more of an educated, open minded, compassionate, and considerate person and used that as my solid focus. I am seeing the world for all its diversity and am being influenced and inspired by so many factors in my life. The person I’m endorsing and embracing is one I respect. Dignity and decency come hand in hand, as do intelligence.

I am so much more articulated on diplomatic and social issues and collating with so many interesting and important attributes by analysing the environment around me has helped me to correct my problematic faults, my downfalls, and where I can go wrong in life.

This year upped the enthusiasm to voice my opinion and stand up for what I believe in. I have a voice, I am determined, and strong willed and I’m not afraid to fight for that.

I developed faith in myself, realising that really, I could do this, I am capable of completing what I’m striving for.

I learned how to manoeuvre Photoshop, taught myself the ins and outs, and even delved into the world of design on my own ground.

I made my first bit of income on Instagram, despite often criticising my failure to build followers, and this has grown into a long term proposal. To know there’s brands out there who are fond of my work is so stimulating and valued.

Which is basically the reason I decided to move over to WordPress and start anew with my title; really emphasise and pay close attention to the quality content I desire to produce. Continue to build my integrity whilst still remaining in my safe space where I can express myself.

2017 enlightened me, matured me, humbled me, blessed me, with the good and the bad, and now I want to implement that into another era of the instalments in Bridie’s ever-growing and frighteningly ageing adulthood lessons.

I’m moving into 2018 with an optimistic mindset and a real ease with who I am, the decisions I make, and the intentions I have but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to set myself some little reminders of what to consider to aid me on the moral road. Pretty much my own advice and guidance (because who knows you better than yourself, right?!)

I want to stop comparing myself to others, to recognise in reality everyone is walking on a different path and heading on a different journey towards varying stages of life. That you can’t compare where you’re at to where someone else is at because we’re all individual and we all carry a certain persona.

I want to be less judgemental, tone down my bitchiness, and recognise when I need to think twice because it will assist me on my ethical vision.

I want to try and not let things get to me as easy. Not to dwell over irrelevant things and let those occurrences that aren’t necessarily fundamental affect me so much so that I’m purposely setting myself and my mood up for disaster; leading on to me caring less the trivial matters and caring more about what’s meaningful to me.

I want to push myself, but not too hard to the point I burn out and lose all drive. I just want to work toward being who I want to be, assess the yes’s and the no’s and start cementing my foundation from there.

I want to leave those people and those circumstances that have caused me grief in the past where they belong. To stop chasing after things that have hurt me. To erase the point of it always being me doing the fixing. To walk away from bad situations, and find harmony with whoever and whatever comes and goes in life because often enough you end up losing yourself by trying to save everybody else.

I want to let go, not hold on, because sometimes you have to go through the motions with your eyes wide open. To let go of something old and grab onto something, to be willing to let a delicate and ordinary part of me die in order for another part to be born.

I want to stop purposely launching myself into situations that will upset and anger me. Know a certain piece of writing will unsettle me? Stop reading. Be ticked by a name or an image? Delete them.

I want to continue to not care what people think. That’s something that I can really pinpoint and what I’m totally proud of. I’ve now reached that stage in my life where if someone doesn’t like something of mine, then good riddance because it doesn’t concern them and what matters is that I’m thriving.

I want to take time out to self reflect, to be conscious of myself and what’s going on around me, to allow myself to see and to be. Start a new train of thoughts, and attract newfound wisdom – because time spent in self-reflection is never wasted, the more effective you are, the more you’ll notice and break recycled circles.

I want to keep reminding myself that it’s perfectly fine to not always be on top of your game. If you’re too occupied to participate in something or you’re just not feeling it, then the world won’t stop turning, nobody will die from a small break.

I want to treat my body with kindness. Physically, mentally, and spiritually; monitoring my temperament and really getting to the source of problems and issues that need dealing with, allowing myself to heal. I want to be less harsh on myself, tell myself it’s okay if I haven’t been as productive as I wanted to, that I do not choose to have chronic pain and if all I’ve managed to do on a bad day is rest and find relief then I’m not lazy nor useless, just a human with a medical condition and limitations. Most of all I want to listen to and be in tune with my body, recognise my triggers and check in with myself when I feel I’m slipping, and inject the constructive energy into everyday living.

I want to get back into exercise, both beneficial for the mind and the body. Although I suffered from the exertion of following a fitness programme, I felt SO much more alive and ready and prepared for life mentally when I did a year or so ago, and I want to reach that level again!

I want to take control of my eating patterns. Don’t shove false idealistic mottos in my own face, don’t order myself on a strict diet, just be steady and keep an eye on my tendency to binge as a comfort. Introduce new nutritious foods, drink more water, eat more fruit, and definitely fill myself up with protein through the day so I’m not ruining my efforts with some midnight munchies.

Which leads me on to the secondary… sort out my sleeping pattern. Attempt to go to bed and wake up at the same time and a reasonable time to really grasp a stable arrangement, instead of distracting myself till 1 or 2 in the morning.

I want to find the balance of being less showy but still recording those moments that matter. Sort of like snapping photos whilst I’m on a trip, rather than deliberately going on that trip to take photos. Drilling it into myself that when I take a trip out to a city it isn’t always necessary to cite every single encounter, I can just relish in the atmosphere.

I want to get more involved in the blogging community, and properly this time. Now I’m at a point I’m satisfied with my blog brand I want to give back, show my share of support, and be active. I want to comment on more blogs with praise, have standard conversations on social media, and really get my name out there.

But mostly I just want to be happy.

If I learnt anything in 2017 it’s that life is unpredictable and that you have to be open to anything coming your way because it’s a constant learning curve.

If I remain real, and human, then I’m doing just fine.

(Well the not so lengthy tactic didn’t quite work out. Nor did the regulatiry of my sleeping pattern. 2am and 2500+ words later… but as I said, I let life do the talking from now on.)