What 2014 Has Taught Me

It's the end of the year. I've been reflecting on what 2014 has taught me...

I can't believe that the year is over already. I've been doing some reflecting. In no particular order of importance, here are just a few of things I have learnt about myself, my life and everything involved in it. Let's crack on, shall we?

1) Your dreams are there to be pursued 

If you're a regular reader, you'll know that I changed job this year. It's been one of the most frightening and fulfilling experiences of my life. For several reasons; I don't know where this will take me. I don't know what's going to happen next. I don't know what my future looks like. But I do know The One who holds my future and so, I needn't worry.

Earlier this year, when I had one of those 'I can't take this anymore' days, I decided that there was no way I was going to let my dreams fall by the wayside. Those moments of daydreaming are empowering. If there's something that just burns in you and causes a flicker of excitement, every time you think about it, pursue that thing. It is probably attached to your purpose and the world needs you to at least give it a try. That course you want to take? I'm working on a few bits and bobs that I had talked myself out of for a long time. Hopefully next year, I can share it with you all.

2) It's okay to stay in 

This one sounds dumb but I'm really appreciating my hermit days. We all have them, right? My friendship groups have changed somewhat, over the last couple of years. I was used to being out all of the time, spending lots of time with the same people every week. Well, those days are over. I really mourned it but actually, I have a lot of friends. It's just that the way my social life looks has changed. Am I less of a person? Absolutely not. Am I any less loved? No chance. One day, I won't have the lazy days and nights in at home with my family. I'll be too busy. This is just a season.

3) Being single is awesome 

Do I want to stay single forever? Nope. But I look at who I could have been with and I just thank God that I'm a solo act for now. I don't have to check my plans with anyone. I'm not a part of the sudden marriage epidemic. Whether people like it or not, they change once they're in a relationship; sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. The simple fact of the matter is, I am at a point where my main focus is developing personally and that is absolutely 100% okay. It's more than okay.
Once Mr Amazing comes along, what will I have to show for the time I spent waiting? This was a question that an older, wiser friend asked me when I was a teenager. It has stayed with me ever since. Every time I feel a little deflated at yet another 'date night' selfie, I remind myself that a) my time is coming and b) I am a whole person, all by myself. I'll make an excellent 'other half' one day. Until then, I've got a lot to be getting on with.

Swiss goodness

4) It only has to make sense to you 

I guess this one refers back to my work and I've mentioned it in a previous post about freelancing. It was a little nugget of wisdom that a friend said to me. I appreciated it so much because it was just what I needed to hear for this season. Whenever I start to wonder what other people think of me or what I'm doing, I remind myself that it's not about other people. Not following the crowd is tough. Don't feel like you have to explain all of your decisions to people. Those who love you may not 'get it' but they'll support you. As for the naysayers, ignore them. Let the fruit that your life produces silence those voices. Just live.

5) Comparison will kill your joy 

Let's be honest, we all indulge in a spot of comparison. It can do one of three things; spur you on to be better, make you more grateful for what you have or make you bitter about how your life is turning out.

We are surrounded by opportunities to take a peek into other people's lives. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, they all show the highlight reel of someone's life. It's impossible to not feel a little deflated about our own worlds sometimes. The way to combat that? Be more thankful. When you start getting ungrateful and envious of what someone else has going on, stop and count your blessings. You want something new to happen? Make a plan.

Keep at what you're doing. You have no idea who you may be inspiring you. When you don't give up, you'll inevitably end up inspiring someone else, in the future. What do you want 'future you' to be doing? Make a start on it now.

This is the excited face of a woman who's about to see Prince live in concert 

6) People like my blog 

You may be thinking 'well, duh'. But it's tough being a blogger and wondering if anyone actually enjoys reading about what's going on in my head. I have had so much lovely feedback this year about my blog and I am thankful for every single person who takes the time to read it but especially when they go out of their way to encourage me. You guys are the reason that I got a little bit bolder with my content this year and you will be a part of the reason that I carry on. Thank you.

7) God rewards faith 

Or, if you're not a Christian 'fortune favours the brave'. This year, I have been completely unable to ignore the fact that all kinds of amazing opportunities can come your way, once you stop fretting about the outcome and step out of your comfort zone.

Whether you call it God or the Universe (which by the way, I believe He created, so either way, you can't escape Him), there is no getting away from the success stories of people who threw caution to the wind and just gave it a try. Just say 'yes'. Do it afraid. Regret is much scarier than failure. I know which one I'd like to deal with.

I've had the privilege of saying 'yes' to some amazing work already. I am so excited to see where 2015 takes me.

8) It's okay to let go...

This one is a toughie. Relationships (not necessarily in the 'dating' sense, I mean on a human level) can be a wonderful and complex thing. Not every relationship in your life will benefit you all of the time. Sometimes, you're called to just be the listener. Maybe that person can't give much to you in a particular season because they are struggling. Just be there. Those aren't the sort of relationships I am talking about. I mean the people that you keep around just because they've always been there. I've been guilty of this, despite the fact that I knew I was putting in more than I was getting out.This year, I've taken a long hard look at whether I'm a fantastic friend. The answer, I believe, is that I do my best. There are some people that will just never meet the standard. Don't roll with people who don't want to grow for themselves or see you flourish either.

It's difficult to let go sometimes but if a friendship causes you to deplete in confidence, shrink your personality, compromise your character or doubt yourself, it's time for a change. Does it suck? At first. Is it for the best? Nothing that constantly drains you is worth the hassle. Trust that something better will fill that gap. Never keep someone around simply because you are afraid of life without them. Sometimes, despite the heartache, it's better to cut your losses and move on. Your future self will thank you.

My 'I just graduated for the second time, let's go to Zizzi's' outfit (sorry it's grainy)

9) Life is a beautiful adventure 

Can't say it much plainer than that. There will always be the occasional obstacle. Life can be tough sometimes. This year, I lost someone that I love. But even through that, I learnt valuable lessons. Losing my grandmother wasn't easy for my family but I know I'm a result of her prayers. There's a little bit of beauty in everything - even your adversity.

There are people who would do anything to be in your position. Like I mentioned before, being thankful really opens your eyes to how amazing life is. Yes, it can be tough sometimes but you will always have something to be thankful for. Occasionally, I just have a moment of giddy joy and it feels wonderful.

10) We live in a gorgeous world 

I had a little adventure or two this year and absolutely loved it. I can't wait to head back to Switzerland. My few days there confirmed my love of a mini break. Whenever there is an opportunity to see a new glimpse of the world, I'm going to take it. Whether work or just a bit of free time takes me there.

11) I am capable of more than I thought 

Do I always get it right? No way. I've slacked off my fitness routine for example but nobody is perfect. Discipline is hard and we're all works in progress. But amazing things happen when you push yourself physically, professionally and personally. For the coming year, I am going to endeavour to increase my personal capacity. I'm also not going to be too hard on myself, if I don't get it right first time.

12) Dreams do come true/Prince is the greatest artist of all time

We've come full circle, with the dream talk. I got to see Prince live in May of this year. It was without any shadow of a doubt, the best gig I have ever been to in my life. I waited 15 whole years to see him and he did not disappoint. For the first 10 minutes, I was completely speechless. I have been obsessed with him and his music for a long time, so that night was a highlight for me.

So, enough of my rambling. 2014 has taught me so much. I've made a 2015 list of dreams, goals and all of that good stuff. If you made it to the end of this long ass post, well done. Treat yo'self! 

Lots of love, 




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