2019 has been a whirlwind year and I can’t quite believe we’re at the end of it. It’s been one of those years where the festive season has suddenly sprung upon us, but if I think back to January and just how much has changed in 12 short months, it seems surreal that it’s only a year that has gone by!
It’s been a year of risk-taking, of learning about myself, of finding happiness in solitude and of pushing boundaries and growing as a person. There have been struggles, hard times, moments of self-doubt and lots of loneliness. But there have also been incredible opportunities, a bundle of amazing memories made, new adventures and some of the happiest days of my life. It’s been a weird combination with a complete contrast of highs and lows, but one word I can use to describe how I feel right now is content. Content, and determined to take on what’s to come in 2020.
The main lesson I learned this year was that if you don’t take risks, you won’t get anywhere. I started 2019 in a bit of a funk. My boyfriend had just buggered off to the other side of the world for a year abroad (yep, still not over it!) and I was going through a weird phase where I was getting worked up and anxious about everything to do with work. This, combined with the fact I live alone, meant that my mind was in overdrive and I’d often ring my mum up in tears feeling completely overwhelmed.
It was in early March that I booked onto a blogger’s brunch, where I bumped into an old friend who works at an independent TV company and she mentioned they were looking for people to work for them for a short period. I decided to take the risk, put in an application and got the job, which meant handing in my notice at my current long-term role and opting to become freelance. It was a really spontaneous decision but one that has fundamentally shaped my career. Being pushed out of my comfort zone has afforded me with amazing opportunities that I would never have been considered for if I hadn’t taken the risk. I’m so glad I took that risk, and am now looking forward to a new challenge in January.
That being said, it wasn’t easy and I think that’s why the second life lesson I learned in 2019 was that the best things in life come after the hardest climb. I have worked my arse off this year, and being freelance isn’t the funnest. It means constantly networking, always being on the ball, continuously looking for new opportunities, and praying to f*ck that you’ve timed things perfectly. There have been lots of stressful moments, lots of tears and late night worries, but it’s definitely been worth it.
And the same can be said for my relationship situation too. I know people had their doubts when Shane and I got together, shortly before he jetted off on an adventure he’d been planning for years (and third lesson learned was definitely that people will always have something to say, but I won’t get into that too much…). But it’s another risk I’m so glad has paid off, as finally having him home and feeling the happiest I ever have was so worth the wait.
It also meant that I once again threw caution to the wind and booked a whirlwind trip to New Zealand, where we spent three weeks camper vanning around the country on what was probably the most amazing experience of my life so far. I would never have done that without Shane. It was exciting and completely crazy, but the fourth lesson I learned was that there is no greater feeling than contentment, and I have definitely felt that the last few weeks having him home.
And last but not least, in hindsight I can admit that being alone can be a good thing. I hated it at the time, but looking back Shane going away did teach me a lot about myself and about what I love to do. I’ve loved running even more this year and omg, I forgot how much I love to read! I spent the majority of my weekends this year reading, running and heading out with friends and family for long walks in the countryside, and it’s (literally) been a breath of fresh air. I’m so over crazy nights out, and as I near 26 I feel so much happier with myself and who I am.
So 2019, it’s been a weird year and the one thing I’m hoping for 2020 is that it will be a little more settled, with some fun adventures thrown in between. My main aim for the year is to enjoy it, to put worries on hold, to continue to work hard, and to visit as many new places as possible. I think I’m at that stage in life where I definitely want to travel as far and as often as I can.
Lots of love. xoxo