2016 As My Teacher // Lifestyle


Hey cats!

Today I just wanted to do a little bit of a reflective and rambling post for myself looking back at what 2016 has taught me; I feel like for many people this hasn't been the best of years and that is certainly the case for me but within all that negativity are very positive lessons to carry forward. For those I am very thankful and I am under no illusion that 2017 isn't going to be magically better, but I'm going to work my hardest to make it so! So here's what I learnt in 2016...


This year I feel I've gone through an absolute tonne of self-discovery thanks to college and the people around me, the biggest focus being my health and issues surrounding that. In January I found out I had pernicious anaemia which I had to have regular B12 shots for every three months, since then I still felt no better and in August my shots were spaced only 6-8 weeks apart instead; it's helped a bit more but I'm still experiencing huge amounts of fatigue and pain. Later on in the year around March I found out I have severe asthma and now I have a steroid inhaler to use every day which so far is improving the quality of my lungs. Despite gaining some clarity on why I always felt so consistently rubbish (aside from having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) I still feel there's a lot more to work on and figure out because flare ups/pain/zombie brain aren't normal as far as I'm concerned. Another way my health became the most consistent feature of my year is due to a college workshop before the Summer, we learnt about the 'wounded healer' and how those in caring professions typically have their own wounds that lead them to care for others. For the next 2 days we were asked to choose and focus on one of our wounds, I chose my health thinking that was something I'd already boxed off and dealt with since suffering from the age of 11, I was wrong. I picked off this metaphorical scab and opened up the most gargantuan wound I could have imagined, it was a shock to me just how much my poor health subconsciously affected every area of my life and how I feel. I got angry, I cried buckets and at the core I couldn't figure out why until I came to the realisation that all of my complexes had resulted from losses, loss of health having the biggest impact which in turn lead to more losses: loss of independence, loss of social life, loss of education, loss of my identity, loss of confidence, loss of my childhood...the list goes on. I've spent the whole of my life since being 11 silently mourning and I spent the whole of Summer in quite a mess because of this until finally coming to the conclusion that I have always felt sub-standard since becoming chronically ill. Before that I could do everything, I was everyone's little star that my family were so proud of and all that went away when I became ill...I became distant, distrustful and lonely; I just felt like a burden to all of those around me, incapable of doing anything right or well and that's something I've carried forward over the years. I'm working on letting go of that and accepting that this illness is just as a part of me and not me as a whole, I won't let it define me and I'm done grieving.

So from this point on I've been trying to accept myself and my wounds, I've learnt to be more in the moment and not worry so much, to be spontaneous and enjoy each day regardless of how I'll feel the day after. I've found the utmost importance in being authentic and congruent and strive to surround myself with people the same, I've tapped into more of what I love and took action on that by going cruelty-free, working on being more eco-friendly and slowly changing my diet. I've found more direction in life and know my focus lies with alternate therapies and spirituality. I've learnt that I have empathic tendencies and I need to protect myself more from others energies and emotions because it's resulted in me becoming very drained. I've also learnt to stand up for myself, to not take crap, hypocrisy or blame from anyone, to not avoid confrontations (they don't always mean a screaming match) and most of all I've learnt to trust my gut instinct as it's never been wrong thus far especially when it comes to other people; if you're naturally wary and distrustful of someone else's energy, chances are that it is for a very good reason. I really feel I'm coming out of 2016 a much tougher person in myself without losing that tender part that strives to see good in others, even if my gut tells me it's not there.


Starting up my blog again at the beginning of this year is hands down one of the best things I've done! Not only has this pushed me to be more creative, it's made me realise I can really do things I put my mind to and I'm still capable of learning new skills. Another great thing about blogging is that it threw me into the Twitter blogging communities and meeting so many lovely people has enriched my life and taught me that it's possible to trust again. I'm so thankful for everything blogging has given me.


After finding some solutions to my health I started to become more sociable, I responded to messages promptly (the norm is usually a long wait because I forget or don't have the energy to formulate a reply), I sought out conversations, I arranged to do things and meet friends and then when Summer came along after the discovery of my issues with health this all took a backslide. I went back into myself in complete isolation, I was in a real slump but I came out of it the other side with people who still stuck by me, understanding where I was at and I'm so thankful to have the right kind of people close to me. My partner and I are also now closer than ever after naturally going through difficulty because of my low mood, I feel so blessed to have found such a kind, supportive and resilient soul who has stuck by me through thick & thin. I really couldn't be happier with the people in my life right now and although I don't have many, I'm all for quality over quantity!

Another big learning curve throughout this year has been by way of confrontation, there have been a lot of instances that I couldn't shy away from. I really hate confrontation, it makes me dreadfully uncomfortable but I've rose to the challenges this year in all areas of my life and have learnt that not everyone has to get along. Despite this, confrontations still fill me with sadness and guilt though I shouldn't feel guilty for speaking my mind as long as it's in a mature & intelligent way. It's not in my nature not to get along with people but it's also not in my nature to distrust my instincts and bottle up how I feel; I spent a long time in my life being a doormat and I refuse to be one now. Unfortunately confrontations are a part of life but it's not about the confrontation occurring, it's how you conduct yourself within them that shows what kind of person you are. I like to think I'm firm but fair, typically I'll give people 2nd/3rd chances, I try my best to observe and reflect back how someone comes across rather than make assumptions about their behaviour (a lot of the time there's often something else going on under the surface). But what I don't stand for is people projecting/transferring their own problems/insecurities/assumptions onto me; this is a product of my learning at college, that we all have to accept our own problems rather than dish out blame to others, you have to take responsibility for your whole self. I always feel like it's best to look inwards before turning outwards, if something offends you or hurts you it's often beneficial to ask yourself why that is having an effect on you before going out into the world making assumptions or attacking someone for something they might not have even done or been aware of. If a person isn't made aware of how they come across (whether they mean to or not) or at first given the benefit of the doubt then the kindest thing to do is let them know as honesty saves everyones time; how they react subsequently will also tell you a lot about who they are.

Naturally with each passing year some people will fall by the wayside, or won't become as big a part of your life as you would hope, I experience feelings of failure in not being able to secure new friendships but obviously they're just not meant to be, not everyone can click or understand each other enough to continue a relationship. On the other hand I've grown so much closer to one person in my life and would now class her as my best friend, and I haven't had a best friend since Primary School so that's a big deal for me! At the end of the day everyone is made up of chemicals, some react well with each other and some don't, it's all energy based and if two vibes don't match then that's just the way it is. You go your separate ways or if you have to see each other again then you're polite and civil; honesty is better than animosity. That's probably my biggest lesson of all in 2016, to actually use my voice without fear of the outcome. Whatever is meant to be, will be.

What's been your biggest lesson in 2016? I'd love to know!

Stay curious

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