Monday, 14 January 2019

CHANGES IN 2019


2019.
Another year, another time to make resolutions - or preferably, changes.

One thing that I noticed about my goals for previous years is that they remained just that; goals. They never amounted to anything because I still had it in my mindset that they were things I wanted to do and not things I do regularly. This past year has brought me so much in the face of minimalism and truly allowed me to see beyond my own words. These 'goals' I created last year were only ideas written on a blog post or spoken in a video - but I never took action to turn those ideas and dreams into plans. So my late 2018 goal was to make 2019 the year that I actually get off of my backside and do something worth while

I have all of these wonderful visions for myself and my future, yet I've remained in a continued state of laziness and misunderstanding. Becoming more in touch with my inner peace and learning that I am whole all by myself has led me to a psychological clearing - I haven't just decluttered my home but my mind as well - there are no more distractions, and I've freed up space to be more positive, to have more gratitude, and to be a hell of a lot more productive.

Over the past six months or so I've effectively been retraining my brain to see the world the way I choose to, in a way that works best for me and allows me to respond the best. It has been an accumulation of motivation, but not quite enough to give me an instant kick up the backside that I have needed for quite some time. The real shocker? Well, that came from the realisation that when I eventually graduate from my masters course I will be twenty-five.

Twenty-five.

It hasn't really sunken in yet that I will actually be that age one day, and I can't help thinking about all of the little life dreams I had many years ago for myself at twenty-five. Back when I first came to university in 2014 I was a wee eighteen year old with high ambitions, but very little life experience - and my aim in life at that time was to graduate at twenty-one, jump straight into a job and cross other bridges when I get to them. I never even considered my life at twenty-five, where I'd be or what I could see myself doing - my life was totally different

I was totally different.

It was fortunate that from the age of nineteen to twenty-two my chapter in life for depression, self-loathing and fueled hatred was written. Because I no longer see those years to be the prime of my life or the years where I'd experience the most and always look back on with youthful envy. Even though I would say I have experienced more than your average fair share - it goes without saying that each and every one of those experiences has led me here today. To a place where I can honestly say happiness is a big part of my life, where I no longer look in the mirror and see hatred and bitterness staring back at me, but a beautiful soul instead, and with many many scars and wounds still yet to heal, but beautiful nonetheless. I spent so much time and so many new year's trying to leave behind parts of myself that I was either ashamed of or hurt by - when I should have shown them some love. Embracing all the parts of you - even the past ones that no longer fit into your own mold - brings you patience, self-love, and inner peace. In 2018 - the year where the chapter of depression ended - I finally let go of the self-destruction button that I had pressing down for so long. I wondered: "what will my life be like if I wake up and just, be happy? If I let go of wanting to change myself and who I am and just embrace it instead, I wonder what will happen?

What did happen? I matured, I found myself. 
I found peace. 


The chapter was a rocky road that ended the moment I turned twenty-three in my mind (about a week before my actual birthday), and everything that was destroying me before had become easier on my shoulders when I stopped wishing for something else and learned to love what I already had. So even though this post is in celebration of a new year and the changes I'm making in 2019, the real celebration is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Everyone says that their lives begin the day they go off to university or get their first real job, and I used to believe that for myself too - but here I am today, twenty-three years of age, a university graduate and now a masters student saying that this now, is where my life begins.

And on that sweet note, I would like to share the changes I'm making in twenty-nineteen.


1. Exercise.
How often I have said I want to exercise and get fitter and have a flatter tummy and toned arms,  somehow unable to yield such goals. As I mentioned before, it wasn't until I stopped wanting to change myself that I was then able to. I embraced every part of myself and my natural appearance, no longer desiring to change or alter myself for others - and through my eyes exercise looks different now. I see myself getting stronger and faster, with a fire of determination in my heart - and I have accepted my body will change as a result of that. 

The change: evening workouts, increased cardio, and stretches. 

The mindset: any amount of exercise is better than none at all, each will increase my fitness. But pushing myself to progress will teach me discipline again, which is something I need back in my life.


2. Hobbies.
Why push myself to "complete" hobbies or excel unrealistically? As a writer, I should know by now that each and every word expels from my very core - everything that I have experienced, wondered, or am yet to experience. So why have I been pushing myself to force words that are not yet written within myself? One quote has always stood out to me: "Either write something worth reading about, or do something worth writing about." And I realised recently that the reason I have not been able to finish my book, build my online dream or go travelling - was because I have been struggling to find the end to a chapter long written - my own, and all this time I have been living in it. I needed to finish writing my own chapter before I could begin to write anything else. 

The change: dedicated time to progress my hobbies as I choose.

The mindset: I appreciate that hard work, grit and passion are the most important qualities of progression, and I will have to embrace them all to get to where I want to be - but I am also approaching these hobbies with a healthier mind compared to last year - I want to change my life for different reasons; healthier reasons, and that's how I know this time I will succeed.


3. Travel.
I've been watching a lot of Eat, Pray, Love. - type films lately, and I think the real wake up call has been the realisation that I'll turn twenty-five when I graduate from my masters. I sat and asked myself: "when I get to twenty-five, do I really want to have spent the last seven years of my life just working for a couple of degrees?" It isn't that the degrees aren't important, because they are important, and a big stepping stone in my career - but life isn't just about building a career. The comeback chapter of my life after the last I want to be filled with happy experiences. I don't just want to live my life to go to work and study, I want to be enriched with experiences of travel, nature, adventures and the written word. I want to meet people and have conversations with them from around the world. I want to spend my money on experiences that I will treasure forever, not things I will tire of quickly. I want to taste the fruits of different countries, to see the sun rise through a different window. I want to live.

The change: six months "no spend". Which means to only buy what is necessary, and save the rest.

The mindset: saving money for my future is important, and I will be reasonable and sensible with the money I do spend on travelling, but it is also important to enrich my years with experiences - and travelling is one of them, either by myself or with others I want to see the world. 


4. Self-love.
I would say I am confidently already at the stage of knowing what true self-love means, so the changes this year are not to discover it, but to repeat it. Self-love isn't a destination but the continued practice and reminder that everything you already are is all you will ever need. 


5. Mental health.
What an important change to end this post on, my mental health has changed dramatically over the past year, and more so in the last few months. I can see now the importance of a positive and healthy mind because like the tree of life - it gives life to everything around it. It is the center-part that connects the roots, the foundation, what came before - to the branches and leaves and what comes after. Without my roots, I would not be here today and so I appreciate and embrace them. To be happy, I realise that the universe and the earth will provide me with everything that I need - it will give me water to grow and be healthy and from there, my branches will form and leaves will appear and I will be able to live an enriched, fruitful, happy and beautiful life. 


And so this concludes the written celebration of a new chapter beginning in my life - I am sat here writing the end to this post with a smile on my face because I know good things will soon follow. 

I am excited to see what this year brings me, and what I bring to this year - but most importantly, after years of darkness I am excited to see the sun again, and to thrive, to wonder, and to live.



- Chloe.

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