Every year during the festive period, I like to take stock of my life over the past 12 months. I say this every year around this time, but I think it’s really important to look back on how things have gone – and to retain perspective, when evaluating things, as well.
Let’s face it, anyone who says that nothing bad happened to them this year is most likely lying. Either that, or they’re incredibly positive about their own circumstances (I’ll have what they’re having, please!) Everyone goes through their own personal trials and tribulations, whilst reaching milestones and celebrating achievements; and just because yours might not seem as tragic or fantastic as your friend, doesn’t mean they’re not worth shouting about.
At the end of 2016, or at the start of 2017 (probably the latter option, I’m not the most organised) I wrote a post describing the year that involved some of the most amazing experiences and difficult circumstances of my life so far. It was a very “up and down” year, so to speak. 2017 was a bit more “middle of the road” yet slightly more positive for me – I’ve had some great experiences and have achieved a lot, whilst also going through some difficult periods as well.
I’ve shared many of my positive experiences of the year on social media throughout the last 12 months. I hosted my own radio show at college for 5 months. I became a presenter on hospital radio (and still host my own weekly show). I completed some print design work for a national youth charity. I received an A for my HND graded unit in college, and graduated in November. I was accepted into uni. I’ve just wrapped on some video work for another charity. I’m getting my diabetes back on track. My sister got married in October, and I was maid of honour. I completed a short course of CBT and now understand myself more.
There is a bittersweet element to all of those positive experiences I’ve had and the things I’ve achieved. I know that my Mum would have been so proud of me, and it hurts sometimes to know that I can’t celebrate my successes with her. I know she’s looking down on me – and I’m doing okay in terms of processing the bereavement.
The first 6 months of this year involved the last of the “firsts” – my parents’ wedding anniversary, my Mum’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, my Dad’s birthday. And of course, she was missed at my sister’s wedding. But my Mum will always be with me. I have her stubbornness, a little of her incredible work ethic, plus lots of people say I look like her. I didn’t get any of the cooking skills, though – that one went to my sister!
I don’t want to dwell on my mental health too much in this post – because I’m trying to see it as a positive thing. I experienced a lot of anxiety earlier this year, around a variety of things in my life. The CBT sessions I attended genuinely helped me so much in terms of dealing with that anxiety. I learned how my mind deals with things, and how I can work with my thought processes to manage my way of thinking.
Of course, mental health is an ongoing thing – no one is cured of their mental health symptoms in a few sessions of therapy. But I now have the tools to help myself. My life can be bloody stressful, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts – juggling university, working, volunteering, a (slightly lacking) social life and me time is a bit difficult!
I’ve really missed being creative – you’d think with studying Radio Production and volunteering in a radio station I’d be feeling creative all the time, but it’s actually the opposite (more on that in a future post!) I’m hoping that I can manage my time a bit better this year, so that I can make more videos and create more blog content, because I really do enjoy it.
What was your biggest achievement in 2017?