There are plenty of lessons to be learned on this journey we call life so as we approach the end of yet another year, I thought I’d share with you 17 things I’ve learned during the course of 2017.
There’s no doubt that is has been a year filled with highs and lows and I’ve certainly learned a lot from it, some of the lessons I won’t be sharing in this post as they’re more personal to me but there’s plenty to talk about without mentioning those things. Enjoy!
It’s important to put yourself first sometimes
I’d like to think that I’m one of those people who puts others first, I always tend to look out for others before concentrating on myself but if 2017 has taught me one thing, it’s that putting myself first is so important, I obviously don’t mean that in a selfish way. I’ve learned that I need to focus on what I need to work on in order to make myself happy, that I need to do what’s best for me sometimes as I know I’m quite bad at worrying too much about how something would affect other people rather than how something is affecting me.
Staying connected is important
I’ve drifted apart from many friends and people in my life over the years and that’s probably because it was meant to be but during the course of this year I’ve learned that it’s important to stay connected with those I’m closest to. As we grow up we all take different paths in life meaning it’s increasingly easy to lose contact with people that we used to be close to but a lot of friendships and connections are definitely worth keeping and it’s something I’m trying to work on.
It’s important to talk about what’s on your mind
I’ve said before in a few blog posts that I’m not the best at talking about my emotions, what I’m feeling and what goes on in my mind but I’ve been more open with those closest to me this year and I’ve learned that talking about the things that worry me definitely helps even if it’s just in the slightest way. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved, I’m not sure if I believe that but I’ve learned that it’s definitely a relief to be able to share my worries with the people closest to me.
There are people who I can be confident with and others not so much
I’ve never been the most confident of people but there are some people in my life that I can be completely myself around, I can talk to them for hours and not have to think about what I’m going to say next. I always knew this but it’s become more apparent to me this year that there are people who I can be myself around and who I can talk confidently to but there are also people out there who I can’t do that with. I’m not sure why but I wish I did. I wish I could be the confident chatty version of myself with everyone but there is something that prevents me from doing that. It’s definitely something I’m hoping to work on in 2018.
Finding a job is hard
I was very lucky after I left sixth form that I had the opportunity to work for the RNIB (Royal national institute of blind people) for a period of 50 weeks. I had quite a few highs and lows whilst working there but I loved the experience and it definitely provided me with some valuable skills that I know I can take forward and offer future employers. Unfortunately for me, my contract came to an end in August this year and since then I’ve come to the realisation that finding a job is so difficult, especially for those of us who live with a disability. I job search at least once a week but I’m still yet to find a job that I’m interested in, one that I can apply my skills to. I’m going to be making more steps towards hopefully finding my desired job in 2018.
Eating chocolate can’t cause acne
This might be a bit of a random one to throw into this post but I thought I might as well include it. I’ve suffered a lot with acne this year so I went to the doctors to get some answers as to how I could clear it up (it’s definitely not the easiest of things to do). She said that although many people believe that eating things like chocolate can contribute to acne, spots or blemishes, there’s nothing that proves this yet so eating it (in moderation of course) isn’t going to make much of a difference, it might be different for everyone though. I went quite a few months this year without eating any chocolate and my acne kept getting worse so it definitely proved to me that staying away from it isn’t going to make much of a difference but even if it did, I’m not one for eating a lot of chocolate anyway so It doesn’t matter as much to me. But for those of you chocolate lovers out there, just know that it’s not guaranteed to make your skin worse, just don’t eat too much is the advice that I got!
The atmosphere at a concert is something else
One of my favourite memories of this whole entire year was going to see Shawn Mendes live in concert at Manchester arena back in April. I went with my best friend Holly who had already attended a number of concerts before this one and had told me how amazing the atmosphere is. Of course I believed her but I don’t think I was prepared for how amazing it actually would be. It’s definitely something I’ve never experienced before and it’s something so special. You can read my experience of the concert here if you’re interested. I have two concerts lined up for next year as I’m going to see Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift which I still can’t quite believe, I need to pinch myself every time I think about it. I bet the atmosphere at those concerts will be even more incredible.
I’m stronger than I think I am
This year has proven to be very difficult at times, I’ve had to deal and overcome things that I never thought I would at only 19 and although I’ve let some things get to me, I’ve definitely learned that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.
Going on an airplane is really not that scary
Believe it or not but I had never been abroad until July this year. Yes, I lived 19 years on this planet without setting foot in an airplane so evidently the thought scared me a little. But my family and I went on our first holiday abroad to Austria back in the summer and although I was very anxious about the plane journey before hand, I realised that there was no reason to feel as anxious as I did. I think I was scared of the thought of being stuck in the air for over two hours and not having anywhere to go but I’m so glad that I managed to stay calm for the entirety of the journey. Sometimes it’s just little accomplishments like this that matter.
Austria is such a beautiful country
Following on from the last point, I was very lucky that I had the chance to visit Austria with my family this year. I always thought it would be a beautiful country to visit but I don’t think I ever imagined it to be as amazing as it was. Of course, for me as a vision impaired person, I can’t appreciate all the visual beauty that a fully sighted person would but I definitely loved our holiday there and would go back there in a heartbeat.
I’m not so great at making decisions
I knew that I was quite an indecisive person before but this year has definitely shown me I’m not the best at making decisions. As I came to the end of my contract with the RNIB, I had to decide and choose what the next step was for me and boy was it a hard one to figure out! I finally came to the conclusion of what I want to do though and I’ll be sharing my decision with you on my blog early next year as I start a new chapter in my life. It might be understandable that I’m quite indecisive when it comes to quite big life decisions but I’ve also noticed that I’m not great at making decisions about the smaller things either so again this is definitely something I need to work on in 2018.
There are constant battles in life
As I said before, I’ve had to overcome a lot this year and it’s definitely proven to me that there are constant battles in life, things that we need to overcome and learn from. Things that will most likely make us stronger in the long run.
Taking a break is important
I think we all need to remember that it’s important to take a break every once in a while. I took nearly a three-month break from blogging earlier this year and I learned that was the best choice for me at that time. Although I love blogging, I found myself in a rut of lack of inspiration and motivation when it came to writing and publishing posts. Taking that break definitely showed me that it’s important to take a step back sometimes and not to put too much pressure on yourself to do something. Taking that break allowed me to regain my love for blogging and made me realise what a big part of my life it is now.
Time spent with friends is the most valuable time
I’m not the best at arranging frequent catch ups with my friends and I really hope I can change this in the new year. We all lead such different lives these days which can make it hard to have the chance to meet up but I definitely hope that I can have more time to spend with friends in 2018 because I’ve definitely realised that it’s such a valuable thing. One of my closest friends lives over 150 miles away from me so this makes it extremely difficult to arrange to meet but hopefully we can work around that in the future. Whenever I spend time with my friends, I realise what an amazing support network I have around me and that I definitely need to meet up with them more often as they’re the times I love the most and feel genuinely happy. Although I love having time to myself, I can get quite lonely especially since I’m at home most of the time these days so just having a little catch up with a friend can make all the difference.
It’s important to stay true to who you are
I’ve been told a few times this year that I need to change things about myself, they might only be small things but something I’ve learned is that it’s important not to change who you are and what you believe in just because someone else tells you that you have to. This is your life and if you’re happy with the person you are then that’s all that matters, make sure you always stay true to that person.
I’m so much more confident about my blog than I used to be
I’ve definitely become more confident when it comes to my blog this year. I used to be terrified by the thought of someone I knew in my life offline finding it and reading what I had to say but I no longer get that feeling. I’ve had an incredible amount of support from the people in my life offline when it comes to my blog and that honestly means so much to me. I am now proud of the content that I create and the fact that people enjoy reading makes it all worthwhile. My love for blogging has grown so much this year and I know it will continue to do so in 2018.
So much can change in a year
My life is completely different to how it was sixth months ago never mind a year ago and I have no doubt that it will be completely different again in sixth months time, it’s crazy to think how much can actually change and how fast the time goes.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned in 2017? Let me know in the comments as I would love to hear from you.