• 18 things I’ve learned in 2018
  • 18 things I’ve learned in 2018

    I can’t quite believe that 2018 is drawing to a close, another year gone by just like that. It’s become quite the tradition for me to write about the things I’ve learned in the last 12 months on my blog so, of course, I have to keep it up.

    When it comes to the end of a year, I think it’s just as important to reflect back on the last 12 months as it is to look forward to the next.

    Life is so full of ups and downs and there’s no doubt that this year has felt like yet another rollercoaster. But as it comes to a close, I want to sit back and reflect on what I’ve learned this year. I think some comfort can be found in looking back on the lessons you’ve learned and some might help to gain a little more perspective when times get hard.

    So, here are just 18 things 2018 has taught me.

    18 things I've learned in 2018: A photo of a black and white felt letter board which says Impossible is just an opinion, my phone is beside it which shows my sight loss and isolation blog post on the scree

    1. I put too much pressure on myself: I can’t count on one hand how many times my parents have told me that I put too much pressure on myself this year. I’ve always been a hard-worker, striving to reach the best of my abilities but this year, more than ever, I’ve seemed to put so much pressure on myself.

    Whether it’s because I didn’t get the mark I was hoping for in one of my uni assignments or if a blog post didn’t seem to do as well as others, there are so many times when I need to take a step back, gain a little perspective and tell myself that I tried my best and that’s all that matters.

    2. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be so rewarding: I’ve always been skeptical about stepping out of my comfort zone but this year has proven to me that even though it might be terrifying, it can also be incredibly rewarding.

    3. I can do things once I put my mind to it: Sometimes, I doubt myself and seem to convince myself that certain things are impossible. The truth is, once I pull myself away from that mindset, the things I deem impossible become the opposite.

    A photo of a black and white felt letter board which says Impossible is just an opinion, my phone is beside it which shows my sight loss and isolation blog post on the scree

    4. I actually quite enjoy being on the radio: I’ve been interviewed twice on BBC Radio Cymru in the last few months and despite shaking like a leaf both times, I really enjoyed the experience. Something I never imagined myself saying.

    5. Self care isn’t selfish: I always feel guilty if I’m not doing something productive with my time and this has often meant that I’ve let self-care slip. I’ve definitely learned the importance of it this year though and there’s nothing selfish or time wasting about taking time to yourself. No one should ever feel guilty for putting time aside for themselves. 

    6. Access to concerts needs to improve for disabled people: In one of the first few months of this year, one of my friends and I tried to book VIP tickets to see one of our favourite artists next year but we came across so many challenges before finally being able to purchase them. Often, disabled fans are an afterthought and this really needs to change.

    7. Ed Sheeran is amazing live: Speaking of concerts, on a more positive note, I had to mention Ed’s concert which I attended back in May, it still feels like yesterday. I always imagined he’d be amazing to see live but I wasn’t prepared as to how incredible he would be. I loved that night so much that I may or may not have booked tickets to see him again next year…

    Two photos of Elin wearing a dark orange coloured jacket, black knitted top and grey jeans. She is sitting on a bench in one of the photos and there are multi-coloured autumn leaves on the floor

    8. Being different isn’t a bad thing: I’ve tried to embrace my disability more than ever this year, from having the confidence to go out and about independently with my cane to talking openly about it in so many ways on my blog and social media. There are actually quite a lot of advantages to being different, it’s all about being unique and being able to embrace that.

    9. I love learning new things: I started studying a BA (Hons) degree with The Open University this year and although it’s not been a walk in the park and I can’t deny that I haven’t enjoyed every element of it, it has been so interesting to learn new things about such a wide range of topics.

    10. Studying from home can be lonely: I’ve felt the loneliest I’ve been since I was in sixth form in the last few weeks and whilst I still believe that a distance learning course was the best option for me, I can’t hide the fact that it can be extremely lonely at times especially since other work such as blogging and everything that comes alongside that is usually done from home as well.

    A photo of a black and white felt letter board which says Impossible is just an opinion, my phone is beside it which shows my sight loss and isolation blog post on the scree

    11. Comparison can be harmful: Everyone preaches the importance of stopping comparing yourself to others and I’ve definitely learned how harmful comparison can be this year. The only thing it does is cause upset and distract you from what you want to achieve.

    12. A mini break away with friends is the best kind of break: I went for a mini break to London with two of my closest friends back in August and even though the 16000+ steps on the first day took every last bit of energy out of me, that time with them was the best kind of medicine I could ask for.

    13. You’re never alone: When I published my post about sight loss and isolation a few weeks ago, I had so much feedback both on here and social media with people saying how much they could relate to the post. Writing my blog has always highlighted how many people also experience similar things to me but I have never received such feedback on a post and it really proved to me how many people are in the same boat.

    14. I need to start my Christmas shopping so much earlier: Boy have i been stressed with Christmas shopping this year! This is my reminder that I need to start it so much sooner next year. But knowing me, I probably won’t take my own advice, we’ll see.

    15. More people are learning from my blog than I realise: When getting lost in my writing when putting a new blog post together, quite often, it doesn’t cross my mind that people might be able to learn a little something from them. It’s so surreal to me when people tell me that they found a certain post informative or that they could relate to something I’ve written. Even people I know in my life offline have said that they’ve learned so much more about sight loss through reading my blog and that, to me, is a feeling like no other.

    A photo of my page in the Disability power 100 list

    16. You can never predict what life is going to bring: I never could have imagined what 2018 was going to be like at the beginning of the year, I never could have dreamed of some of the things I’ve been able to do and achieve this year. From being featured in Blogosphere Magazine to my first TV interview and being named as one of the most influential disabled people in the UK, it’s been a crazy year and it goes to show that you never know what’s around the corner.

    17. Things do get better: When we come across challenges in our lives, I think it’s easy to lose focus of the fact that things do get better, even if it doesn’t seem like it at times, most often than not, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    18. There is so much more to achieve: The workaholic in me is always seeking out the next goal to aim for. The lessons I continue to learn help to push me forward and make me realise how much more there is to achieve. I’m ready to work even harder to reach where I want to be in 2019 and I can’t wait to see what it has in store.

    Three photos of Elin overlaying each other, she is wearing a high neck light grey knitted jumper and black skinny jeans

    What are some lessons you’ve learned over the past 12 months? Let me know as I’d love to hear from you!

    Elin x

    18 things I've learned in 2018



    1. December 16, 2018 / 10:11 pm

      I learnt that we are grow at our different pace and that what works for me might not work for you. I’m still learning though but this are keys that has unlock all he confusion I used to have.
      Do read my blog posts and I i will love to read your comments too.

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        December 17, 2018 / 2:22 pm

        That is such an important lesson! I will definitely have a read of your posts. Thank you for reading.

    2. December 17, 2018 / 2:09 pm

      This is such a lovely post Elin! Love all the photos too, you look gorgeous! I can’t believe this year is almost coming to an end, where has the time gone! So jealous that you got to see Ed in concert! You are doing so well xx

      Amelia / http://rosetintedpics.co.uk

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        December 17, 2018 / 2:24 pm

        Aww thank you so much Amelia, your support over the year has meant so much! Oh my gosh I know, the time seems to fly by! Thank you for reading as always lovely xx

    3. December 17, 2018 / 3:03 pm

      This was such a lovely post hun, I really enjoyed reading as always. I can’t believe this year is nearly over! Thank you for some fab memories, still can’t believe we saw Ed! xxx

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        December 17, 2018 / 3:29 pm

        Thank you lovely. It really has flown by, I swear every year just goes even faster than the last! Thank you for some amazing memories too. Omg I know, it still feels so surreal – one of the best nights!xxx

    4. December 18, 2018 / 11:36 am

      This is a great, reflective post, Elin. I laughed when I read the part about self-care, it’s something I keep striving to improve on, I’ve very much a completer finisher and am always working through my ‘to do’ list without taking time for myself. In 2019 I must work on this!
      I was also very interested to read your comments about OU study, I completed my degree with them about 13 years ago, and like you, although I believe it was the best option for me, it is quite isolating compare to conventional uni. It does get better though later in life (I’m in my late 30’s)and it is worth it in the end.
      Have a very happy Christmas and many good wishes for 2019.
      from Melissa (a fellow blogger – http://www.caneandwheels.blogspot.com )

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        December 19, 2018 / 9:08 am

        Thank you so much Melissa. I’m exactly the same, I often put my to-list before some much needed time for myself, it’s so important to give ourselves that time though so hopefully we can improve on it in the new year! I completely agree that it can be really isolation but it’s good to know that it does get better. It’s good to hear about other people’s experiences with the OU. Thank you so much, I hope you have a lovely Christmas too. All the best for 2019 and thank you for your support this year 🙂

    5. December 19, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      I’ve been like you and put a lot of pressure on myself this year especially with running and trying to get pbs and things. But you are right about stepping out of your comfort zone it really is rewarding.

    6. December 19, 2018 / 10:03 pm

      This is such a lovely but also important blog post- I think so many of us will learn just from reading this! I really agree with ‘self-care isn’t selfish’ as I’m TOTALLY guilty of not taking care of myself because I want to help others. But this year I’ve 100% realised how important it is to be happy and how it just makes everything better. Loved this post and I’m glad you’ve had an eventful year with lots of lessons to apply for the upcoming year, I hope it is an amazing one for you! xxx

      Tash xx | http://www.thoughtfultash.co.uk

    7. December 23, 2018 / 10:19 am

      This year has definitely taught me that self care is so important. 2018 has really been an important year for me because I learnt so much about my self and it’s just so crazy how a whole year could change me as a person. I totally agree with some of the things you’ve pointed out! Happy holidays xx

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        December 24, 2018 / 10:50 am

        It really is crazy how much can change – I think one of the most important lessons we can learn is importance of self care and how beneficial it can be. So glad you could relate to some of the things i said. Happy holidays lovely and thank you so much for your support throughout 2018, here’s to a fab 2019!xx

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