This year has been an incredibly difficult year. I have survived a traumatic experience (a little of it is here), I changed my life path, I moved cities (almost countries), I began (re)training for a sport that is very dear to me (after a year of trying to reclaim that space), and I began a journey back to health.
I have learnt many lessons this year, and a few that stand out for me are:
1. I’m braver than I could ever have imagined. This year I found the courage and strength to walk away from a terrible space and a very destructive individual. It took me more than a year to find the strength to do it, but I managed to get through it. I am also very aware that the journey is not over, and that I will spend many moments in fear and will need to re-establish legal protection for myself because I have been followed to another city and they continue to try and make contact. But because I have taken the first steps in seeking my freedom, I know there will be many moments of joy and bliss.
2. Following your heart is tough. But necessary. I almost left the country I loved this year to pursue a career path that would not have made me happy. I did it out of fear, because I was running away from a person who was making my life incredibly difficult. But I stood in my power and chose to stay and build a new life in my heart’s land. I am ever grateful for having made that decision, I am now about to return to academia as both a student and a teacher – nothing could make me happier. Every time I think of this my heart does a little fist pump.
3. I am surrounded by incredible people. There was a time this year when I felt isolated by the emotionally abusive context of my life with my ex-partner. I had lost touch over a two year period with some amazing and very loved people in my life, and so when I needed to reach out, I felt that I couldn’t. What I felt was very different from reality because there were many people who held me through the past few months – be it by listening, feeding me mugs of tea, accompanying me to apply for legal protection, helping me pack and move my things, or checking in regularly. I never knew I was this blessed, and if 2014 showed me anything it is that I am loved beyond my own imagining.
4. I need to set clearer boundaries and reinforce them often. Boundaries. Definitely something that is a necessary part of life and that I need to be practicing. I have let far too many people push my boundaries and disrespect what I value, and so this year approaching I am going to be fierce about where I draw the line. My values, my authenticity and my self cannot be compromised because of the insecurity, brashness or disrespect of others. A tough lesson I have had to learn and to be in a constant state of awareness about. I am looking forward to being more true to myself and being gently-fierce while I take true ownership of my life.
5. I should not be my own limitation. Having learnt about how I respond to anxiety and to stressful situations, I now know that I often become my own obstacle. Going forward I am hoping to practice more self-care and self-love, and to not fear my unlimited potential. This is especially necessary when it comes to my writing – 2015 will be the year of all the words 🙂
So to 2014, thank you for the tough love and character, I’m ready to say goodbye to you and to welcome in another opportunity for growth and being my best possible self.