Tuesday, 7 January 2014

What a difference a year makes

I caught myself smiling just now... walking down the corridor at work and just smiling. I had no particular reason to. I had just bought a salad at the canteen and was given a free 2014 calendar which of course is nice, I like getting free things. However, I don't think that had anything to do with my smile, my smile was there purely because I am happy.

If I delve too much into the reasons why I am, I get the sneaky suspicion the happiness won't last, as there is no rhyme or reason to it at the moment. Looking at my place in life now, compared to me this time last year, I'm about at the same place; if anything, I'm slightly worse off.

I have less money and more outgoings, my writing isn't as frequent as it was then, my friendships are... well probably the same, with the exception that I speak to them a little more than I did then. However, there is one fundamental and all encompassing thing that is different in me. That thing is my mood.

You see, last year I climbed out of a fog that I had got lost in for over 10 years; marking 2013 as my most favourite and important year of my life. I won't go into the details, mainly because I have a post saved in my drafts that I have been writing for about 6 months which goes into this in detail. As it might be my most soul exposing post yet, I don't want to upload it in any hurry, until I have it just right, hence the silly long time it is taking me to edit it. However, I will say that the change in me and the comfortableness I am able to feel within my own skin, is so mind boggingly different to anything I have experienced, that I find myself unable to comprehend it at times.

I found myself at a dinner party on Friday night with some people I used to work with (I know! Don't I sound posh and something right out of Downton Abbey?) Anywho, we were debating about a whole series of things, and a question was posed to me, asking me if I minded that my lifestyle might be seen as inappropriate in the eyes of the more conservative religious groups in our world today. I found myself shrugging at this and shaking my head, simply stating "I couldn't care less if someone is offended by how I live, I'm not doing it to offend them, and it has nothing to do with them, so why should it matter to me what they think?"

As I said those words, I found myself shocked and surprised at how comfortable I felt in saying them. I realised in that moment, that I had never been so completely certain about anything in my life. Growing up in a strong Christian built world, I had pushed myself into a lifestyle that lived for approval from those around me, to the point where I was unable to find any form of approval within myself. This was where I was, this time last year. It was where my mind and my heart was at. And it was at conflict because the constant struggle to meet the expectations I believed I had to meet, was slowly draining me of everything I had.

Then last year happened, it wasn't in the form of a life altering event that forced me to reconsider all my thoughts and processes, but rather in the form of a gentle whisper in my ear, encouraging me to take ownership of my life and suggesting new ways I could approach it. That voice changed me more than I can say. It allowed me to not associate crappy situations with a crappy mood, but rather look at ways in which to survive through it. And I did. I dealt with things and began to become more vocal with what it was that I needed and wanted. I built a life from scratch on my needs and what I felt was right to do. And with that, came a freedom that opened my heart and lifted my head, allowing me to see the world as it was for the first time.

I feel truly blessed and honoured to be able to see the world this way. Remembering how hard it had been to get to this point, I will never take for granted the ability to simply say "So what?" when something bad happens.

I'm not going to lie, I have bad days, but only in the way that others do... the mood doesn't linger for long and soon I am able to get on with life again. I also realise that there does need to be a certain degree of work that needs to be done on my life, as I have inadvertantly wasted a large chunk of my 20s in the fog, and I'm damned if I continue that way into my 30s. I also have to work that little harder at the moment, to ensure that I don't slip into my old ways. Right now, it seems to be manifesting itself into laziness and procrastination; ensuring that I never get round to making a change, in favour of watching TV and scrolling forever through the internet. I have things that I need to do, and my reminder of that is realising how far I have come already, in just under a year. The list of things to do in 2014 are thus (these aren't New Year's Resolutions, just a to-do list):

1. Be on this blog more. Nothing brings me more joy that being around my Internetual Peeps.

2. Finish my damn second book. I have seriously slipped here, and am struggling with the final chapters. I will finish it people, I promise.

3. Finish another freelancing job I currently am working on.

4. Get more freelancing work, anyone fancy me editing their work?

5. Get through Episode 3 of Sherlock on Sunday without having a complete and utter breakdown. (I'm not holding out hope for this one)

6. Get more of an active life than the one I currently hold... as happy as I am, I am also fully aware of the lack of things happening with me right now.

And that's it. My obligatory New Year's Post. I do one every year, each time I list things that I will do and then never get round to doing... but then, as I said, this year is different. And it will continue to be, I'm sure of it.

Peace out my lovelies.

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