15 Lessons From 2015

Take time out every day
Give your brain some breathing space. Have time to do nothing if you so choose. It’s ridiculous to believe you can be productive 24/7. And don’t do things that you “feel you should do” in this time (like meditate, yoga, walk etc.) if you don’t want to: watch Netflix, or YouTube, or stare into space. Do something you genuinely enjoy though.
 
Don’t wait for creativity
If I’ve learnt one thing from my degree, its that you can’t wait for creativity and inspiration; the idea that you can is a complete myth. You have to hunt it down. The idea that the first draft is always the most original and perfect is a load of bollocks as well.
 
Look after piercings properly
My second on my left ear got infected, burst, and wasn’t pretty. It also meant I had wasted £20, and I wished I had just cleaned it a little more often.
 
People change, and so do friendships
When you return from uni you may find that your pool of friends has shrunk slightly, but the ones that are left are the keepers.
 
Brush your teeth first thing…
It prevents acid damage; brushing after breakfast just takes off the enamel.
 
…Then drink lemon water
Lemon water first thing helps to get my digestion going. And if I’m feeling bloated at the end of the day then a cup before bed is a great help too.
 
Always place a napkin on your lap in restaurants
EVERY time I wear new jeans to a restaurant I forget to do this, and I never fail to spill some sort of oil down myself. Usually garlic. Usually not on black jeans.
 
Do a social media cull…
Get rid of anyone on IG, Pinterest, and YouTube that makes you feel inadequate. Even if you feel like you should be getting motivation from them. If you aren’t, get rid of them. I did this a day or so ago, and already can breathe a sigh of relief.
 
…And a real life cull
“Toxic relationships” weren’t something I put much stock by until this year. Distance yourself from anyone who deep down you know genuinely isn’t good for you.
 
During ANY change you make, you’ll take a few steps back
7 months ago I was really struggling with binge eating and OCD. It was wrecking my life. After one horrendous night I promised it wouldn’t happen again. And it did, but that’s okay. Because 3 or 4 binges in 7 months is me doing well. The most recent was two days ago, and though I hated myself for the couple of days afterwards, I had to remember that any process of change involves a few steps backwards now and again. Its a bit like a really frustrating cha-cha.
 
Only chase things you really want
Make sure the things you’re trying to achieve are for you, and not to live up to something others expect you to be, or that leave you actually feeling pretty empty. If you want a thigh gap why is it you want it? Chances are it’s because you feel it’ll make you more attractive.  Why do you want to do a particular degree? Because you want to, or your family expect you to? If you want a boyfriend/girlfriend is it because you want to find someone you really like being around and can see a future with- or because X number of relatives are asking when you’re going to get married? (I can’t personally comment on the last one to be fair, although I am always asked if I have a boyfriend yet. The answer is still no, because I genuinely am not bothered about having a relationship. I’m enjoying being a fairly selfish person right now, and that’s not a bad thing.)
 
 Counting kcal isn’t good for me
I have tried both counting and not counting, and though I needed to count for a while to ensure I gained some weight, it really isn’t for me. It puts me on edge, makes me grouchy, stops me enjoying food, and time with friends and family. My brain contains a catalogue of calorific values that is hard to throw into the metaphorical shredder, but when I don’t count I can focus more on the quality of the food, the nutritional richness of it, and (of course) eating what I fancy and enjoying it.
 
 Make detailed essay plans
These are life savers. I had two very detailed plans prepared before I left uni for Christmas, and although I am still in the drafting stages of the actual essays now |(having them completed by New Years didn’t happen), they make me feel much calmer. Like a colour coded extra detailed safety net. 
 
My body isn’t up for discussion. Its mine and unless you want to tell me its hot (which would be lovely) then f*ck off.
I’ve only recently begun to learn this lesson, and work on putting it into practice. I always thought that I was okay with how my body was, but it turns out I wasn’t. Even now I do struggle with how my body looks, especially since it is changing rapidly: some muscle gain and extra insulation here and there is pretty welcome though…but you know what? All that matters is I get to a place of being happy with it, and I am healthy emotionally, mentally, and physically. One of the most valuable lessons I’m only just beginning to learn is that my body is not up for negative discussion, especially if its in comparison (usually by myself) to others on media feeds.  
 
It gets better.
I’m willing to bet everyone has had some pretty tough times in 2015- that’s life. But then, I’ve had some awesome times as well- amazing times. I’ve spent hours and hours with family and friends, I’ve had a work experience placement at BBC Good Food, took my first trip to London, am renting my first ever flat with two friends, got my blog off of the ground, and read some amazing books. And every time my life has taken a nose dive, it has eventually begun to curve ball and pick up again. So, the final thing 2015 has taught me is that it always, eventually, gets better. Call it character building. And that means that 2016 will be the best year yet (again). The thing to remember is that for it to be an amazing year, 2016 will inevitably include some downs as well as the ups. And that’s more than okay with me.


Happy New Year Everyone!
Em
xxx
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