‘It has been a shit year’.

I found myself uttering that sentence to a very good friend of mine over a drink last Friday night.

A hastily spoken sentence, but one I’ve resolved to look back on and regret saying. It’s been a tough year, absolutely, but a shit one? Most definitely not…

January to March – The Glory Days

They were fun. I trained like a badass. I hit new PBs. Got told by a man at the gym that he would never marry me because I am too strong (not a bad thing, I got a pretty sweet blog post out of it). Lost body fat. Gained muscle mass. Went to Brazil – my first time on the South American continent. Sex – new thing for me back then, as many will know, many more will just be in shock. A new job offer.

April to June – Sunshine

Started said new job. Believed that was how I was going to help change the world. Met a whole new calibre of people. Quickly realised I didn’t fit in. Hannah moved to Sydney. I went to Florida. Family time. Insane bank holiday weekends in Bristol. Lost a friend.

July to September – The Abyss

I lost who I was. My brain broke. This wasn’t how I was going to change the world. Therapy. Yoga. Meditation. True friends. Late night phone calls. Drives to London. Questioning what the point of all this was. Hurt. Confusion. Panic attacks. Sleep. Exhaustion. Loneliness. Escaping for eternity. Home.

October to December – A Brave New World

A job offer. Time with family. India. Friends. Self-discovery. Empathy. Compassion. Kindness. Australia. New Zealand. A terrible carbon footprint. A beautiful and great world to explore. Sex. More sleep. More yoga. More meditation. Reading. Writing. Enjoying life.

These last three months are the ones I want to focus on. I believe that the universe always works with you and not against you, and everything it sends your way is exactly what you can handle. I was still sick when I went to India. I was still suffering from anxiety attacks.

India was the most magnificent adventure I’ve had, most notably because of the people I met and the friends I’ve made. A friend who whenever he saw me alone, would come over to see if I was okay. Never actually realising that at that time, it was exactly what I needed, because being part of a group at that moment felt too overwhelming. A friend I message every few days now, and she’s on a completely different continent. ‘Team Brit’, the ones who consistently rip the shit into each other in a WhatsApp group. The cherished friend I can speak candidly to for hours and managed to bring the absolute geek out of me at a Bollywood movie. All these little events, these little moments helped me get better.

These last three months have helped me find out who I am. Through yoga, meditation, conversations, journaling and most recently, even a little hurt. Reading about the experiences of others, and understanding that I am perfect just as I am. Flawed? Absolutely. Mistakes? I make millions daily. Overweight? Hell yeah – I like to eat. Bikini wearer? Why not?! No one is actually looking. Kind? Every chance I get. Found my calling? Well, I’m hoping that my calling is to make people feel as though they have someone to turn to, should they ever need it.

So this year has been far from ‘shit’. It’s been dark, and an experience, but I’m coming out of it for the better. I may never amount to anything society deems as ‘great’. But thinking about it, my life is my version of ‘great’. For that, I am grateful.

“Little things seem nothing, but they give peace like those meadow flowers which individually seem odourless but altogether perfume the air”. – George’s Bernanos

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