I was recently inspired by Sade over at In My Sunday Best who has written a fantastic post sharing her defining moments from this year, and it reminded me that 2017 has actually been a pretty defining year for me too.
2017 has helped me grow significantly as a person, and all those tears that formed from moments of doubts or straight up breakdowns have been worth it. Every last one of them. All the laughter from time well spent with loved ones – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
As someone who gets incredibly anxious over making decisions, 2017 has been a year full of them. Pretty big decisions, too. Right or wrong, decisions have to be made to push yourself forward and this has been a tough but important lesson to learn this year.
So here we have it – my five defining moments of 2017.
Prioritising my mental health
As I drove to my first therapy session back in April of this year, I was nervous. I was nervous because I had no idea what to expect.
I was about to meet a stranger who was going to become a confidant. Someone who I was going to open up to and share my inner most thoughts and feelings. Ones I perhaps didn’t even know were there, bubbling beneath the surface.
When I decided to start private therapy, I wasn’t in dire straights at all. I wasn’t desperately seeking someone to speak to. I honestly just thought “it might be helpful”. I was initially inspired by queen of blogging Hannah Gale, who had written a few posts and shared some vlogs about her experience going to therapy. Before then, therapy felt inaccessible and expensive. I pay £70 a month for two sessions, and over eight months in, it’s worth every penny.
My sessions are a chance to speak about what’s going on in my head, to offload it and make sense of it. My therapist listens, asks questions and is utterly respectful without being patronising. She helps me to rationalise my emotions, to work through problems and ultimately reduce my anxiety over what’s going on in my head.
There are times when I don’t want to go, when I feel “fine”. But I push myself to go and have never once regretted it.
My therapist has also been a huge help in navigating the stresses of starting my own business, but more on that later…
- So why did I start private counselling?
- Five things I have discovered about myself through counselling
- What my therapist has taught me in six months
Starting to look after my physical health
It may not be a big deal to some, but joining the gym at the beginning of this year was a pretty big deal for me. I hate exercising, but I love how you feel after (y’know, once you’ve showered and no longer smell horrific).
I’ve been going to the gym to try and lose a bit of weight, but also to get a bit fitter overall. Not just for our ski trip planned for March, but just generally too. This year, admittedly pretty late in the year, I started using the Couch to 5k app and am pretty proud of myself for keeping it up. If we ignore the Christmas break, that is…
Ask me last year if I would ever get into running, and I’d have probably laughed in your face. I’m hoping in 2018 I get to that stage where I actually enjoy the running part, not just the feeling after.
I know I still have some way to go in order to improve my eating habits, but 2017 has paved the way to the realisation that eating a bit healthier is not the end of the world – and nor is treating yourself when you want/need it either.
Becoming my own boss
Without a doubt, deciding to start freelancing was the biggest and scariest decision I made this year. With support from Liam, my family and my therapist, I was able to take what is arguably the biggest and scariest decision I’ve ever made.
In September, around the time of my year anniversary at the job, I handed in my notice. I was waiting around practically all day for the chance to meet with my line manager to discuss it. Does anyone else get incredibly nervous when resigning? I was terrified.
Luckily, we were able to come to an agreement for me to still work for them, part time and remotely, until I find my feet. It couldn’t have gone better really. Now I work from home, with my own hours and working with several different clients on different projects that I love, whilst still doing the work for a charity I truly love.
Even for whatever reason the freelancing life doesn’t work out for me, I’ll always remember 2017 as the year I was brave enough to give it a go.
Being more sensible with money
So my hand may have been *slightly* forced with this one, saying goodbye to a full time guaranteed income and all. Let’s just say the defining moment here was my first part time work pay slip…eek.
But this year has taught me that I don’t need to be spendy – buying more stuff doesn’t make me any happier. I tend to now stick to buying what I need, with the occasional frivolity to avoid going completely insane. You have to treat yoself sometimes!
I’ve never been liberal with my spending to be honest – I often opt for cheaper clothes with a specific amount in mind as a maximum I’m willing to spend on something.
The difference this year however is knowing when to walk away from something I want, because I know I don’t need it. I’ve avoided the trap of buying into blogging trends too, even if felt letter boards and River Island jumpers have made their way onto my wishlist.
I started selling a few bits on eBay as well, and aim to get back into doing this in the New Year. I’ve realised just how much “stuff” I have that I no longer need, and on top of slaving away adding listings to eBay, I’ve also sent a couple of bags of old clothes to our local homeless charity. Here’s to doing more things like that next year, too.
Getting shortlisted for a blog award
This moment wins the prize for most unexpected this year. I was nominated and then shortlisted for a Bloggers Blog Award in the Blogging Guru category!
Although I didn’t win, I am so so proud of my space on the Internet. The blog tips posts I write tend to take the longest to put together, but always come out as the posts I’m most pleased with so to be recognised for that by the community was awesome.
Coming close to winning an award gives me a nice little push to continue creating and sharing content that I love, and hope that my readers love. It will be a regular reminder that this hobby of mine is here to stay.
Huge props by the way to everyone who nominated me for the award, and to the winner A Branch of Holly who got my vote.
What have been your defining moments of 2017?