Life lessons of 2017


someone told me recently that I have a tendency to find a quote or piece of text that will in some way strike a cord with me and how I’m feeling.

I mean, they are absolutely right. If you look at my Instagram or Pinterest account, a large section is dedicated to quotes, pieces of literature and sometimes funny passages that in some way highlight how I’m feeling at that particular moment.

2017 has been the year of feelings and emotions. 2017 has been the year where I think most of the big things that can happen in life, happened.

And this week, I feel like something snapped. I had a moment on Tuesday where every emotion possible hit me at once. And that’s when it hit me – this year has been a long one. And one filled with lessons, most of which I think I’m only just realising. As well as lessons, I feel like I’ve learned the most about myself, particularly this week.

Don’t you think it’s hilarious how at 18 you are desperate to be an adult, to be considered an adult and feel totally ready to handle adult situations because you know, you’re 18.

Then, you reach 29 (not old I realise but this is really based on my perspective) and you think – if I could go back to my 18 year old self, I’d have a list of things to say. Mind you, what 18 year old listens to an adult and takes on board what they say? Catch 22.

The point is, and what I’m waffling and trying to get to, that hindsight is a beautiful thing. That’s been my biggest lesson this year. I actually think I might try and make it the family motto.

Because it’s true isn’t it. You do all of these things, or go through moments and feelings, and take action. Then maybe 6 months later you look back and go – ah shit. Would do that differently now. And you say things like – in hindsight. Yep, beautiful thing.

So, what have I learned this year? Here’s the list…

– stop looking at other people and how they live their lives, it’s incredibly toxic and only makes you feel shit.

– put the phone down! And the laptop. And whatever other bit of technology I’m known to hold at some point in the day. I’ve missed moments, ruined conversations and stopped listening and that causes disaster.

– money really means jack shit. Literally cannot do a thing to make life any happier or better or more successful. Remind myself daily that I’m paying the bills, keeping a roof over mine and Jakes head, feeding us and putting petrol in the car.

– your real friends will not care if you have no money, if your clothes have not been updated in about 18 months or if you don’t buy them presents. Real friends just want to see you and see you happy.

– don’t make yourself feel shit for spending money on a cheeky takeaway or a cinema trip or doing something with your child. The moment you share will totally outweigh in value the money you have spent.

– be more resourceful. If you can’t have it, you can’t have it. You’ve survived this long without it and you’ll be just fine next month too.

– the people who really love you will go out of their way to make you feel amazing because they know it means the world to you. Don’t take that for granted and don’t throw that back in their face either.

– stop being so scared of talking. Talk. Talk a lot. Share your thoughts and feelings and communicated. Nothing will be resolved if you don’t open your mouth and speak.

– stop being afraid. Stop being scared of decisions and actions. Stop overthinking. You’ll never do anything or go anywhere if you can’t get over the fear.

– don’t be afraid of asking questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Ever.

– stop killing yourself with guilt. Give yourself a good talking to. Write down the mistakes you made and learn from them. Move on and be better.

– admit when you’re wrong. Be honest. It’s so much easier and less painful than going through interrogations and stories and everything else that comes with dishonesty and holding stuff back.

– read more. Read everything. Learn more. Fill your brain with information.

– it’s the little things that mean more. So note all the little things about people. Remember what makes someone smile, what makes someone happy and do it. There is nothing better than seeing a genuine smile on someone’s face.

– let go. For the love of god let go. Move on. Learn and move on. And do better. Bet better.

I realise some of these might be along the same lines, but these are really more to me than anyone else, so it makes sense in my head. Does that make sense?

I have had a real eye opening this week. A real moment where I saw myself from other people’s view point. Honestly? I hated it. Hated what I saw and what it made me feel about myself. And that’s the bit that no one warns you about at 18. You become this person and the things you were so sure on at 18 now have changed. It’s all different.

I told myself that I really had to become better at keeping things black and white. I have a tendency to overthink, overreact, and worry about stuff. Which means I don’t see moments. And so I said to myself, you have to stop that.

But actually I realised, sometimes it’s okay to be a bit grey about things. And that’s my biggest lesson this year. I really have to learn about myself again. Re-discover who I am, what I want and who I want to be. And I definitely plan to hit that list above and make those changes. But I also need to remember who I am.

I don’t know right now. And that’s quite scary for me because generally I’ve always been pretty sure and have always pretty much known my own mind. Now? Not so much.

So that was 2017. In as small a nutshell as I could manage because I really do ramble.

Anything else to report? Why yes. Jake is just over 2 weeks away from becoming 8. 8 would you believe. He’s spending Christmas with Mike and so when I dropped him off today, I gave him a small present before we do our thing on Boxing Day.

I gave him my copy of The Adventures of the Magic Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton. It was one of the first books I discovered after moving over from Italy. At the age of 8 so you can see the significance. I told Jake we need to have more adventures. And that’s something I’m really looking forward to next year. More adventures with Jake. He comes out with the most amazing comments and thoughts and when we have adventures together, that’s normally when the best of him comes out.

That’s it. 2018 is going to be the year that I have adventures and just generally remember what I’m like.

Enjoy the holidays



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephan
    Dec 24, 2017 @ 07:35:33

    I have loved reading your short story, it all resonates with me and how I’ve felt growing up into the person I am today. I value the people around me and will help any that ask unless I see them needing help but not asking then rightly or wrongly I will just jump in and help anyway.

    This year 2017 is also a year I tried to cut back on tech time, I deleted my Twitter and Instagram apps from my phone and pad, I can honestly sat I don’t miss them.

    We can’t wait to see you over Christmas and in your story of discovery you talk about finding out what makes people smile, for me it’s an extra long hug given with meaning, not just a quick arm wrap and a see you later which is what happens most of the time because everyone is in such a rush. Really the extra 10 20 seconds is gonna make all the difference so they can sit down or hey hit the road quicker. Give the hug you want to receive the one that fills you with warmth, safety, comfort and love

    Love you always Em


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