Okay, let’s talk 2023…Another bloody rollercoaster! The end.
Just kidding! (Kind of…) Let me review my 3 greatest achievements this year and my 3 most ‘iffy’ moments…
Celebrating 5 years in business. 4 studios, 7 broken bones and many, MANY wobbles…but I did it! I survived 5 years in business. This was a huge milestone for me not just professionally, but personally too. The World of employment just isn’t for me. I gave up a pretty decent career in Human Resources / Learning & Development, along with a pretty decent salary too. But I can assure you that in doing so, I saved my sanity. Being self employed has given me the opportunity to truly discover myself and my purpose, it’s given be flexibility and freedom. But most importantly, it’s given me time to be a parent to my children. It’s 100% worth the pay drop! Which leads me to…
Iffy Moment 1:
I nearly took a job! 😱 There was a moment in the spring where I had a HUGE wobble. Things weren’t working out in the little studio, somebody had let me down financially, and my mortgage was due for renewal. It got dicey! 😬 I’d applied for a job locally and had an interview lined up. Then the opportunity of the big studio was presented to me (for the fourth time!), only this time with a reduction in rent and an opportunity to expand. With a giant leap of faith, I declined the interview and took up the offer of the bigger studio. Many thought I was nuts, and perhaps I am. But here we are 😊
I’ve really felt as though I’ve connected with my kids more this year. The early years of adoption were really challenging for me, and when we finally started to feel settled as a family of 4, I had my accident and it set us back quite significantly. This year I’ve (literally) started to get back on my feet, which has really enabled me to be a much more present parent and find greater moments of joy with my family. And in particular, we’ve really started to turn a corner with my eldest daughter’s early life trauma / related behaviour, which I triggered with my accident. This felt horrific for a long time, and the guilt was eating me alive. But actually, as we explore and embrace her quirks, it has brought all 4 of us closer together. And I realise that this trigger of her early-life trauma is much better to have happened to her now at this younger age, than when she’s older. As it’s allowed us to understand her better and it’s given us all the opportunity to develop coping mechanisms that will be life-long skills for our family.
Iffy Moment 2:
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I battle with metal health and chronic health conditions. I know I keep banging on about it, but my accident was hugely impactful to myself, my husband and our eldest daughter. To see how much I messed up the people I love the most broke me in unimaginable ways, and there was a particularly dark moment where I began to wonder if it was even worth me being around anymore. This was perhaps one of the lowest moments of my life. But I pulled through, and I’m so glad I did.
Iffy Moment 3:
During the darker moments mentioned above, my best friend of 18 years made a decision to part friendship with me. She passed some deeply unkind and inaccurate judgements on my abilities as a husband and parent, and called my business ambitions selfish. This is very out of character for her, she’s always been a loving and kind person. I can only assume there’s something going on that I’m not aware of, and I genuinely hope that she heals from whatever she needs to. This, of course, came as an absolute bolt out of the blue for me and shook me to my core, and to pretend this didn’t affect my mental health would be a lie. It still keeps me awake at night. But, in many ways, I can only feel grateful that I learned the truth of our friendship and I’m starting to feel at peace with this. I also realised how much I held myself back through fear of her judgement, and I’ve really started to think more expansively in recent months. Which leads me to my final achievement…
This Autumn I attended a weekend writers workshop with Hay House, which completely reignited my ambitions to become an author. If I reflect back upon my school years, it was evident that I could have pursued this path from an earlier age. I got my highest grades in English Literature and won a writing competition when I was a teenager. I was also super creative / artistic as a child but seemed to lose that spark as a young adult when I decided I needed to choose a more ‘realistic’ path in life, and opted to study towards a corporate career instead. This year I have written 2 children’s books and have begun illustration tuition in hopes of self-illustrating them. I also have the opportunity to submit a proposal to Hay House in April, which is what I’ll be spending most of my time on in the coming months. I’m so bloody grateful that the Universe opened up this opportunity at exactly the right time for me. I was far too self conscious and broken before to even consider such things, but I really feel that I have the right people, the right opportunities and the right mindset to take 2024 by the horns and ride it!
So what did I learn? To quote 90s heart throb Ronan Keating “Life is a rollercoaster, you just got to ride it”.
We’re all seemingly chasing this dream of constant improvement to reach this goal of perfection. “My life will be perfect when…”
But the truth is, there will always be highs and lows. It’s important to keep those dreams alive, to keep holding the vision and keep persisting. But to think life will be all rosie when you get there is just an illusion. Let’s keep it real people! Just enjoy the ride 😊
Happy 2024 everyone!