4 important lessons I learned in 2019
Well, wasn’t 2019 a barrel of laughs. Let’s take the time to have a little recap, shall we?
Over the last 12 months, lots of rather shitty things happened. Everywhere, from France to Brazil, seemed to be on fire (or, in Australia’s case, still bloody is!) Natural disasters continued to wreak havoc all over the world. The NHS was put under even more pressure. Boris somehow sauntered his way back into number 10 with an even bigger majority than before. And, very tragically, both GOT and Fleabag came to an end (and I’m still really not okay about it).
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Climate change was talked about more than ever before thanks to people like Greta Thunberg (or is it Sharon now?) President Trump was impeached, FINALLY!! Gavin and Stacey blessed our screens for a Christmas special (and had better be working on season 4, alright?) The UK got their first fabulous season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Amber won Love Island (and Greg has since been cancelled after ending it via text). And, very importantly, London Pride experienced the largest number of attendees to date!
On a personal note, 2019, for me, wasn’t too bad. Not the very best year to date but, equally, not too shabby either. Some cracking moments (seeing P!nk live has to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, highlight for me) and some real lows (RIP Grandpa Beresford, you absolute legend).
I learned a hell of a lot over the 365 days we just waved sayonara to and each lesson I will be taking forward with me as we get well and truly stuck into the year ahead.
Just because you’re honest, doesn’t mean other people are too This was a reoccurring theme last year in a number of different aspects of my life. I’m a very honest person, sometimes to my own detriment, but I still consider it one of my qualities. After all, at least you know where you stand with me, right? Turns out that not everyone else is quite as candid. In fact, I found that a few people had no issue lying to my face if it gave them an easier life. So, going forward this year, I’m going to be a little less naïve and maybe not dish out second chances like I’m usually so willing to do. After all, as Maya Angelou so perfectly said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. Yas Maya, you actual queen.
Cherish every moment you have with loved ones Sounds very obvious and something we are told to do all the time, but this year reminded me why we all say it so much. I’d do anything to go back and spend another afternoon with my grandpa. If I would have known that the last conversation we were ever going to have was by the side of his hospital bed, days before he was supposed to be discharged, there are many more things I would have said. So, if you want your relative to know just how much you cherish the ground they walk on, bloody tell them. Unless they’re Derron Brown, they aren’t going to be able to read your mind now, are they?
It’s okay not to be like everyone else As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve developed an unhealthily low self esteem over the last few years, often reworking and altering my attitude, interests and sometimes even my appearance to fit what other people want or expect of me. I would look for other people to tell me who I am, what I should like, how I should act, etc. However, the last 12 months have taught me that when I am true to who I really am, I can’t fit into a specific box. I’m a seemingly confident, yet insecure, energetic anxiety suffering extrovert, book worm, avid gym goer and night out lover haunted by unwelcomed glimpses of intense self doubt coupled with a heavy obsession with music from nearly ALL genres and decades, drag queens, serial killer documentaries and animals of all shapes and sizes (ESPECIALLY dogs) who is looking to travel to all the amazing countries I see on my Instagram before I die whilst owning 10 different types of dog in the process. You try and put that into a box.
No, but seriously, what’s really important to me is that when I give myself half the chance to be my most authentic self, I actually quite like what I see.
I understand I’m not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, deemed ‘too opinionated’ or ‘too dramatic’ or ‘too much of a worrier’ on more than one occasion but, if I’m completely blunt, I honestly no longer care. If there was any line that could bring a tear to my eye, it’s writing that line because my GOD has it been a hell of a journey to get here.
I’m not quite on the Lizzo level of self love just yet, but I am certainly heading in the right direction, and that’s what matters!
Fortune really does favour the brave Sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. When I pitched this blog idea to two of my closest friends, they told me to go for it. I remember going home and questioning whether I was really courageous enough to share my story and tell people the real issues I face behind closed doors. When I pressed ‘publish’ on my first blog, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was so anxious about the response I would get, and whether I would get any response at all. But, with over 4,000 views over 10 months, I feel it’s paid off.
Fortune, for me, hasn’t come in the form of financial gain. Instead, it is the messages I get from people who tell me how much they’ve enjoyed reading what I’ve written. It’s watching the views go up when I publish a blog. It’s the notifications I get when I see someone has shared it on Facebook.
It took a lot of courage for me to tell everyone my story, but even if it’s helped one person out there to feel that they’re not alone in how they feel or what they think, I’ve done what I hoped to achieve.
So, 2019 proved that the twenty first century saying is, in fact, right - every day really is a school day. I guess we will see what 2020 has in store, shall we…