I've alluded to the fact that 2016 was a year of lessons for me a few times now and I've decided it's about time I share the six most important of these with you.
1) Sometimes doing the worst thing you can imagine doing ends up being something that brings you a lot of joy
When I first moved down South, the worst thing I could imagine having to do was moving into a house share. Although it pushed my finances to their extreme limits, I insisted on living alone for the first two years. However, in early 2016 it became essential for me to move into a house share so I could be close to work and have a break from extortionate monthly outgoings. Believe me, I was dreading it. I was terrified I'd hate my housemates, I was scared they'd be filthy and noisy, I was worried I'd never ever feel truly comfortable. THANKFULLY, I really like my current house. I get along well with my housemates, they are quiet and they are clean. It's done wonders for my mental health because I no longer spend days on end with only myself for company and it's finally allowed me to get into a financial situation that doesn't literally make me sick with worry. The idea horrified me, but it's one of the best decisions I made in 2016.
2) The friends you make when you are the most vulnerable don't always have your best interests at heart
I came into 2016 feeling very friendless and lonely. As a result of this, I latched onto anyone who showed any interest and kindness towards me. Unfortunately, some people can sense that kind of weakness in you and use it to take advantage of you. It led to some very uncomfortable situations for me and by the second half of the year, I felt like a lot of people were only interested in me when I was a walking, talking soap opera. Going into 2017, I am going to be a lot more scrupulous about who I let into my life and try not to make decisions that come from feelings of sadness and loneliness.
3) Being single isn't as horrifying as I imagined, in fact, I really enjoy it
When my relationship ended, there were a few things I was worried about. I was scared I'd have no social life whatsoever as my boyfriend had been the only person I ever went to restaurants, the cinema, etc. with and I was concerned I'd be horrifically bored all the time because I wouldn't have someone to text every minute, every hour, every day. What actually happened was I suddenly had lots more time to do things I genuinely enjoy and do so uninterrupted and I also felt motivated to go out and make new friends. My social life has actually got so much better as a result of my singledom and I'm glad I'm not surgically attached to my phone anymore. In fact, I wrote a post all about how much I love being single.
4) You can't control everything
I am definitely a bit of a control freak and thankfully, there are lots of things in life I can control. Unfortunately, last year, I learnt there are some things I just can't control - particularly when it comes to things that depend on other people. It's hard to explain without going into detail that's too personal but towards the end of 2016, a very stressful situation occurred due to decisions made by other people. The lesson here is things that are out of our control can and will happen, but what we can control is our response to these events.
5) Your family aren't always people who you share blood with
I spent a lot of the Christmas period with my family including my stepdad, stepmum, half siblings and step siblings and it gave me opportunity to reflect on my "unconventional" family. What started off as an upsetting situation has turned into something seriously great and I really love and feel gratitude towards my extended family. Some I share blood with, some I don't, but they all make my life a little bit brighter.
6) You've got to put yourself out there to really experience life
I've been hiding for years. I think, ever since I graduated, I retreated within myself. I stopped socialising as much and I suddenly became terrified of the big bad world. I had so many desires and wants but I guess I got scared and I let this take over my life so I didn't do a lot of the things I wanted to. I turned 25 last year and it kinda made me realise I'd wasted half of what it meant to be one of your best decades and finally, finally I felt motivated to start trying to live my life properly. I went to a lot more blogger events, including a conference where I shared a room with a blogger I hadn't met until that day and a HOLIDAY and as a result of this, I have some great new friends. I made an effort to go see people I wanted to see, I opened myself up to new opportunities - and it has done me a world of good.
Did you learn any important lessons last year? Share your posts with me!