Thursday, 17 January 2019

Twenty Something Meltdown's 15 Questions to Ask Yourself.

One of my favourite bloggers in the whole world, Gwennan, recently published a brilliant post detailing fifteen questions to ask yourself in the New Year. The premise is you answer the questions as honestly and as detailed as you can, and then at the end of the year you revisit them and see how your answers have changed. Seeing as I loved the idea (basically anything Gwennan posts is genius) I thought I'd give it a go - so here are my answers to her fifteen questions to ask yourself in the New Year.

Describe the last year in 3 words.
Uninspiring, clarifying, hard.

What is your proudest achievement?
In general, it is getting my degree. From 2018, it's probably the progress I've made with my anxiety - going to events alone is something I didn't think I'd be capable of doing.

What was the best place you visited?
Antigua, hands down. I swear I'll eventually write a proper post about it soon. It was just incredible and the entire island is beautiful. I'd love to go back.

What or whom are you most thankful for?
Blair, always Blair. He is an incredible support to me, both in looking after me and in encouraging me to pursue the things that make me happy and fulfilled. He brightens every day for me.

What surprised you most?
This blog. I started to earn a bit of money from it last year, and I was (and still am) surprised by that! I was definitely very surprised by the growth it has seemed to have experienced in the last few months.

How has your relationship with yourself changed?
I could honestly ramble on about this for hours, and I think I'll probably do a full post on it soon. I am going to be entering my 30s in October this year, and I think the way I have grown over the past decade is one of the things I'm most thankful for in my life. In some ways, I feel I've wasted a lot of time and opportunities, but in others, I am so proud of the way my mindset has changed. I am very far from perfect, don't get me wrong - but I am on a much more positive path and I am beginning to actually like myself. I definitely think your 20s is a very important decade - and I'm happy with the person I am becoming.

How have your life goals changed?
This is an interesting question. My goal has always been to be happy, and that didn't change in 2018. However, I think that my understanding of what will bring me happiness has definitely changed. The pressure I put on myself about things that didn't bring me any joy (to be all Marie Kondo about it) has decreased. I am much more focused on what actually matters to me, and my goals revolve around love, peace and relationships much more than they used to. Proving a point by trying to force a career I'm not passionate about or by trying to diet my way to a number on a scale is no longer a priority for me.

How have your relationships with friends and family changed?
I think they have got a lot better. I am in a peaceful, harmonious place with (most) of my family and I enjoy spending time with them. We have fun, I am trying much harder to be tolerant and accepting instead of sneering and condescending - I'd much rather be happy than be right. In terms of friends, I feel for the first time in ages that I actually have some? My best friend lives 400 miles away but this year I have met and hung out with other people who I care about and am incredibly grateful to have in my life. I feel much more stable in my relationships - and that includes the fact that I have given up on trying to force the ones that weren't working.

What do you wish you'd worried about less?
Is it pathetic if I say Instagram? In general, social media. I would fret over followers and subtweets and the quality of my content. I still worry about it (just today I posted some polls about the quality of my blog and then got entirely disheartened by the results) but it is something I am very aware of and hoping to detach from. I don't want to be tied to an app constantly - I want to experience life first, and share that second if that makes sense?

What do you wish you'd put more effort into?
Following through with my plans. I had ideas on how to implement changes on my blog, in my home, in most areas of my life. I didn't do any of them. I am so scared of failure that I don't try. I've known I need to take more chances in my life for ages but I never really considered that my own effort is absolutely crucial. Positive changes don't just happen, you have to work for them. I wish I'd done more work!

What is the funniest memory of the year?
I can't think of anything in particular, but just generally, hanging out with my brother is usually hilarious. He is incredibly quick and witty and he makes me laugh every time I see him. It's nice to have such a good relationship with him.

What new or renewed friendships do you cherish?
I definitely consider my brother a friend, and with my best friend Fereuse, we make quite the little trio. I will always cherish that, they are the people in my life I could tell anything to and I am so grateful for them. I'm also really grateful for the way that my relationship with Blair's sister Kirsten and his sister-in-law Linsey has developed this year - we spent a weekend together in Ipswich, something that would usually have terrified me to do without Blair, and I am very lucky to have such wonderful women in my life. Also very thankful for my group chat girls, Rachel, Abbey, Vee and Tori. Lastly, the friendships I've developed with other bloggers - particularly Louise and Charlene - are very important to me.

What bad habits do you wish you'd changed?
Being glued to my phone. I wasted a lot of time staring at Twitter when I could have been being productive or just being more present with what was going on around me. This is a huge goal for me for 2019 so hopefully, I can work on it.

What theme do you want the next year to take? 
Gwennan suggests using a word as a starting point for how you'd like the next year to go - for instance, hers is 'calm'. I think for me, I'm going with 'fulfilling'. I've spent way too much time not achieving much and I want all areas of my life to feel more satisfying. I don't expect it to be easy and I am so ready to put in the work, but I'd like that to go towards projects that will leave me feeling accomplished and content. 

What do you promise to do in the next 365 days?
I promise to try. I have made excuses and sat doing nothing for so long, but not this year. Maybe I won't succeed at some or all of my goals, but I'm not going to stop trying - up until the last possible moment, I will keep trying.

I found this such an entertaining and enjoyable way of reflecting over the past twelve months and looking forward to the year ahead. I'm hopeful that I can accomplish all that I have my mind set on and I'm already looking forward to revisiting this towards the end of the year and seeing what's changed. Thank you Gwennan for such a thought-provoking post!

What would your answers to these questions be?

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