Things learnt from 2017

I don't know about you but this time of year can be both full of promise and dread!  Things do not magically change just because the next year has rolled around and so while there are many people thinking of resolutions and what they can do better, there are just as many of us, if not more, that think well, we just keep doing what we do right? or why does everything have to be suddenly amazing, and what happens if its not amazing?!? Should we then fall in a heap and wail that our year is going crap so far, so whats the point!

Well, my friends, along with many others, we are here to tell you that no, you just keep doing what your doing, yeah sure its great to have goals and learn from mistakes made - unless of course they made great ideas along the way in which case, do some more mistake making.  But its good to learn some new things for each new year and so we thought we would share some things learnt from 2017.  So, here goes;

1. It's ok to not be ok
As above is probably testament, its ok to not be all shiny, happy people all the time.  No I don't always want to boomerang a cartwheel or show the perfect home - cos mine sure ain't.  Because damn it, real life just isn't all roses and we all know it.  Sure, its good to lose yourself in some fog pictures or cute animals on the internet but sometimes FOMO happens, sometimes everyone looks like they are having a way better time than you *spoiler, they may not be - its just what they decided to show on the internet, and sometimes just get out there and see what the world has to offer rather than just what your phone/computer does. See the beauty in everyday - cos there will always be something, even if its a leaf!  But, and this is the really important one, sometimes you can curl up in a ball with a blanket and a cuppa/gin, watch movies that make you cry/laugh/shock and just be.  Do it and you won't regret it, because sometimes its good to have some time to just be not ok.

2. Be brave - you can do it
We all have that wobble when you think of doing something for the first time, whether its trying something new or doing something by yourself, your brain is always going to be in self preservation mode and make your nervous. 2017 was the first time I went abroad by myself - well almost as I stayed with a friend. But, I flew the 18 hours on my own and spent the majority of the 10 days on my own wandering around Hong Kong.  As a single gal, I spent quite a lot of time on my own anyway, but it was the first time I had been on holiday without being with someone 24/7.  It was great to be able to go to as many museums as I wanted without boring my friends, but also I missed hanging out and enjoying the experience with people all the time - thank you to social media keeping me touch with back home!  What I learnt though was that it wasn't that scary, I just had to be brave enough to try it.

3. Some people are Shit
Apologies for the swearing, but it really captures what I want to say.  There are some epic failures of human beings out there, who hurt people in whatever way they can.  Which, lets face it, is just not a nice way to be.  Unfortunately in 2017, I was on the receiving end of an unprovoked attack on a late afternoon busy High street.  A man, who decided that my head should be on the receiving end of a bottle he was holding.  Now, I am not one for sharing too much about my personal life and if it wasn't for this, I probably would not have said anything at all.  But I do also know that what happened reinforced for me, that some people are just shit, that there doesn't always have to be a reason for it, or even an apology that comes to have peace with it.  You just have to work through it, the best way you can.  Luckily, I have amazing friends and family and am able to work through things with my creativity, which always helps and of course moving on to my next point.

4. ... and some people are amazing
The people who helped me on the day I was attacked, did not know me, they didn't even know what had happened leading up to that point. But it didn't stop a man rugby tackling my attacker off me, people off the street calling the police and also looking after me while I was in shock.  They did not have to be involved, they could have gone about their business and many people did, probably in shock themselves - which I do not blame.  The people that day reminded me that there are some amazing people in this world who would help someone in need and we have seen alot of that this year.  There has been some shockers of accidents and tragedies this year, but what has been really heartening is that people have come together to help, so there is hope.

5. Just keep going
What the last two points helped me to learn is that you gotta take each day at a time.  You can't fix everything or change anything in a day, but you can keep chipping away until one day, you feel a bit more you.  You can always say 'so and so, has it worse', but you need to do you, so that you can be the person who might help others, save the world, or just be an all round awesome person.  We have both been through the mill this year, anxiety, depression and just plain life sometimes likes to knock you about a bit and I think Dory from Finding Nemo says it all by saying 'Just keep Swimming'.

6. Being determined isn't bad
This last year I really got reminded of a letter that my tutor wrote to me in my final year of Uni way back in 2004. She wrote letters to all of the final year design students and said nice things such as your so talented, creative etc and then in mine, she wrote that I was determined and that I would go far.  Well that's a really great thing she did for all of us, but all I heard was your not talented or creative but your determined, so I am sure you will get there!  Probably not what she was really going for, but that's what I heard.  This past year though, I learnt that it really isn't a bad quality after all, because you know what, if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be where I am today.

7. Comparing yourself is emotionally draining
It is pretty self explanatory really, but me just saying this really isn't going to stop you or me from comparing ourselves.  However, just putting it out there that we really know its futile and your never going to come out winning in the situation of over-thinking and comparing your life with someone elses, so maybe just try and stop doing it as much, its like quitting sugar, one day at a time. We all do it, that person has the business/job/relationship/children/life that you want and so their life must be so much better than yours as they have it all.  Reality check is that, yes I am sure they have something that you feel you don't but, they don't probably in fact have it all, maybe they also want the business/job/relationship/children/life that you have, so you see, perceptions can be one thing, but really no one has it all - and that's a good thing by the way!

8. Creativity isn't always output
Being Creative is a great thing, you can think things, make things and write things.  You are able to see things differently and help others to see that too.  You will get frustrated, compare yourself and think that you can't do anymore, but with all this said, it can bring you the most amazing life.  But it isn't always making things or writing things.  It can also be imagination, ideas and adventure.  It is not about who can make the most perfect handmade item, but about the idea behind it.  Some people have both which is great and makes for a killer combination, but others have the ideas, but struggle with the output - does that make them less creative? Hell no!  It just means that they may need to learn along the way to make it or get a little help from friends.

So, what do you think?  What did you learn from 2017?  I learnt alot, but I am sure there are lots more to learn along the way.  I think really the thing to take away from every year is that you will learn lots, falter a bit, laugh alot, cry a bit and probably do a few things your not keen on (can anyone say no all the time!)  but, mostly you will live your life how you like it and that really is the most important thing.

H, xxx

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