My year-end missive is a little early this year, I realize. But it comes at a time when many of us are taking time off for ourselves and winding down for the year.
This year, I’m taking that time for myself too.
I’ve noticed that people are saying that this year is the end of a decade (2009-2019) and that the New Year brings us into a new decade. While I don’t subscribe to that theory (I consider 2020 the end of the decade because I’m contrary like that 😛 ) I couldn’t help thinking that I might embrace it this time.
I’ve had a fairly challenging year, and decade, and truth be told, it hasn’t been what I expected it to be. If I were to sum my 2019 up in a word, it would be… hard LOL! 😛
Instead, I’d pick 2 words – Seizing Opportunities. Are you able to sum your year up in a word, or two? 🙂
What 2019 taught me
What 2019 taught me was a simple lesson.
“When a door closes, God opens a window.”
Some of you who have been with me may remember that I’ve spoken about some personal struggles in the past. A lot had changed in my life in the past 5 years, that left me struggling to balance it all without coming apart at the seams.
In fact, this past decade has been challenging, for the most part. Much has happened personally and professionally, and if I’m to be honest, I’m quite glad to see the back of the 2010’s.
But some time in 2018, through sheer will and mental strength, things started turning for the better, and while I had my hiccups, that energy continued into 2019. I started out the year optimistic.
While I stumbled a few times, I picked myself up, and walked on. It’s the only thing you can really do in the circumstances. Lying the middle of the road gains you nothing. Putting one foot in front of another will eventually bring you somewhere.
And it did.
Closing Doors and Discovering Open Windows
This year, I told myself that I’d had enough of the rat race. I was stepping off the hamster wheel, and was no longer actively pursuing my chosen profession. I was, what I’d tell everyone, ‘semi-retired’.
I’d keep my hand in, doing little projects, but not as a daily job anymore. I was tired and I needed a break from something I’d been doing for over 20 years. I realise it is a luxury, but one I have weighed and am comfortable with.
I closed a door on that part of my life.
And a window opened, in the form of opportunities to work more closely with some of my favourite brands. You may notice the odd collaboration I’ve done with various brands throughout the year. It’s been fulfilling and exciting, and challenging. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone, and while I won’t consider it a career change, it has allowed me to explore my creative side.
Above all, it’s been fun 😀 I’m infinitely grateful to the people who have placed so much trust in me, who are willing to work with me, and who let me do my thing as best I know how.
This year too, on a personal level, I closed the door quite firmly on an old bugbear. I came to realize that no good came from dwelling on the past, or from allowing your emotions to be manipulated by someone else.
I allowed my wound to scab over, and eventually, finally, heal. I no longer felt strong emotions, whether of anger or hate. I became ambivalent.
And then, quite out of the blue, a window opened to a connection from the distant past. A connection so faint and tenuous, that it seemed almost imagined.
Yet, there was a chance chat, a chance offer accepted, and a chance meeting of minds. It led to a madcap adventure, deep introspections and silly capers. It led to a leap of faith into the unknown.
But above all, it led to me my pillar of emotional strength when I needed it most, and taught me that I could learn to lean on someone other than myself.
My 2nd half of 2019 has been a very surreal time. It’s been stressful in more ways than one, but I feel lighter, happier, I laugh more, and I sleep better 🙂
On balance therefore, I’d say that 2019 has been an interesting year, and an interesting close of a decade.
The end of a decade and the beginning of another
Depending on how you view it, the end of the 2010’s decade is either this year or next. While my personal belief is that of the latter, I am happy, this time, to accept that this is the close of a decade.
There is much I want to leave behind, as much as I have to celebrate in this past decade.
And one of the things I have to celebrate is having the courage to start my blog back in 2007, and the tenacity to keep at it all this time.
Much has changed in the world of blogging. In fact, I doubt the blogging world even exists anymore. Most conversations are now on other platforms, Instagram, in particular. It has been interesting seeing the evolution of online marketing these past 10 years.
I struggled a lot at the beginning, but I can safely say I think I’ve found my balance between my social media platforms and my blog. My blog is my home, as I always say. It is where you can find me at any time. Social media is like a cafe I hang out at. It’s a nice place to be seen, but it isn’t home 🙂
I can safely say that at the moment, I am happy and content.
I look forward to what the New Year and new decade brings. I look forward to closing doors that no longer open to what I need, and to trust that a window will open when I need it. I look forward to taking a leap of faith, to trust that I will land on my feet, and not on my face 😛
I look forward to new beginnings, and new adventures.
Above all, I look forward to having you share my journey with me 🙂
We have about a week to go before 31 December 2019 comes around, but it’s a good time to pause for a moment, and reflect on what the past year, or decade has been like. Like mine, I hope yours is ending on a high and happy note 🙂
Happy New Year, my friends.
I’ll see you in 2020.