The Christmas break was so nice. I decided to not blog for the entire period and I don't feel and ounce of guilt. It was so lovely to just fully switch off and for once not worry about photos and words and all the other social media stuff. Ah lovely. But it's 2017 now and I'm back to it.
2016 was a funny old year, for many, many different reasons. So here's hoping and working hard to make sure that 2017 is a kick ass year. But I've found that in order to move forward, some home truths have to be realised and accepted. So here are the 12 harsh truths I learned in 2016 and will learn from in 2017.
1 Friendships do die without care
Most people have that one special friend, who you do everything with, tell them all your darkest secrets and have shared life’s ups and downs. You think you’ll be best friends forever and then… one day you're not. That happened to me. Little things started to piss me off, I let work and the (let’s be honest not very far) distance come between us. And so yes, without intending to I let a friendship die and then I only realised when it was too late, by which point, I was very much unfriended. Which leads me on to…
2 Sometimes I should just swallow my pride
With most friends I always felt like I was the one to have to do all the arranging and chasing. It was me who always text to say lets meet up, and soon I began to feel resentful. So I stopped texting and arranging, and sure enough, we never saw each other anymore. Others told me to stop being an arse and just get in touch, but my pride wouldn’t let me do it. Now sometimes if you think people are not worth it, go right ahead and cut that cord, but also it’s important to learn when it is NOT time to cut the cord. I think I should have swallowed my pride, but I didn’t.
3 I really can’t pull off the no smiling, model pose.
And I really should stop trying. I look like I’ve fallen asleep with my eyes half open.
4 Shit happens… over and over…
When I say I feel like I can’t catch a break sometimes, I really feel like I can’t. In 3 short years, I’ve had to get HR involved in a work grievance process with my manager, told my new job was being outsourced, with the very next day told my flat tenancy was being cut short due to the Land Lord selling the flat, being made redundant from my new new job, having over £1000 stolen from me and finding myself homeless for 2 months ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS. And you know what, probably more shit is going to happen, as that just seems to happen to me…
5 So maybe I should prepare myself for said shit storm
Which is brings me on to my next point. Shit happens, it does, and sometimes it is so bad, it feels like you may never recover.
I often cursed the world and wondered what I had done to always seem to end up with the short straw, but you know what? Tough luck kiddo.
One thing I’ve learned is just because you give up, doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen. So you might as well try and face them, as the worse that can happen is you end up in the same position if you never tried, but there’s also a great possibility you'll make an improvement instead.
I don’t believe in people saying, oh but compared to so and so your situation isn’t that bad. Come on now, what may be small to one person, may be someone elses worse nightmare, so just lay off the judgement, and let someone get on with climbing their own mountain.
6 Cheese is a carb! I repeat cheese is a carb.
7 I haven’t fully learned to love myself…
But I now know this and I’m working on it big time. It’s OK to admit this, so long as you do something about it.
8 I really should start to get more organised
I work in quite a free flowing way, which sounds all modern and zen, but in reality, I named my file something random and I can't find it. I also have a habit of skim reading emails and missing crucial information. Case today, I just let my public liability insurance automatically renew, not really bothering to read up on whether my new job required the same level of insurance. It does not, and now I’m £300 worse off. Oh well done Laura.
9 Being busy is not a badge of honour
Seriously, we all need to knock it off now. I’m as guilty as the next person, but seriously reading through Twitter, blog posts and listening to my friends and work colleagues, it’s like it’s some sort of competition. I worked until 3am yesterday… well I worked until 4... Well I had 10 meetings, and still managed to write 3 presentations, fly to China and unicycle along the Great wall of China whilst updating my Instagram all before midnight. Yawn. Seriously we all need to pack it in. Being so busy you can’t think straight is super bad for us and our mental health. Come to think of it, our physical health too. It’s Ok to want and have down time. It keeps us recharged and also sane.
10 I really can’t dance as well as I think.
Once I hit the club in my boobtastic dress, and got my wiggle on, I was totally Beyonce. Sadly we live in an age of video phones and I can tell you right now, I am not Beyonces twin. Alas.
11 Just do what you love, not what you think you should be doing
The biggest thing for me is realising that maybe what I thought I should be doing really isn’t what I ought to be doing. Let me put it like this. I’ve always been ambitious, but that ambitious is partly driven by what others think of me and what society tells us is successful. I sit at work and I look at my screen- usually Excel or some non too exciting Word document and wonder, is it really worth it? Sure I’m not about to join all those Instagram worthy quotes about how you should just give up your job and go travel- I mean come on, money? Commitments? Etc etc. But maybe it’s worth doing something less well paid, less “successful” (according to society) and do something I’ll actually love doing every single day. I haven’t figured out that one yet, but 2016 was the year I actually started to understand the idea.
12 Even if you work really hard, it might not pay off
Sadly, sometimes this is true. I saw a few bloggers say recently that if you work really really hard at your blog, you’ll become big (at blogging). And I agree with that, make sure you do work hard, BUT I can tell you I work damn hard at my blog too, yet I know I’ll never be this big star of a blogger. I mean sure, I’m not saying I’m the most hard working person ever to do blogging, ha nah, I also like to read Daily Mail and eat Haribo instead of Instagramming. But sadly in life, it’s not a straight effort = reward. This goes for outside of blogging and into IRL. Just sometimes things don’t work out, no matter how hard you try. That’s life. But all you can do is do the best you can, put in the effort, to give you the best chance, but if you don’t come out on top, just understand that it’s ok not to be the best at everything.