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new year, who you?

I can’t remember the last time I could breathe.

Breathe. The simplest necessity of life.

Yes, I took in oxygen for the purpose of, well, not dying, but not to live. I just needed enough air to get me through.

After a tumultuous 2021, I had high hopes for what 2022 was going to bring me and the ones I hold nearest. We’d been through a rough couple of years so this was going to be the year! My aspirations for the New Year were many. I fast learnt how wrong I was. With family illnesses, custody battles, blending families, shitty people doing shitty things (i’m not immune to this), house renovations, work restructure, navigating a pandemic all topped with heightened anxiety and dread of the unknown 2022 was shaping up to be one of the most challenging yet.

By the time our last day of work for the year rolled around I was burnt out and had very little left to give – to any portion of my life. I was on the brink of breaking…. shattering really. I didn’t like the person I had become. I very rarely get dark, but I found myself there. A ball of anxious, hatred, jealousy, fear filled, teary sack of shit to put it quite frankly. My light was almost out, and I wanted it back, I just didn’t know how to find it or where to start. With so many worries completely out of my control I was going to need to dig deep. I’ve felt more hopeless in the isolation of my stress throughout the latter few months of the year than I have ever felt, and I worry that a younger iteration of myself would be disappointed in what my life has been and who I’ve become. It was official – 2022 wins the title of most arduous year to date.

I’m not alone in this feeling. There is definitely a common theme amongst people’s views over the last couple of years – they fucking sucked. For all the good that came there was always something shitty looming just around the corner ready to take you down a peg or ten.

I’m not ashamed to say I was broken. Some may see this as a weakness but it is simply recognising that you are at your limits. You should never be ashamed to either.

A friend of mine over the summer break introduced me to a very inspiring poet & author. Donna Ashworth. More specifically this excerpt she had posted

No, 2023 won’t be the best year yet.
Nor will it be the worst.
You see, a year is a mosaic of absolutely everything.
Joy, fear, heartache, loss, beauty, pain, love.
Failure, learning, friendship, misery, exhilaration.
Each day, each moment even, is a tiny shard of glass in this beautiful, confusing creation.
2023 will be another mosaic to add to your wall of art.
A wall that shows the life, you are continuously gifted.
A wall that shows you are human.
A wall of survival.
I wish you many broken pieces of glass this year, my friends.
Because this is living.
And before you march on into another year of ‘everything’, pause to look back at the work you have created thus far.
It is quite something.
You are quite something.
Now onwards we go, my friends.
Onwards we go.

This got me good, a brilliant perspective on hardships and the necessity of them in life. Without the toughness, how do we learn? How do we grow? No one wants the hard. No one wants to believe they do shitty things. No one wants to experience heartache. No one wants to fail. The harsh reality is that you’re not going to get through life without these moments. But you will learn, you will grow, you’ll do less shitty things, you will succeed and you will get through the hard times. Ultimately transitioning you into the ever evolving version of your authentic self. I think the biggest flaw in a human is the naivety that you are without fault or ‘perfect’. We are so quick to judge someone on an imperfection without first being acceptant of our own.

I’ve done some stupid, very regrettable things in my life. Believe me when I say that. Every now and then I manage to surprise myself with pulling out a dick move, mostly alcohol fuelled if i’m being honest. Happens a lot less than the me living her ‘20’s best life’ but i’m sorry to say age has not made me completely immune to the idiocy. I’d love to say it will never happen again but hey, wine.

Do you believe people can change? If the answer was no – do you think you can change? The answer is yes, right? So if you can change, why would we not credit someone else on their journey? If the answer was yes – I agree. In a world that has changed so much in such a short space of time, the key to survival is our own adaptability to the unpredictable. Or do you choose to stay stagnant? No, we change. 

For the New Year, don’t make ‘resolutions’. Make this a time you throw away old habits that have hindered your happiness and success. There are probably people it’s time to let go of. Paths you should look at taking, and ways you can give back. Finally allow your greatest self to flourish. 

I think I’ve finally resigned to the fact that life doesn’t get easier. And your life certainly doesn’t start if or when it does. At some point you just have to focus on what is important – to you. You can’t live your life for someone else, and you certainly can’t let someone else tell you how to live your life. Let that be their wasted energy. All that matters is what makes you tick? What floats your boat, toot’s your horn – you’re picking up what I’m putting down? You are never going to be 100% ready, or able, to live the life you really want, so you may as well go for it now. Doesn’t work out? So what! That’s life. A series of mistakes – but not all. Remember you’ll never get a second chance at something you didn’t take a first chance at. That is true failure. 

This year I took my first real breath in as long as I can remember.

Inhaled a sense of hope, a future. 

I changed. For better, for worse? The verdicts out on this yet but I’ve changed. It’s time to move forward, to push myself, to get excited about what’s next. To take hold and appreciate those whom I love and those who truly love and value  me. To say goodbye to the old, yet appreciative of the foundations, it’s time for a new chapter. Heck a new book I think. Go big or go home!

I had a wonderful three week summer break with some amazing people, venturing around the north just enjoying the elements (not necessarily the most ideal ‘summer’ elements but we made the most). I actually unwound for the first time in I can remember. My niece and her family moved back from Brisbane after having to deal with some pretty big things. She’s come home healthy and ready to start her next chapter. Matt proposed – I KNOW!!! But I’ll have to do a whole nother post on this one or you’ll be here for months. (Be prepared for all things wedding) I handed in my resignation at work, you know – practice what you preach and all. I am setting foundations to follow my dream career path. A path I have always been too scared to follow because of those looming ‘what ifs’ and the comfortability of security. But fuck it – this girls going to live her one life right!

So this year comes with no ‘New Year’ resolutions as such – yes i’d like to be less chunky, yes i’d like to ditch some unfavorable habits, no I do not want to give up wine and I sure as shit am not running a marathon! My 2023 hopes can be summed up in the simplest of words – Happy.

Embracing the moment, finding joy and contentment in being alive, rolling with life’s ebbs and flows. Relaxing into the unknown, and circumstantial acceptance without judgment, the cultivation of a deeper appreciation and gratitude for the here and now. To move through life with more grace and ease.

So much time I have wasted getting distracted by so many different things. Anxiety is doing nothing but fearing what’s around the corner. What people think, what people are saying, what following certain paths will lead to, what will become of the world. Being riddled and so consumed by the what ifs have led me to not live my life in the moment like I would really like to.

I’ve constantly had something on my mind which really cock blocks the joy of some moments.

The thing is, everyone has qualities that they may well have forgotten – your resilience, your unconditional love, your strength, your creativity, your capacity to turn a challenge into a moment of joy. To connect with your authentic self, you must remember these qualities, befriend them, and keep them close. They will not only help you find your way through the chaos, but may even help kindle a flame inside that makes the chaos beautiful. It will enable you to share your own experiences with others and together, you can light up the kitchen.

What good are the irreplaceable moments of today if they’re spent reliving the past or daydreaming of the future? As if we are existing in the present, but unsatisfied with it, seeking to be somewhere else, somewhere better. Is there something about this current moment, just here and now, that makes it so hard to appreciate?

Maybe the answer lies in our need for a sense of security and control in our lives. There is a strong desire in us to feel that we control our environment, or that there will always be tomorrow. I was once a shocker for this. A safe and known world is one in which we feel comfortable and secure – one that looks like yesterday’s events or tomorrow’s promise.

The present moment, however, comes with no guarantees. 

This is an opportunity to truly live in the moment, not to discard experiences lived, but to appreciate it, in all its uncertainty and unpredictability, for what it is. And move the fuck on.

For my 2023 my promise, not to you, but to myself is:

Pretty much I want to live the fuck out of my best life. Tis my hope to you too!

Here’s to breathing.


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