Last year I wrote a summary of the last year of my life in a little rhyming Me At 23 post. As yesterday was my birthday, I thought it only apt that I continue this now-tradition and see what has been learned, gained, lost, and loved in the last orbit around the sun. Here are 12 (my birth date!) rather self-indulgent things that have occurred since last year.
I moved… Again
I’m trying to avoid it being an annual ritual, but I moved once again! This time closer to work, into central London where I can WALK to work which makes a huge difference to my day. No more 2 hour morning commutes squashed like a sardine on the train, no sir!
I revisited my second home… Again
It never ceases to amaze me just how much I love New Zealand. This time I was able to rediscover a few favourite spots as well as find new places that have given me some wonderful memories. If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m a bit of a New Zealand nut and having the chance to visit again was as magical as ever.
I discovered new places
Both at home and further away, the opportunity to wander and find new treasures in the world is my favourite thing ever. Visiting Western Australia was the perfect respite from it all, not to mention the benefit of a little winter sun! Brilliantly blue oceans and the whitest sands were the dream destination, as well as the chance to explore wildlife, countryside, cities, and culture!
I worked hard
My job has been steady over the last two years, and I’m grateful for guidance and freedom to learn in the role I’m in. The hard work and need to constantly improve has paid off, with a new title which has boosted my confidence and given me more responsibility. I’m excited to see what steps might come next; whether I stay on this path or apply the skills learned elsewhere is yet to be seen, but I know I’ll do my best and hope to be happy in my work.
I explored new passions
Photography has been an interest for a while, but only in the past year have I really decided to see what I could gain. I’m excited to grow my knowledge and understanding of this medium of storytelling, but apprehensive of the challenges to be faced (cameras are expensive, yo!).
I kept note
Last Christmas I was gifted a Q&A a day journal, where each page poses a different question, thought, or observation. The diary has room for 5 years’ worth of entries, so I’m proud to have kept it up and look forward to a yearly comparison of my thoughts. It’s such a simple way to remind oneself of what you’ve been up to over days and months, plus helps to reflect on the day that has just passed and the noteworthy moments from it.
I lost something precious, which can never be replaced. Loss can come in many forms, and in this instance it was especially sharp. I’m thankful for memories and experiences, regardless of the difficulties now.
For the first time in my life, I’m attempting to take care of my body and visit the gym a couple of times a week. It’s not much, but I’m unashamedly proud of my minuscule achievement, not least because it’s important to look after one’s health – especially now I’m getting older!
I tried new things
Another year feeling a little older
and wiser, I like to think about the new experiences and unusual things I’ve tried. I’m a creature of habit, so this is always a small achievement for me! In the past year I tried new activities, I tried new foods, I visited new museums and art spaces, and all the other small things that don’t seem like much at the time but all contribute to growing year on year.
I’ve tried to make more of a concerted effort to go out and observe the world. People watch a little, take a few photos of things that interest me, and just explore a bit of the nearby neighbourhood. Made much easier by living on the doorstep of Regent’s Park, I’ve loved the long summer days (and dare I say, the snowy winter ones too!) for a chance to see the familiar spots in a different, more appreciated way.
This isn’t so specific to only this last year, of course my love isn’t determined by an annual subscription of some sort! But I felt the last 12 months I’ve become more self-aware of my feelings, particularly towards those around me. The love for my wonderful family – who continue to astound me with their passion and compassion, and for my partner – who never fails to remain a pillar of strength and source of reassurance, has heightened with the evolutions throughout the year.
Birthday’s are a time to be grateful for life, for the Earth, for the people that fill it, and for the future we can hope to create for ourselves. I’ve never been very good at enjoying my birthday, I find it more reflective than celebratory, but in this instance, I’m so, so glad of everything I’ve been fortunate enough to have this past year. Thank you.
What’s been your thoughts on the past year? I’d love to hear your stories, as always!
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