Whenever a year draws to a close, many of us start planning the year ahead. We feel determined to put the past behind us, we ponder about our new year’s resolutions and we want the next year to be better than the last. But sometimes, we shouldn’t just focus all our energy on moving forward. We should, however, invest some of our energy in reflecting back on the positive that has happened and congratulate ourselves on what we have achieved. Because, truth be told, a lot can change in a year – not only for worse, but for better too.
My year wasn’t smooth sailing. Far from it. If I were to list my biggest challenge for this year it would be the challenges to my marriage. Just like anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve tested each other, done and said things we shouldn’t have, questioned whether we could overcome it all. But we have. And as corny as it sounds, we’re honestly stronger because we know we’ve fought to be where we are today. We believe that if our marriage can survive all the challenges that we’ve been confronted with this year, then this is a love worth treasuring for life.
As for my other relationships, I’ve lost friends who weren’t the people I thought they were but I’ve come to terms with that. I’ve reconnected with people who have always had a special place in my heart. I’ve realised who my true friends are because they’ve supported me along my journey from being a blogger to becoming a freelance writer. I am truly grateful for all those people who believed I could do it, who believed in my writing, who believed in me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all your love and kindness.
Since May of this year, I have been writing for Fairfax Media, one of Australia’s largest media companies. I have pushed myself, set goals and achieved them, accomplished what people said I couldn’t do. I’ve made many people proud of me, but I’ve made myself proud too. For someone like me who thought they were ‘stupid‘, it’s a wonderful feeling to finally realise that I’m not; that I’m a kind and loving person who’s making a difference through my writing.
Looking at the positives
Although I could sit here thinking about all the bad that’s happened to me this year, I will choose not to. I want to focus on the good and look ahead towards a better future.
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This year, I have learned that:
* It is worth seeing the best in people.
Sometimes people aren’t ready to change, but sometimes, you may be their only hope. I have spent almost 8 years believing in someone that never believed in themselves. Two weeks ago, this person told me that I’m the reason they’re a better person and because of me, they feel worthy of living. Our relationship has been tested many times over the years, but it has never faltered. I’m glad that I never gave up on this person.
* There is always hope.
Each year brings its own challenges, but it also brings its own bright, sunny days. You never know what the future holds: the beautiful people you might meet, the opportunities you might come across. I once thought that nobody was reading my blog, but 2013 was the year that my writing career took off. I had the courage to believe in myself, to not give up. And look at me – getting paid to write, making a difference, and I feel so much happier as a wife, a mother, a family member and as a friend. I’m proof that things can always get better.
* It’s about baby steps.
One day, I hope to build my own house with my own money. I dream of having a life for my family where we don’t have to worry so much; where our lives don’t have to revolve around money. And with the freelance writing I’m doing now, I know that we’re steps closer to achieving our dream. We may not be there yet, but we’re getting closer and that’s what matters. So I’m going to continue to work hard so we can achieve this goal.
A lot can change in a year
Before you say goodbye to 2013, make sure you take a moment to appreciate all the good that has happened this year. Even if you didn’t reach the goals you thought you would, be proud that you tried. Even if you didn’t appreciate your loved ones the way you should have, be proud that you’re aware of this now and still have the chance to do something about it.
Don’t focus on the goals that you didn’t accomplish, but choose to look ahead to the ones that you still can.
Even if this year wasn’t ‘your year’, know that a lot can change in a year. That you can change a lot in a year.