I wrote a blog post documenting lessons I had learnt over the course of 2016; it was definitely rather therapeutic and allowed to me to get a lot off my chest and out onto the public sphere. I decided, that I would write the lessons I had learnt over 2017 into a blog post.
Lesson 1: Quality over Quantity
This line, I was always told at school when writing answers to exam questions; where I would write pages and pages where those pages would never actually answer the question but waste my time and my teachers’ time. But, I now have started to realise this in life regarding friends and friendships. I was also told a few years ago, that when you’re ill you know who your real friends are and the last three months of this year I’ve been poorly and as a result I’ve been made aware of who my true friends are. I’ve learnt that as you get older, it’s far better to have few good quality friends than tens of poor, untrustworthy and sly friends who are out to mock and judge you. At school, we’re encouraged to have lots of friends but in actual fact, we never understand the difference between ‘friend’ and ‘acquaintance’. Those who have not been good quality friends as of this year, have become more like acquaintances to me this year than friends.
Lesson 2: Move on.
Have you ever invested effort, time and your feelings into a ‘friendship’ that you think will lead to a relationship and then you see from your stalking on social media that they’ve moved on found someone who apparently was, who they were looking for, not you? As a vague description, the complete opposite to you: blonde, blue eyes, not into make-up or fashion at all or that’s the definition of opposite when in comparison to myself. Well, this year I saw it twice. Twice, I saw men who I had associated myself with, find new relationships or ‘friendships’. At first, it hurt me, made me feel like chopped liver, but now I look at it, like Iris, in The Holiday, where she asks Jasper if, he could let her fall out of love with him and that’s what I had to do. I was never in love with those men, but, instead I had my feelings hurt and if you’ve had your feelings hurt than this can be as bad as going through a break up or even having been in a relationship with the person. I’ve had to be like Taylor Swift in her album ‘Reputation’. So, now, I did that thing where you tell yourself you were better, you move on and forget about them. You realise that if it was meant to be, you would be maybe sat in bed with that person watching the re-run of Casualty on satellite television rather than laid in bed on your own, with tears in your eyes pretending you’re ok but in actual fact you’re lonely and wishing for answers. Also hating your appearance wishing you had someone in your life telling you, you were perfectly ok as a size 8 with a big bum is too big for certain clothes.
Lesson 3: Unfollow not Unfriend
I wrote a post a few months ago, about how I was finally accepting the action of a person unfriending me or unfollowing me from social media. I still get proper pissed off when I see that a person has unfriended me; since hurling myself into blogging properly with social media I’ve learnt that unfollowing isn’t a problem, you accept it and move on. However, unfriending is hurtful, it makes you question who you were to that person and their reasons why they unfriended you. Were they against self-promotion? Was it because they realised you were no longer friends? Or, was it because you were annoying them? However, you look at it, it’s hurtful. I was tempted to unfriend lots of people, but in favour of unfriending, I decided to use that feature of unfollow for lots of people I wanted to unfriend but couldn’t bring myself to unfriend. I didn’t want to be obsessed with their life anymore but wanted them to still see me in their friends list so unfollowing them made it slightly easier. I wanted to know that if I happened to be interested in their life, I could click on their name on my feed and have a browse over their content rather than unfriending, not knowing who or what they were doing. So, top tip, if you want to unfriend someone, just unfollow them and chances are, you won’t see their content ever on your newsfeed unless you go for a gander of their profile.
Lesson 4: Not all neurologists look like Patrick Dempsey
When my GP told me, I was being referred to a neurologist, I was soiling myself in the words of Alan Partridge but I then had to think positively because it was being done to rule out the worst-case scenario. To calm my nerves or to mask my nerves with witty comments, I imagined that all neurologists would be like Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy; turns out that like my male friends’ new girlfriends, neurologists are also completely opposite to what I thought.
Lesson 5: Old but a Gooden
I think we, all have a tendency to dismiss certain things if they are older than 2012 because it seems right to do so or because if it’s old it won’t apply to 2017 modern life. For example, Sex and the City; this was a series I found after desperately searching for a series I could binge watch, whilst poorly and lots of people had suggested it to me. However, it was worth the hype; I’ve realised that even with it being so old it is in fact still applicable to 2017 and as we go into 2018. I love; how being single, being open with your sex life, being career minded and confessing your feelings is not seen as a flaw but empowering for a woman. I have fallen in love with the boxset this year and know that I’ll probably be watching it again sometime soon.
Lesson 6: Wait
When I finished my degree, I was straight away searching for full time work and was desperate to find work, despite not knowing what I was going to graduate with. I was applying for lots of graduate jobs, some of which I knew I wanted to do and others I clearly didn’t want to do but was so keen to be one of those people who found work straight away. I had lots of interviews and was offered roles that were clearly not what I wanted to do, so decided to reject them; at first, I was paranoid that I would never find work that would fit with what I had wanted to do when I left University. I found the jobs I rejected, the recruiter was looking down on me for rejecting such a decision. However, waiting for the right job and right offer was what I did and was ever so grateful that I did because potentially I would have taken the first offer and have been miserable in doing so. Yes, I would have left retail and been one of the first to get a job after finishing University but it wouldn’t have made me happy and to be honest you have to think about your happiness.
Lesson 7: Buying a Following is fraud
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will be familiar with the blogging industry and how it has evolved from a person’s hobby into a person’s career; people can go from working full time in admin to working full time as social media/blogger people – but have you ever questioned how they’ve made such transition or suddenly boomed? Well, I learnt this year that amongst the bloggers who have truly gone out of their way to make a following on their own, there are many who have cheated their way to the top. Lots, have gone onto sites on the interweb and purchased their thousands of followers, likes and comments. This seems innocent if you’re a kid wanting to get more likes on a pic than your friends but when your Instagram is a business it’s cheating. Many bloggers, like myself who maybe don’t have a following of the same amount as someone as other bloggers will not get approached by brands or PR’s for opportunities because we don’t have that following but those who have purchased their following do. This becomes unfair, we become jealous but feel cheated as these brands are unaware of the truth picture. I will pick up a following of a larger scale than I currently have now; but, Im prepared to work hard to produce this organically in favour of buying it and cheating my way to the top.
Lesson 8: Try something NEW
In January, I decided to try a new fitness class at my gym because I was becoming slightly bored of my current regime and wanted something new; so, I tried Body Combat. I was told by a family member, that it’s definitely a hard-core class; my first class was definitely an experience because of its intensity and speed but it has become one of my favourite classes of 2017 and of all time. I love how when I go to a body combat class it burns so many calories like spinning but also gets my stress, anger and hatred towards people out of my system with the style of routines.
Lesson 9: Its ME
The last three months of this year have been dedicated to my absence of sassy Ev due to illness and my diagnosis of ME. Like, everything else, I wrote about this too and will leave all related posts below for you to browse over. I was diagnosed back at the start of November and since then have been coming to terms with the diagnosis and how it impacts/effects my life or net letting it impacting my life too much. It’s amazing to have learnt that my condition has given me the gluten intolerance so I did have a gluten intolerance but was something to do with the ME. When I have an ME relapse, I develop an intolerance to gluten which suggests I’ve had ME for a lot longer than I thought I did; potentially since the start of 2016. I realised that I’ve also had issues with low B12 since last year and so it has never sorted itself out. Always been low on the b12. I’m now attempting to deal with it and work through it, trying to find a life that suits it but not putting anything or anyone on hold. I want to live my life, doing things that I would have done months ago whether that be attending concerts, gym classes, meals out or cinemas.
Lesson 10: LOVE Yo-Self
I am super confident with new situations, new people and challenges but this year I’ve tried to love myself properly. Now, my family will read this lesson and think of it as bizarre as they think I love myself and am so body confident which I can be, there is no doubt there when I have a great outfit on, that black sleeveless, strapless jumpsuit back in March for example, I love myself and want to shout it from the roof tops. However, 96%, of the time, I despise what I see in the mirror; and this is not me fishing for compliments but this is me confessing that when I look in the mirror whether I am naked, clothed or in underwear I despise my body and appearance. So, I’ve learnt to try to love myself, because how on earth will I find a relationship when I cannot love myself or be in a position when I am body confident.
Lesson 11: It’s OK to be single
I wrote this one, in my last lessons of the year but I am still trying to accept and learn that it’s not such an issue. Perhaps it bothers me, because all my closest friends are in long term relationships and I’m the only Bridget Jones figure OR it bothers me because I’ve had my share of my ‘fuck boys’ and I’ve invested feelings and time into those to end with looking like a mug. However, I am now embracing single hood and being ok being on my own because so far, I have done very ok without a man by my side. Also, shoutout to the date I went on, back in May, when the guy took me out and didn’t have the decency to text me. What a waste of foundation, powder, mascara and false lashes that was. So, yes, I’ve accepted being single, as hard as it can be, I’ve done so and have tried to be ok with it as hard as it can be.
So what are the lessons you’ve learnt during 2017?