Dear Two Thousand and Eighteen,

You’ve been filled with so many momentous occasions that I don’t quite know where to begin. 2018 has been eventful to say the least. It’s been one of the most challenging yet rewarding years of my life to date.

I learnt that you can achieve a lot when you put your mind to it, (with lots of help and encouragement from my partner). We managed to decorate nearly all of the rooms in our house within a matter of 3 months. I became a little bit sick of the sight of B&Q, but it was worth it in the end. We made a house a home.

I learnt to be “social media smart”. To not allow myself to compare my reality to people’s highlights. To not measure my worth in likes, comments or followers. To remember how to communicate properly. I see way too many people getting caught up in it and in my opinion it can cause so many problems. Social media can be good for so many reasons, but a lot of what you see daily isn’t actually real. I wrote a whole separate blog post on it earlier this year – Social Media Vs Reality

Remember what is real and be real.

I learnt just how amazing my own body is. I grew a baby for 9 months (throwing up for 32 weeks of that), went through labour and birth to bring him into the world, and then patiently endured the gruelling recovery to get my body back to normal whilst also adjusting to my new reality as a mum. You don’t truly understand the wonderment of a woman’s body until you do it yourself. And for once in my life I saw my boobs in a positive way; my baby was piling on the pounds due to the nutrients my boobs were producing for him.

This year I learnt the true meaning of the realest love that exists. The love for your child. This year my life changed forever. 10th July 2018, 10.26am – the day our gorgeous little boy came into the world. I fell in love as soon as I laid eyes on him. You just don’t think that your heart is capable of loving so deeply. It’s the most truest, purest type of love and one that’s so hard to explain.

Lorenzo Joe Jack – now nearly 6 month’s old!

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With that I learnt the true definition of sleep deprivation. I can totally see why it was used as a form of torture! I’ve learnt that dressing Lorenzo is a million times harder than it was my dolls, and that babies have gigantic bogies and really loud farts.

I’ve met some incredible ladies which have become good friends who I’ve been able to open up to, sharing gruesome details about things that happen to our bodies throughout the process of pregnancy and childbirth. Being able to reach out and share my “is this normal”, or “should I be really be crying over this” questions and worries has been so reassuring.

I learnt that I’m really not that bad after all. I’ll never forget my struggles with low self esteem, confidence issues and how much I used to knock myself down. Obsessing over being a certain weight and worrying about my appearance all to much. If only back then I could see into the future and recognise that someone would ask me to marry them for who I am and all the imperfections that make me, me. Jack and I recently got engaged on 15th December on a canal in Amsterdam.            It. was. P e r f e c t. 

I learnt that life really can get better. This is the third year in a row I’ve written a “dear year” blog post. Reading back on my 2016 post, you would think it was a completely different person. I always reflect and reminisce on some of the darker moments in my life. Times were I felt so low and depressed that I questioned my purpose and whether I even wanted to be here. When I look at what I have now, it makes me feel sick that my mind ever allowed me to even feel that way. My life is far from perfect, whatever that is. I still have problems. But despite my life taking some unexpected twists and turns in the last few years, I’ve learnt to create my own perfect and make the best of what I have. I’ve come to realise that there will be plenty of times in life where I may feel a bit lost, empty, confused or angry. Pain is imminent and will always exist and self-growth isn’t always constant. Have you ever looked back on something that once upset you yet something positive has come out of it since? It’s like that. Painful, stressful or upsetting situations won’t remain in your life forever. You will slowly break away from what was to be able to welcome what will be.

So thank-you 2018 for exceeding all my expectations. Big time. If you told me two years ago I’d end this year engaged with a baby I would’ve laughed!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy 2019, filled with beautiful memories and treasured moments.

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