2014 was one hell of a year. It's amazing how parts of your life can just magically fall into place whilst other parts just fall apart. It's been an incredibly challenging year for me and with hindsight I'm not sure how I've managed to get to this point of my life. It's been a year of incredibly high highs and very low lows. I had two aims for 2014: pass my Masters of Science with a merit and get a full time job related to my masters. I have accomplished both those things and am incredibly proud of myself and all my hard work.
Everything in life since I was 14 years old, I have achieved by myself. I live alone, miles away from my parents and any direct family. I've had to push myself to achieve my goals and work hard. In that sense this year really pushed my to my limits, academically as well as emotionally. Somethings turned out better than I could have hoped for, whilst other things didn't work out at all. In terms of learning this year has probably been the crucial stepping stone going forward in life.
So the lessons I learned from 2014 are as follows:
You're stronger than you think
There were some days this year where I didn't think I could make it out of bed let alone through the day. But I got up, put some lipstick on and got on with my life and tried to kick ass. There were honestly those days where I thought it wasn't going to get any better and that this was it, I was going to have a breakdown. But I made it through regardless. There were lots of tears involved and ugly crying days but I did my best and it's turned out pretty good.
Don't underestimate yourself
I'm guilty of this, I always underestimate myself and belittle myself. I'm probably my own worst enemy. But working part time and writing a 23,000 word dissertation whilst dealing with a break up made me push myself further than I ever did and I proved myself wrong about my coping abilities.
Hard work pays off
I started job hunting last April and was sending out applications every day whilst going to university and studying for my exams. In the end I got a job before I even finished my dissertation. Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who work hard and go after what they want. I wanted a job in Cardiff so I could stay here and be close to my friends and live the life I wanted to live. I worked hard and made my dream a reality. I'm working for an interesting company that has an exciting future, and I with it. Hard work really does pay off.
Boys come and go, but friends are forever
2014 was the year of amazing friends. I can't even really express how much my friends mean to me and how supportive they have been of everything I have done. I've had so many laughs with my best Welsh soul sister WGP, my best friend from university Simone has been a constant source of love, my university friends and the friends I made through blogging (Sophie, Jade, Staceyand Sharon) have all given me so much joy and laughs. I wouldn't trade them for a single boy. I'm enjoying being my own person and spending time with people I care about and can't wait to get into my trouble with my friends in 2015.
Don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing the best you can
In the world of Twitter, blogging and Instagram it's easy to compare your life with another 20 something year old and wonder where you're going wrong. Sometimes it feels like everyone is achieving and you're not. Some people are living the dream in designer clothes and jetting off to fabulous places whilst you're avoiding folding the pants that are drying on the radiator and you haven't even put a bra on that day. Comparison is the thief of joy. As long as you're doing what makes you happy and gives you satisfaction, you're doing something right. Comparing your life to someone else's isn't going to do you any favours. You've worked hard to get to where you are, enjoy that success and keep on going.
I feel like 2015 is really going to be my year, I have a whole new adventure ahead of me in both my career and personal life. I have amazing friends by my side and I'm going to start taking those all important steps towards building up my confidence and self worth. Life's too short to be miserable and wasting it away.
Watch out 2015, Nina's coming for you.
"Don't struggle so much, best things happen when not expected.” ― Gabriel García Márquez