I’ve always been scared of change, I prefer the safety of a comfort zone. This year though has been nothing but constant changes, some out of my control and some changes because of decisions I’ve had to make. The thing is, I thought I was comfortable, safe and secure but the reality was I was in a danger zone, I was stuck in a rut.
Everyone kept telling me that things were going to end badly, I had so much to face up to but I continued to brush it all under the carpet. See people around me tend think I’m a positive and strong person, and I guess that’s true in some respects, but a large part of that is because I refuse to accept my weaknesses. Growing up, when bad things happened (which was more often than not) my mum always used to say the same thing to me.
‘You gotta laugh Laur, because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ and that always stuck with me. I admired my mum for her ability to always make a joke out of something tragic, her strength to keep going with a smile on her face and not letting the world see her struggle. So I just adopted that attitude, putting on a brave face and pushing my worries to the back of the queue.
That’s not being strong, and I know that now. All I was doing, just like my mum, was not facing up to things I needed to sort out. I had a blasé attitude to everything, bad things would happen and I would just believe everything would turn out okay, without any real effort or change from me. I genuinely believed that if I had a positive attitude that I could get by with that alone, and that eventually, was my downfall.
I’ve realised that optimism also needs a bit of realism by its side. That this little bubble I was living in wasn’t protecting me. Bad things are going to happen, it’s inevitable, I’m sure to make many more mistakes in 2015 and probably years to come and that’s okay. It’s about embracing the good and the bad, and dealing with the stuff that scares you.
So much has changed in a year, and those changes absolutely petrified me, but they needed to happen. I started a new job at the beginning of the year, I was meeting new people, learning new things, travelling here and there, and I felt valued, important. I thought I was doing the right thing. Ever since my son came along, I’ve been trying to climb the career ladder. I studied, I volunteered countless hours (usually doing mundane filing) I put up with shitty people and kept my mouth shut when I just wanted to scream. I worked over my hours, I took work home, and it became my life.
Yet, at home, my life was slipping, I was trying to balance too many plates, and in the end they all smashed to smithereens. I had to make a decision, I had to make a change. There was too much going on at home, and I couldn’t even see the effect it was having on my children. I was only focusing on the end goal, of getting a career and giving my children everything I didn’t have. When all along, all they needed was me, I just couldn’t see it.
But I see it now, I see things more clearly. It’s good to dream and I truly believe everyone should strive to be the best they can be, but the best isn’t always a fancy job, or a career, or a mortgage, or a ‘perfect’ body, or a degree or whatever. The reason we feel like we are under-achieving is because were constantly comparing our camera reel to everyone else’s highlights. There is no set direction, you don’t need to achieve these supposed milestones that the world imposes on you, to be your best.
Change is hard, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you’re going into 2015 wanting to make some changes, then that’s a good thing, you obviously identified areas in your life that could do with some improving, just make sure those changes are for you and not for anyone else. I’ve spent the last year and ones before, investing in myself, and being incredibly selfish, without even realising. My main goal for 2015 is to focus all of my energy on my children. Because of all the things in this life, they are by far my biggest achievement, and year after year they will continue to bring a smile to my face and fill my life with love, that’s one thing that will certainly never change.
Happy New Year Everyone – I hope it brings you happiness xo