6 Months – Moving On & Self Discovery

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6 months. That’s how long it’s been since I started a brand new chapter of my life.

They say that you shouldn’t let your professional life affect your personal life. That work shouldn’t be as important as your relationships/friendships/family. But when you’re suddenly left without a job, you quickly realize just how important having a professional life can be and how it can affect you as a person.

6 months ago, I was made redundant from my job that I had held for the past 5 years. It was always something I was proud of for my age – securing a job which I not only enjoyed doing, but one that I had been able to stay at for 5 years. So many people in my generation seemed content with switching and changing, picking and choosing and trying a bit of everything before finally settling into what they wanted to do. I felt so lucky to have found something I enjoyed doing, doing it well and continuing to do it well for 5 years.

I learned that a lot can change in 5 years for a person. You learn so much about yourself both professionally and personally. But I’ve also learned how much one can learn about themselves in as little as 6 months. How much I can impress myself, looking back on what I have achieved since leaving my job in May, 2016 and how far I have come personally.

You would think that being made redundant would have broken my self-confidence and shattered my belief in myself that I could find another job that I loved just as much as the one I had. 6 months ago, I would have let my anxiety get the better of me and probably would have made myself sick through fear of the unknown.

The truth is, I do fear the unknown. I worry about not only my future, but the future of everyone I love. The difference between who I am now and who I was 6 months ago is that I realize that some things just aren’t up to us to decide. We have to be open to change, to possibility and bend when the wind tries to break us.

I’ve been working in a new job for a wonderful company for the past 4 months. Something I never saw coming, yet when it happened, it just felt right. I knew it was because I kept myself calm and positive, even though the second month of unemployment (which definitely tested my strength).

This whole post isn’t about me. It’s not about overcoming a hard time or my pride in myself for riding through the roller-coaster of change and being left relatively unscathed (although I do reflect on both regularly). I want whoever is reading this post and is dealing with hardship to know this: nobody knows what is going to happen in their lives. We have no idea what we will be doing a week or a month or 6 months from now.

I say to you, do not be afraid of change. Do not let others’ worries for you become your own. Take care of yourself, of your anxieties and your fears and do not close yourself off to change in whatever area of your life you are hoping for some kind of miracle.

6 months ago, I started a new chapter and I feel as though I am a different woman because of it on so many levels. Learning to roll with the punches that life throws at us can be tough, but once you can duck before you’re hit, things start to become a whole lot clearer and the challenge of life becomes so much more.

Try your best, take care of yourself, love yourself and never stop creating positivity within yourself.

6 months has gone and I’ll never look back.

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How Reading My Teenage Diary Helped Me With Self Acceptance

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It’s amazing what reminiscing about the past can do for your current self.

Over the weekend, in between cleaning, I came across my collection of diaries/journals I kept from age 10-21. I used them to write about anything and everything. From the boys I had a crush on, to my thoughts on friends/family and the moments in my life which caused me great heartache or joy. I guess I’ve always loved to write.

Reading entries from 10 year old me to 21 year old me, it became incredibly apparent to me how much I have grown as a person. Of course, 10 year old me would be different to 26 year old me, that’s kind of a given (and a hope). The thing that surprised me was just how much I have matured from 21-26. How my views on life/love have changed. Most importantly, how my views on myself have changed. Reading diary entries from my 20 year old self was almost as if I was reading writing from someone else.

I feel like my most important years for growth (so far) have been ages 18-22. When high school ended and I began working, trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I began drifting away from certain friends and also making new ones. I also experienced some extremely happy times and some incredibly sad times between those ages. They were years I think many people will agree were formative and although some days were tough to get through, I now realise, looking back, that I needed those days and those years to move closer to self acceptance.

18 year old me honestly believed she needed to find love and get married/have babies by the time she was 25-30. 26 year old me is single and although she’d love to find love, marriage/babies is the furthest thing from her mind. 20 year old me was so content with finding a job which she could do forever. 26 year old me realises not all jobs are meant to last for years and even the ones you only get to work at for a few months will teach you something about people and a lot about yourself.

19 year old me was so hurt by people she didn’t even know. She was so intent on pleasing everyone and fixing everybody’s problems, even when they didn’t necessarily need her to help. 26 year old me has (only recently) realised that she cannot help anyone without first helping herself and loving herself/taking herself to the best of her ability.

Then there’s Teenage Me. I don’t even know where to start with her! I will say that when you’re 14, friends mean everything to you and in a different way than they do in adulthood. 14 year old me trusted people so easily, confided in the wrong people and got her heart broken by ‘friends’ who were honestly probably just as selfish as she was. 26 year old me still trusts people too easily, but knows when to keep her mouth shut regarding things she doesn’t want the world knowing about. She may not have as many friends as she did in high school (who does though?) but the ones she does have would be there for her at the drop of a hat.

The person I used to be, or the people I used to be, all lead me to be the woman I am today. No matter how embarrassing some of my old diary entries are – let me tell you, there are doozies – they truly remind me how far I have come in life and how much I have learned about myself and my capabilities as an individual over the years.

Usually I talk about moving forward and keeping the past in the past. I still think that this is an important way to get through life’s struggles, but sometimes it’s important to look back and marvel at how far you’ve come. Read an old diary, look through scrapbooks, smile at old photos and even read old letters from friends you may have forgotten you had. Then, turn your attention back to the You of today and hopefully you’ll see how far you’ve come and how much more you have left to achieve for yourself.

Sometimes, in order to continue down the path of self-acceptance, we need to look behind us every now and then.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing, don’t you agree? Did you keep a diary/journal as a teen? How have you changed through the years?

Keep growing,

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