Alright hunties- it’s the last day of 2013. A time for quiet reflection, deep thought, and cutting shapes under a disco ball.
This time last year, my dearest pal Rosie and I made a list of the four lessons that we’d learned in 2012. These were:
1. Wear all your best things now.
No more “Oh I’m saving these earrings for a special occasion” or “these shoes are too fancy for everyday” The world is your catwalk. PUT. THEM. ON. Now.
2. Wear breathable fabrics.
Don’t be hanging out with your friends Poly and Ester because that just leads to moist pits (yes I said moist- come at me bro) and hence, stench.
3. Never bone anyone that can’t spell.
We cannot stress the importance of this one.
4. A pop of red lipstick is scientifically proven to improve the quality of your day by 4000%.
FACT. I don’t make the rules here, people. I know a lot of gals worry that red lippie is too bold, or that they’ll look like a clown. Trust me on this one- there’s a red lipstick for everyone. And that red lipstick is MAC’s Ruby Woo. Get it now, thank me later.
So! As I sit here surrounded by options for tonight’s outfit (all options involve leopard print), I’m thinking about the four important lessons I learned in 2013.
1. Fall in love with you.
For me this year has been an incredible journey of self-acceptance and finally, self-confidence. I AM A BIG GIRL. I am a soft, round, jiggly person and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realize that that’s every last bit of ok. This time last year I was hiding behind loose-fitting clothes. Ain’t nobody got time for those shapeless muumuus! This is the body I have been given and it is beautiful in its soft roundness. Being a big girl is not a crime, nor anything to be ashamed of. If you want to lose weight, go on with your bad self. If you don’t, then don’t. But whichever you choose, don’t feel like you have to hide. Are you worried that people will stare? Yes? Then give em something to really look at.
2. Being self-responsible does not equate to being selfish.
I am so grateful for this particular lesson, because this year I’m pretty sure it saved me. I’m proud to finally call myself an advocate of self-care. You know how sometimes you feel like you’re being spread too thin? Trying to do too many things at once? You wake up in the morning with a sense of dread, because you’ve made too many promises to too many people, and you’re exhausted. Your heart is pounding at the thought of letting anybody down, so you grit your teeth and you say “yes” when you mean “no” and “sure” when you mean “please God I just need some time to myself.” I’m a secret introvert, and I need a lot of alone time. I used to make excuses for this, and even feel I had to lie about it. If this is you, please understand that there’s nothing wrong with saying no once in a while. Establish some boundaries. Create some space. The only person responsible for your wellbeing, is yourself.
3. Let the right ones in.
This year I made the decision to return to the UK after three years in Australia. On my return, it hit me like a sledgehammer: LIFE HAD CARRIED ON WITHOUT ME. Of course it had. People had changed, old friends had moved on, and I realized I’d have to start all over again. This year taught me the importance of being careful when you’re faced with creating that new circle of friends. Listen to your intuition. As Prince Akeem of Zamunda once said to a certain Lisa McDowell, “Your first impression is usually the right one.” When you meet new people, only hold on to the ones who make you feel good. It sounds over-simplified, doesn’t it? But then why are we still holding on to those who no longer make us happy? Our journey isn’t always easy- so choose your crew wisely.
At any given moment, no matter what I’m doing, I’m worrying about approximately 100,000 different things. Before I even get out of bed, I’ve imagined several worst-case scenarios. Horrible accidents, debilitating illnesses… you name it. I’ve always been this way. But this year I finally realized exactly how much time and energy I’ve lost to anxiety. Life can be stressful as f*ck, and sometimes the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. But listen. There are so many things we can’t control. Worrying about those things doesn’t change them. All it does is wear you down; both physically and emotionally.
This year I learned how to slow things down at that crucial moment, right before fear takes over. It couldn’t be simpler. Close your eyes. Take a deeeep breath, letting your chest rise and fall fully. Another. One more. On the fourth inhale, hold your breath for five seconds. Exhale slowly. Repeat once more. This deep breathing exercise interrupts the cycle of fear before it has a chance to take hold. It also slows your heart rate, instantly providing a sense of calm. Darlings, life is far too fabulous to be lived in fear.
On that note, I want to take this moment to say a huge THANK YOU to my readers. Starting this blog was a huge leap of faith, and I’m surprised and touched every time I get a new follower. The WordPress community welcomed me with open arms, and I’m so grateful to you all for your support.
All that’s left to say is HAPPY NEW YEAR my loves! May the wine flow with wild abandon, and may there be glitter in your hair for weeks to come. I’ll see you on the dancefloor *blows a kiss and moonwalks into the distance*