I’m holding a coin wrapped in tin foil and everyone is cheering me. Surreal.
It had just turned 2019 and I was the ‘lucky’ one, the ‘lucky charm’ was in my slice of Vasilopita, the traditional New Year’s cake. Who knows, maybe luck would be on my side this year. That will be a first!
That’s how 2019 started and what a year it’s been!
I regularly self-reflect, that’s how this blog started afterall, but inevitably this is a great time to look back on the year that’s ending and remind myself of all the lessons I learned from my mistakes, my achievements and more importantly everything I’m thankful for.
This year has been, literally and with no exaggeration life changing. I left Southampton and the UK after 10 years which felt like a huge, unimaginable task at the time, I spent a month in Cambridge studying for something brand new, the CELTA and somehow managed to get an A, I moved back to Cyprus for about a month and on another, unexpected turn of events I ended up teaching English in Southern Italy.
Whilst going through all these changes I had great adventures with loved ones, climbing up and down hills on our Jurassic Coast Macmillan Mighty Hike, exploring Bruges and Brussels with my little sister, an awesome holiday at Rhodes with my middle sister, I made great memories with friends and family, who I wouldn’t survive with at times, and for that I feel blessed and happy.
It’s also been a challenging year at times. I struggled with severe anxiety especially during those life changing moments and I’m still dealing with grief as my mind still can’t process how in just over a period of three months we lost my beloved pappou, grandpa Costa and my dearest uncle Spyro.
It’s not only the end of the year but the end of the decade and well, where to start from?
I can’t possibly reflect in detail and I’m not sure it will help in anything but tο sum up (take a deep breath):
I left Cyprus to do my Masters, I had my first long term relationship of 7 years that left me with emotional scars but taught me a lot and made me who I am, I ended up staying in the UK for 10 years, I had my first ‘proper’ job at Solent Uni where I worked for almost 8 years and lived in Southampton where I met some of my greatest, life-long friends, volunteered, lost myself, found myself again and learned to live on my own and with depression and anxiety, struggled with grief after losing grandma Frosou and aunt Anna, learned how to love myself, tried new things and discovered how to be happy on my own, doing what I like, singing, volunteering, theatre and musical trips, blogging, vlogging, hiking, reading, yoga (with Adriene). And that’s just a summary (breathe again).
I guess that’s life. It’s never a smooth ride. It’s full of surprises, ups and downs, easy and tough. Each of us follows their own path and are on their own timezone, so you can’t and shouldn’t compare your life to others but we all go through the same motions. So what matters at the end of the day?
I don’t do New Year resolutions, I find them pointless, I just make a small bucket list with things I’d like to do hopefully in 2020 but that’s another story I’ll post about later.
So what I learned in the last ten years and is my 2020 year and decade wish to everyone other than health, physical and mental (which is THE most important), is be happy, and never let it just depend on others, love, yourself and each other, and enjoy the little things, we truly live in a beautiful world and we often don’t appreciate life’s precious moments.
I hope you all do whatever makes you happy (don’t compromise that for no reason), quit your job if you hate it, devote time on what you love doing whatever that might be, make great memories with loved ones, enjoy every moment with them, you never know when it’s the last time you’ll see them (such a cliche but true), always be kind and try to make the world a better place. If we all do a little, as much as we can, who knows, we might make a huge difference.
Happy New Year! Here’s to a new year and a new decade. Here’s to 2020!