Hello again you beautiful souls, first and foremost let me wish you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful time surrounded by your nearest and dearest, ate plenty of food and got very merry indeed. (as I did, well maybe just a little bit too merry, but then again thats Christmas in Scotland for ye *clink clink*...!)
So it's that time of the year again when everyone starts reflecting on the year gone by, and starts looking forward towards the New Year and it's fresh new opportunities. And I'm no different. I'm becoming quite a spiritual wee soul in my old age - I'm big fan of The Law of Attraction, self-development and goal-setting so I take setting New Years resolutions pretty seriously (oh look me getting all serious on ye now). Of course I believe they're super important, but I also believe that it's equally important not to let yourself get too caught up in them that you start getting overwhelmed and stressed out about it all. I also believe you can reset your goals at any time throughout the year. Last year, I only properly wrote down my goals and created my new vision board in September, after saying to myself 'I need to get round to that' for almost the whole year! So I think it's safe to say a lot of the goals I wrote down in September and visuals that I popped on my vision board will stay the same. And that's okay too, 'same dreams, fresh starts,' and all that know what I'm saying?
So anyway, before I blabber on anymore about goal setting etc (you can probably tell that I can write as much as I can talk, could 'talk for Scotland' as they say... anyway ...) let me get to the point of this blog. I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on 2016. Now, in saying that, I don't normally like to look back unless it's to see how far I've come...
But 2016 has been pretty eventful for me, as big Ronan Keating would say life has been a bit of a rollercoaster indeed, and I feel like I've learned more about myself in 2016 than my whole life. So what exactly did it teach me? What did I learn? Well firstly...
1. Family comes first - family is everything, everything.
I can honestly say that I don't think I'd have been able to get through some of this years darkest times without my family. Words can't express how grateful I am to them for their support and unconditional love, through the amazing times and the times where in all honesty I wasn't sure if I'd be okay. I'm lucky to say that thankfully my family have always been an amazing support network, but obviously as you can imagine like any family we've had our fair share of ups and downs. But this year when shit hit the proverbial fan (and it really did) they were there for me like the wee superhereos they are, beyond what words could even describe. And I won't ever forget that. So first and foremost, although I've always known it, one of my biggest lessons of 2016 has been to truly cherish and appreciate my incredible family (when they're not driving me up the wall that is).
2. 'Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.'
I can't stress this enough. Probably my hardest lesson of 2016. Now, I'm a very open person and if you've ever met me you'll know this (probably a little bit too open at times I mean, theres just some things that people don't need to know, you know). But I've kept my cards close to my chest with what I'm now about to write. This year... *inhales deep breath* (and without getting the violins out, I know I'm a pretty lucky wee lassie right) I went through the worst break up I could ever imagine. Without over sharing, I was engaged for 3 years - remember that proverbial fan I was talking about earlier? Well when I say shit hit that fan, shit really hit that fan. I don't really want to go into the in's and outs of it all as it's a wee bit personal and I'm not sure that in my second ever blog to the world if we are all on that level yet, know what I mean? But what I will say is that I found out the person I loved was the complete opposite of who I believed he was. It was pretty heart-breaking to say the least.
But with the light of the truth shining bright in my anxiety-ridden, sleep deprived eyes - I couldn't help but feel the sense of spiritual enlightenment and guidance that surrounded me. I can only describe the experience like a re-birth, I felt like I was shedding my skin and finally learning to let go of the heart-ache that had held me down for too long. There definitely is; beauty in the breakdown.
So the moral of this 2016 lesson is that, when you know in your heart that you deserve so much better and that can be in love, friendship work or life in general - walk away, please for your own good. It won't always be easy and it'll probably feel like your jumping off a cliff but trust me if theres anything that I've learned in my short time on this earth it's that when you walk away from what's truly not meant for you, yes you might stumble at first, but in the end - you'll fly.
3. Be grateful.
More and more each day I'm learning to love and appreciate all the amazing aspects of my life and everything around me. Each night before I go to bed (unless I'm drunk) I always try to think of at least 5 things I'm grateful for from that day. I'm lucky to say that I generally have more than 5 most nights and obviously theres things I'm always grateful for. But it could be as simple the waiter in Starbucks finally spelling your name write on your over-priced cup of coffee, or that hilarious message from your friend that made you literally burst out laughing on the train home, to having a place to call home and a family to go home to. When we truly look around, there is so much to be grateful for - your family, friends, a roof over your head, food on the table and of course the butterfly snapchat filter when you've got no make up on (people I know you feel me on this don't lie). Also, if you like me suffer with the anxiety of worrying about the future, practising gratitude is a great way to interrupt anxiety, boost positivity and ultimately bring you back to the present moment.
3. Be Present
Following on from my last 2016 lesson, this is definitely something I'm very much still working on. But honestly, I worry so much about the future sometimes that I forget to live in the present. But when I do find myself getting all caught up in the who what when where and why's of life whislt desperately looking at the Mystic Meg column for a 'sign,' - I meditate to firstly calm my chaotic creative mind down, and then bring everything back to the here and now. Now I'm no professional meditation expert, but I find meditating for 10 mins a day or just before I go to bed massively helps my over all mood. My friends thought I was a bit of a 'hippy' when I first mentioned meditation and you might feel a little bit silly in the beginning, but honestly if your minds half as busy as mine I'm sure you'll appreciate the calm peace and quiet it can bring.
4. Believe in yourself. Anything is possible.
With 2016 bringing us the joy of Brexit and Trump becoming the President of the United States of America - I think it's fair to say that if 2016 has taught us anything, its that anything is possible. I can't say I'm a fan of either events however, this year really has taught me more than ever to truly believe in myself. Because if I don't, who will right? You've probably heard people say it a millions times before but honestly the power of believing in yourself and your abilities is so incredibly powerful. I completely doubted myself when I left my fiance not knowning if I'd be able to cope living in London on my own, but I can honestly say since walking out that door I've not only survived (que the Gloria Gayner right about now...) but I've thrived. I also sat a NCTJ Media Law exam this year to give my presenting creditability a bit of a boost and after the first session I literally felt like Reese Wetherspoon in 'Legally Blonde.' Well Reese, Legally Blonde I now am hen! Okay so let's not get carried away, this doesn't make me a media lawyer or anything (I'm far to fiery for the court room anyway) BUT the moral of the story is that once again I doubted myself and my abilities. But with hard-work (and literally locking myself in my flat for 3 days and not washing my hair, ew, it was intense guys, INTENSE ah tell ye) and some strong kick-ass visualisation, in the end I got there and passed the bloody thing! So the lesson here is not to underestimate yourself, (oh no honey coz' theres plenty of people out there who will underestimate you for you #haterz) but instead give yourself the credit you deserve and believe in your sweet little abilities because you got this hun, YOU GOT THIS. Afterall, they do say 'magic is believing in yourself', kids.
5. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Oh yes it motherfucking is. We've all been there at 2am telling ourselves we can't sleep whilst endlessly scrolling through...instagram. Now don't get me wrong you guys know that I love a bit of instagram, ye canny whack a motivational post in the morning btw, BUT it definitely is the social media site that's open for prime comparison her-thighs-are-better-than-mine complete joy stealing envy. And no-one needs that in their life. Why do we always compare ourselves to others? I'll hold my hands right up, I'm guilty of it myself I've even considered unfollowing J-Lo at times because she just ABSOLUTELY SLAYS LIKE 24-7 - but the truth is we all have our own insecurities that rarely make it onto our glossy insta pages with a little bit of the mayfair filter thrown in there for good measure (great filter that mayfair one so it is aye). So the next time your comparing your spontaneous trip to Blackpool to someones honeymoon in Hawaii, remember you are you and YOU are amazing and that is enough. Why compare someones chapter 10 to your chapter 1? STOP SCROLLING AND READ A BLOODY BOOK, beautiful.
6. Trust your journey. Trust it, trust it...TRUST IT.
You see posts about this on our beloved instagram all the time, and when your working that overtime or fretting about your next move - yes of course sometimes it can be hard. Don't get me wrong I'm still learning to trust my own journey at times, but 2016 has definitely taught me to let go a little and trust and believe that I'm exactly where I need to be right now. And believe me, you are too. So don't let yourself get caught up in the 'am I ever going to get there' cycle that we all find ourselves in from time to time, instead calm your pretty little self down take a step back and look at how far you've come and remember why you started. Don't worry about the time it will take you to accomplish those big beautiful dreams of yours either, as the time will pass anyway.
Of course alternatively, you could put on a bit of music and SPICE UP YA BLOODY LIFE sister.
So that's it, the main life lessons I'll take away from 2016. I've obviously learned lots of other things too but I've had to remind myself that this is a blog, not my auto-biography (yet) and I don't want to be keeping you all here too long especially when there's so much fun and celebration to be had!
So to round things off on a high lets talk highlights.
What are some of my highlights of 2016? Well travelling to Belfast with my job at Channel 4 in the what I can only describe as the most beaut weather to have ever graced the Emerald land, and taking in all its beautiful glory whilst calling it WORK was definitely a major stand out for me. Also, working over the summer in London presenting live at several stunning locations all over London with The Luna Cinema and not forgetting presenting live FROM A HELICOPTER (yes I was shitting myself at first), a boat and hosting 8 live broadcasts with The Degree Show Live. Working with Channel 4 has been the absolute dream, I've loved every minute with my 4Talent squad and generally just being able to do what I love on a regular basis has been an absolute highlight for me. Not to mention, dancing with Led Goodman from Strictly whilst once again calling it 'work' at ITV - what a gent! Celebrating my 25th birthday with my closest friends and family, celebrating so much that we didn't even make it out to the club haha! I could go on and on, I'm a very lucky girl and I'm truly blessed and grateful for all the amazing experiences and people that have made this year wonderful, even during the hardest times.
And very much to the now, spending a truly wonderful Christmas and what I'm sure will be an even better New Year with my amazing family and closest friends. I love you all with all my heart.
Thank you to all of you out there for your amazing support over the past year - you have no idea how much it truly means to me! From my heart to yours, thank you.
2016, thank you for everything. Thank you for the ups, the downs and all the bits in between. Most of all, thank you for the lessons.
2017 - I'm ready.
Thanks so much for reading guys and I hope you all have a truly wonderful New Year and an incredible 2017!
Lots of love and big Scottish hugs,