The decade that was and the decade to come

Garden

The decade that was and the decade to come

It’s the last morning of 2019, I’m still lying in bed and thinking about what to write in this post.

Not only are we saying goodbye to a year, but also to a decade. Thinking back, I realised that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, whether it’s good or bad, and forget about how far you’ve come in 10 years.

Ten years ago…

I was living in the UK, with no direction in life, with no clue what I wanted to do career wise. I hated being an event manager back in South Africa and I knew I didn’t want to go back to that. My two years in the UK was a time out on life and I gained life experience. Since then, I’ve started my life from scratch, which anyone will tell you is difficult to do. Within two years back in the country, I realised that I wanted a career in public relations, and I started my journey. At the age of 30, I set my sights on a new career and started at the bottom surrounded by a bevy of eager, bright-eyed youngsters in their early 20s. Daunting, but I got stuck in. Within a year, I landed my dream job at Ogilvy PR and those eager youngsters were pretty amazing and fun; and I made life-long friends. My career has grown from strength to strength. I’ve also met the most amazing people along the way and I have a handful of fantastic friends.

The lesson…

…here is that it’s never too late and you’re never too old to start over if you’re willing to put in the work. It wasn’t always easy, I lost friends and relationships, many nights of sleep and weekends, and at times my sanity, but I have zero regrets. I had wonderful mentors and now I know my worth, my strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve also experienced many ups and downs in my personal and family life, as I’m sure everyone did. But with every heartbreak, set back and hardship, I grew and learned, which is what life is all about. My mom, as always, remained my rock, through everything and we remain besties in my adulthood. I am incredibly lucky to have the relationship that I do with her.

Two women

I also met my soul mate and life partner this decade. Mark has been part of my life for almost 4 years now, yet it seems like he’s always been there. He makes me a better person and pushes me to do things that make me happy. His ability to make me laugh every day is also one of his best attributes. And bonus! His family is amazing too and mine loves him!

I wish that I was more fearless in general over the last decade, though, and attempted things that I was scared of. Because of my anxiety, I am very risk averse and would rather sit out experiences that scare me, instead of tackling them head on. That’s what I vow for the next decade – do more of what scares me and also of what makes me happy.

Man and woman in a pool

What I’m working towards in 2020:

Self-confidence in my work

Like any woman, I suffer from imposter syndrome and it’s time to stop doubting myself and my abilities.

Stand up for myself in general

I hate confrontation and I’d rather nod and walk away than stand up for myself…especially workwise. It’s gotten me in awkward situations and into work that I really didn’t want to do. This needs to stop this year.

Grow my PR and writing business

I have a little business on the side that I am passionate about and would love to grow it in 2020. I am setting goals on how to do that as we speak. If you are in need of my skills, get in touch.

Make time for the people that I love

I am an introvert and over the last couple of years have become more of a hermit. I like being in my own bubble, with my thoughts, books and plants. I suppose it’s because I spend my work hours surrounded by people, and that drains my energy and creativity and I am in desperate need to recharge and replenish. This means that I don’t spend much time with other people, especially not the ones I adore. I will make a more concerted effort to spend time with them in 2020.

Be more positive

In 2020, I’d like to focus more on the positive than the negative. You are what you think. after all.

Be more fearless

If something scares me, I should at least attempt it. Who knows, maybe I’ll like it.

Take better care of my health

My health took a knock in 2019 and I’ll never take good health for granted again. I’m working towards getting back to being 100% again and build a strong body again. Even though my mental health has been good this year, I need to keep working on keeping it that way. This means resting when I feel fragile, setting boundaries and being true to myself.

Be kind

To myself and to others. I’m trying to be less critical of myself and give myself a break. When it comes to others, it’s easy to be prejudice and make assumptions. No-one ever truly knows what anyone else is going through, so be kind.

Be more purpose-driven on social media

I need to figure out what I want to focus on and stick to it. At the moment, it’s a bit all over the place – I’m speaking mostly about my Instagram here.

Travel more

It’s taken a major backseat to my career, but come 2020, it will become more of a priority again.

Here’s to a great 2020 to everyone, may it be a decade of good energy, adventure and going after we all want…without harming others.

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