What 2013 Taught Me…

10 Things 2013 Taught Me

Happy December 31st 2013! Let’s start by NOT saying, ‘Oh my word, where has this year gone?!” I think we’ve covered that a few times in previous years! Let’s say, “Here’s to 2013. It’s been one hell of a year.” 2013 really did give us a run for our money. I’ve dubbed it the year of change as that is the only “constant” I can put my hand up to with confidence. 2012 was a very low year for me. 2013 definitely went up but also had some major trials. Here’s what 2013 taught me:

2013 saw me return to the UK for the first time in 9 years. I consider myself lucky that it wasn’t a decade. I often wonder how people travel as often as they do when there is constantly so much on offer in South Africa? Do they choose one over the other? My Mother always says, “Ya, the grass is greener on the other side but only because the shit’s deeper.” So this is what I’ve learnt: Don’t forget to recognise your home’s blessings and opportunities. This will also put new places into a greater and more accurate context.

In 2013 I made the decision to leave my full time career in traditional media. And it hurt like hell! When you’ve been in the Spanish castanet group since 5, recorder ensemble since 9,the head “half” of Kinky the Cow in the Jack and the Beans Stalk pantomime at12, the prince with a lisp at 16, radio presenter at 22, it’s hard to turn your back on all you’ve known. I never set out to be different or in the limelight,I was born this way. It’s just my story. But sometimes life decides to play“Choose Your Own Adventure” on your behalf, which can be very difficult and painful. So this is what I’ve learnt:Your identity IS formed by your actions.Moral of the story? Always be prepared. Be open to new experiences and education – in all forms. Don’t trust in one passion, develop as many facets of yourself as possible. My Dad always says, “Learn a new skill every year.” This couldn’t be more valuable or true advice.

A found a new career! I paid off my 13” MAC Book Pro in 6 months, bought a new car and grew mentally and emotionally. It took a lot of “balls” to change careers. I’ve always struggled with finding the courage to surrender myself to the universe in the hopes of becoming my higher self. I’ve been afraid it would remove all my planned hopes and dreams. Seemingly, it’ll take it away from you whether you want to quit or not and as it turns out, I haven’t been happier at work inYEARS than I am now. Why is trusting the universe (which is infinitely wiser than we are) so difficult when we always end up to be guaranteed happier? So this is what I’ve learnt: Trust that your intentions aren’t more accurate than the universe’s.

In 2013 I lost my “Mother in Law”. I say it like that as I’m not married. Unfortunately,we weren’t very close but seeing my partner in pain was a lesson in my own ability to comfort and support others. In relationships, one of you will most likely need more support more often that the other. Don’t lose the ability to go out of yourself to comfort another. It might not feel very familiar but if you don’t go through it (which is essentially practice) you’ll never get comfortable. Reach out, be there, have guts, grow.

5. SOCIAL: Note for 2014: DON’TBE AN ASSHOLE.
Being a douche bag reflects poorly on yourself and hurts others around you. 2013 has taught me that dealing with people who are polite, kind and professional can turn any mountain into an achievable goal. I will also be loyal to those brands and people who treated me with respect. In turn, this is what I strive to project in 2014. As a side note: Alcohol/drugs are NOT an excuse to behave badly.

6. WORK: Bottom line, Work hard for yourself, not for karma.
This was a BIG lesson for me in 2013. I always believed that if you were a good person,did the right thing, worked hard, you’d always get what you put in, out. Right?Wrong. Being a good person doesn’t protect you from the ways of the universe.This is why babies die, earthquakes happen, diseases destroy, etc. Because being a good person DOESN’T dominate the chemistry of the world. HOWEVER, have a good attitude. THIS will make your experience of all the good and the bad bearable. Have a sense of humour too. Work hard for yourself because you believe you deserve excellence. Should karma choose to see you or even reward you then consider yourself lucky. Work hard for your self, not karma.

If you consider them to be one of the your best friends, give the friendship space but don’t give up. Whilst my career crashed some of my friends soared, whilst some of them broke up, got engaged, others had their first child. I haven’t always known (and still don’t know) how to be a good friend during these different phases but the one thing I never do is give up on people. In 2013 I tried to be the best friend I knew how to be.Friendships wax and wane, the real ones will remerge. The shallow friendships you won’t miss.

We hear this all the time but what does it mean? In my life, it means that the world is filled with assholes.People who are kind, polite and supportive are NOT a given. It’s a privilege to have captured their attention and support. Appreciate it. There are few who are able to cheer you on all through life. Don’t forget those who were there for awhile. Remember to care for the work of others as some have cared for yours.

9. BE THANKFUL. Some people believe we’re made to be islands. I personally believe we’re made to be together. I don’t think I’m half and you’re a half and ‘we’ make a whole. It’s more like Oxygen is cool on it’s own.Hydrogen is cool on it’s own. But together they make water and that’s supercool. So recognize the opportunities that joining with other human beings can teach you: elevate your ideas, move more quickly, get more done, be stronger,more educated, compassionate, empathetic and be thankful for each time it happens.

10. Learn to count. You only have 9 lessons. 😉

A simple thing like a blog wouldn’t mean much if no one cared to read it. I recognize this 1000% and am so thankful for all the time you’ve given me in 2013. I hope you have a wonderful new year’s eve(are we starting the new year with a hang over?!) and an even BETTER 2014. Here’s to living, learning and loving in 2014.

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Silhouette of girl in a window frame in empty house.