Hello my dears! Happy new year! I hope you had a fantastic start to it. I was down the Peninsula with my lovely Em celebrating it at Portsea Hotel. It was a great time and I’ll be writing a post about it soon. It’s been a little while since my last post and I thought with 2018 coming to an end it was time to turn back to the blog and reflect back on these extremely eventful twelve months. A life changing twelve months. At the beginning of this year if someone would have told me I would be sitting in this flat here in Elsternwick in Melbourne in AUSTRALIA writing this post, I’m not sure I would’ve believed them. Things can really change in a short space of time. One move can change your course for life. This year didn’t come off to the best start but if it’s one thing I truly did this year is find myself again. As I mentioned before, I was pretty broken when I came to Australia. I was emotionally drained and this place has healed me and reminded me of the person I am and want to be. I feel the happiest I’ve been for a while.
So without further ado, here are a couple of things I’ve learnt in 2018 and will be taking with me into 2019:
1. Go with the flow
I have always been a planner. I plan everything, I suppose to have as much control over situations as I can. I’m not quite sure why but I enjoy planning. Since moving to Australia I have noticed this mindset shift. It must be something in the water or the air air here because I’ve never felt so chilled in my life. I’ve definitely have become more of a go with the flow person and let things just happen rather than plan for everything. I do still plan a bit (can’t entirely let go of my old ways) but it’s nice to just let things be as well and let them unfold naturally.
2. Friends are everywhere
A big learning this year is you can find great people everywhere. When I moved over to Melbourne from Glasgow I didn’t have any friends here at all. The last time I had to start from scratch like this was when I moved to Glasgow but then I was going to uni and you naturally will find friends there through your halls and course. To find friends in the adult world is a different story. I keep on thinking how lucky I am to have a passion like training Crossfit and how you naturally find friends there who have similar interests and vibes as you. I have no idea how I otherwise would’ve made friends. I can’t imagine my life without these people now. I even live with one of them, Mim (I don’t think I’d survive without her). This was also proven to me once again when I went to Sydney last week and met my friends Christian and Sam. We clicked immediately. It was a bit nervy travelling alone but I think if you go in with a positive mindset and are happy to talk to people you’ll always find your tribe.
3. You can’t save people
Wow, this was a tough one this year. Leaving a relationship because of the other half fighting a battle you can’t help them with anymore. I had gotten to a point where this battle was taking a massive toll on me, more than I realised when I was in it. I tried everything in my power to help but in the end I had to accept the fact that it was not meant to be fixed by me. I couldn’t fix it as much as I tried and hoped I somehow could. It wasn’t my fault, even though I sometimes blamed myself thinking I could do more, be more supportive. I do think you can be a support and help people but what I realised is that you can only go so far, the rest is up to them. I was stubborn and didn’t want to give up but eventually came to the realisation that I had given it everything I got, I was losing myself and it was time to let go.
4. I love this planet
This year I’ve taken a giant leap when it come to my lifestyle and diet. I’ve worked so hard to minimise my waste in ways that I can control. I’ve also pretty much now taken the leap and become fully vegan or plant based. It’s what I identify more with now than anything else. At the beginning of the year I was still eating eggs and even fish/seafood once in a while. What I’ve come to the conclusion is that I love this planet we’re on and in order for it to continue existing eating plant based is the way to go. I also don’t want to hurt animals because of what I eat. I’m feeling great and do not think my plant-based diet is limiting in anyway. I feel like I look the best I’ve done as well in terms of physique too which is always a nice bonus. To look back at old photos from the beginning of this year to where I am not is pretty eye opening. It just shows that you grow muscle and train hard being fuelled by plants.
Living in Melbourne has helped considerably with this, having vegan options everywhere readily available I never feel like I miss out. The discovery of tofu scramble allowed be to say goodbye to eggs and as time has gone by I no longer miss fish or seafood that much. I’m still of the opinion that if I really want to eat something I will, I’m not going to label limit me but for now I’m very happy living this way and doing my bit for the planet. It’s a great feeling, you feel empowered every day knowing you’ve saved the planet a little bit for the environment and the animals. One thing I will say is I don’t see myself ever eating meat again, you never know, things may change but yes that door is closed for the foreseeable future.
This is a point I didn’t really saw coming. You guys know last year I only drank like four drinks the entire year and since coming to Australia I can put my hands up and say that it’s been more drinks than I can count on my two hands. It’s been fun being single and going out once in a while with my friends. We have had some amazing nights. My main reasoning for not drinking before was because of my training but to be honest I’ve never felt fitter or stronger than I do now and I really don’t feel like it’s affected it at all. I still wouldn’t go out days in a row but every now and again it’s a good time! Still not a fan of the hangover the next day but I guess it forces me to take a day off the gym too haha.
6. I love tofu and tempeh
As a lot of people are, I was very sceptical towards soy products up until this year. I was convinced it was not the best for my health and stayed clear of it as much as I could. Well, I can say that’s changed. After doing a lot of reading about it I’m no all on board and I’ve become a bit obsessed, especially with tempeh. I have tempeh almost every day and tofu is pretty great too. Both tempeh and tofu are so easy to chuck in a pan and quickly cook up on when I come home starving from training. Definitely a game changer.
7. I can make it on my own
I was in a relationship for almost six years. Six years with another person by my side, through the good times and the bad I always had him there to support me. We grew up together, chased our dreams together, found our passions together. I was convinced for a while we were meant to be together forever. I have learned that things change and that’s okay. I believe it happens for a reason. I was scared for us to end. I wasn’t sure what my life would be without him. He was my life. However, I made it to Australia all on my own and have since built an entire life here without his support. All from having nothing here. I’ve gone through hardships without having him by my side, which I always relied on and I made it through. I knew I would deep inside but I think this year I was reminded that I can do it myself, with a bit of help from my friends and family. I’m a strong independent woman 😉
I absolutely love Australia. This place is a dream come true and whatever I thought it would be, it’s even better. I never thought it could be. I feel right at home here. When I came to this place and met all the incredible people I’ve met I felt like it was a puzzle piece that had finally been put into place. Like there was a place for me waiting all this time. How everyone just kind of fit me into their lives here. All these incredible people. I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve all of them in my life but I’m going to cherish all of them forever.
9. Things will be okay
I was going through one of the most difficult times at the beginning of this year. I felt like a shell of a person. I cried several times a week and I felt like my life was on hold. I was waiting for some kind of change to happen. For something to get better. The turning point was when my parents and friends encouraged me to book my flight to Australia. They realised I needed a change, a fresh start and direction in life. Once I got here everything started to change, I got to step out of my bubble in Glasgow and got new perspective on things. No matter how difficult things seem to be, if you are willing to work for it, things will be okay. It’ll get easier.
10. Training is life
Haha okay, I suppose that’s nothing new but 2018 has been a fantastic year of training! I remember sitting down writing my fitness goals here on the blog at the beginning of the year (I’ll be writing a separate post on this soon) and I come out of 2018 improved in so many ways. I’ve had time to compete in three competitions (two individual and one partner) where I’ve placed better than I could’ve imagined. I’ve mastered new skills like toes to bar, handstand push ups, double unders and improved my upper body strength considerably. I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I’m currently working on muscle ups. I’m attempting handstand walks. Things I never thought I could even dream of. I’ve lifted heavier than I ever had and wow, my running is the best it’s ever been. I’m happy to say that whenever there’s a running workout now, I know I stand a good chance of having one of the best times. Something I NEVER thought would happen.
It’s not been easy and at time I’ve been extremely frustrated with the lack of progress through periods. I’ve injured myself like with shin splints, smashing my chest just before Battle of the Bluff and I don’t think anyone in my gym will forget when I face planted attempting handstand walks haha. It’s a constant grind and things don’t always go your way but oh man, do I love it. It really is my happy place.
11. Screw fear
Fear, the thing that can hold you back from living life to the fullest. The “what if” and being scared of the unknown. How many times haven’t we let fear stop us from doing something? I know I’ve been guilty of it. In 2018 something switched. I went to Australia despite the fact I was absolutely terrified, I had no idea what was waiting here. All on my own. I entered my first individual Crossfit comp, Rainhill Trials in Manchester. I was terrified. I entered two more comps down here in Australia even though they scared me too. I booked my first solo trip over Christmas to Bondi. I had never travelled alone before. I went on a couple of dates with guys I didn’t even know, despite I was worried it was going to be awkward.
If it’s one thing I’ve learnt through all of this is it’s okay to be scared or nervous. It’s a completely natural thing. What is not okay is to let it dictate your life. The more you break down these walls and limitations you set on yourself the less scary it gets. My solo trip to Bondi was nowhere near as scary as moving over to Australia on my own. I was nowhere near as nervous at Battle of the Bluff as I was at Rainhill. You learn from each experience and you grow more confident and stronger with each little win over the fear. When that voice of doubt comes creeping in I think, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” and if it happens, so what? It’ll be okay and you learn from it and move on. The big reward of doing it and is that you may win so much more. If I hadn’t booked that one way ticket, I wouldn’t be here where I am now. I would’ve missed out on so much just because I was avoiding a little period of fear and discomfort.
Those are some of things I’m taking away from 2018. I feel like I’ve grown a lot this year and become so content and happy in myself. I have this inner calm and confidence I haven’t felt before. I feel like I’ve really become me again, not even again, I’ve found myself and become a new and better me. I’ve found people who appreciate me for exactly who I am and where I feel loved no matter what. I’m lucky to have them spread all over the world and thankfully I’ve got social media to turn to whenever I want to speak to them.
I walk out of 2018 as if I’ve run a long marathon and finally crossed the finish line. It’s been filled with ups and downs. Relationships ending, being single for the first time in almost 6 years and a new life beginning. New adventures on the other side of the globe. I feel like 2019 is going to be an exciting year.
Happy New Year my dears. I’m hoping it will be bring more content to this blog. I can’t promise anything still but I’ll do my very best. I want to find that spark and passion for writing again.