2020. A Year Like no Other.

Well, what a year that was! I am sure when we all woke up hungover on 1st January 2020 we didn’t envisage where we would be today and how much the world will have changed on so many levels. When I personally look back on this year, I can honestly say it has been one of the toughest ones I have had. I always feel guilty saying things like this because I can think of millions of others who are far worse off than me, but as I said to my friend once, if we constantly compared ourselves to others, we would never allow ourselves to fully embrace and acknowledge the way we are feeling. It is only when you do this that you can begin to make change and heal.

Next year I want to focus on making more ‘real’ content, and talk more openly and honestly about things that really matter. Anyone that knows me very well will know that opening up is not a strength of mine, but I know that there is real beauty in sharing your life with others and it can actually help and make a difference, which is something I have vowed to do more of. So, I decided to fully reflect on this year, warts and all.

Of course we should always start with the highs. Normally my highlights are of nights out or trips away (Ibiza 2019 was lit!). However, this year they look very different!

  1. Giving back to others – I have found real happiness and joy in giving back. As you may know throughout the lockdowns, I was providing Instagram live classes for free for everyone.  I didn’t have hundreds joining me daily but the messages I received from the few that did warmed my heart in ways a big night out couldn’t! In the middle of all the madness I really felt that I was making a difference to others, and even managed to raise some money for charity at the same time! What a feeling😊
  2. Relationship resilience – I couldn’t write about the highlights of this year without mentioning my partner who has been an absolute pillar of strength for me throughout. Having someone who recognises your struggles, who listens wholeheartedly, who endures the bad days & months, and who supports you unconditionally is something I know I am EXTREMELY lucky to have and I owe him the world this year.
  3. The gift of time – Something I used to say ALL the time pre lock down is “I wish I had more time to do…” let’s just say my wish was granted! Of course, there was the days of endless Netflix but I generally have to be active or doing something. The lockdowns allowed me time to start blogging, teach online classes, read more books, play more flute, take more walks and appreciate nature to name but a few.
  4. I became a Yogi – Possibly the most exciting thing to happen to me this year was finding yoga and becoming a teacher. It has ignited a very different fire inside me and has made me look into who I am, who I want to be, and what difference I can make to the world. I am absolutely BUZZING with what 2021 is going to bring on this front!

But of course, with life it isn’t always highs. This is the bit that’s scary to share, so I’ll take a deep breath and just write.

Mentally this year has really taken its toll on me. Even now when I try and write about how I feel I can sense that my thoughts are slightly chaotic, but I’ve tried to order it into some coherent points. Firstly, the feeling of being surrounded by others but still feeling alone and isolated. Now pardon the Micky Flannigan pun here, but I have noticed in myself when I am out and socialising with others I am ‘out out’ but when I am alone and can’t see other people I am fully ‘in in’. For some reason my brain just seems to recoil into this isolated space where I don’t speak to anyone or even attempt to communicate as much as I usually would do. I guess in my head I can only explain it as I get so much joy from real life human interaction that I find electronic options almost make me feel even more out of sync… if that even makes sense?!

Secondly, although I have desperately tried to fill my lockdown time there has still been a vast expanse of ‘thinking time’. If you are an over thinker like me this can be a nightmare! Sometimes I found myself lying there at night unable to sleep because I am thinking about something reckless or idiotic I did years ago, or contemplating if a decision I made when I was like 15 was the right one…as just a couple of examples. And this would genuinely keep me up at night! Better still I would even start to fabricate future situations and totally over analyse where I am in my life compared to others (which may I add is the WORST thing you can do!). The truth is not one of these thoughts has been helpful or productive, it just made me more anxious and annoyed at myself.

Control. One thing I KNOW about myself is that I like to feel I am in control. This year has turned that completely on its head. For me I find when I feel a loss of control I try and place that focus in others areas of my life, for example my diet, exercise or overplanning. This can often lead to some quite self-destructive behaviours which I have walked a fine line on but luckily succeed in resolving this year, but it’s been tough!

There have been a few moments this year that have stayed in my mind. I went into work one day and spoke to someone there who said “it seems you’ve lost your spark”.  They couldn’t have been more accurate and pretty much sums up exactly how I have felt this year. I have been completely lost and at times totally uninspired. I have cried more times than I care to imagine and have questioned so much about myself and my life. I have seen it in myself, and others have seen it in me too. But I strongly believe we get these ‘turning points’ in our lives when we know something has to change and we must fully embrace that. That sums 2020 for me.

Therefore, I am going into 2021 with these clear resolutions:

  1. Take more care of myself both physically and mentally – Get that spark back and be unapologetically me😊
  2. Fully understand and challenge my thoughts, actions and mindset & share more when I am struggling.
  3. Spend more time giving back to others and making a difference in this world through things I am passionate about

Here is to 2021 everyone!

Lots of Love

CK

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