Before I begin, let me paint a picture for you: It’s Sunday morning, I’ve just woken up and Rich is lying next to me– on his phone– either checking his Facebook or playing some sort of game no doubt. We are 3 days into 2016 and we’ve already failed the ‘no phones in bed’ resolution. Meh.
Anyway, it’s that time of year again where I like to look back and reflect on how the last 12 months has treated me.
2015 wasn’t the best year if I’m completely honest, and as much as I don’t want to be all like “what a shit year 2015 was”, I’d be lying if I tried to sugar coat it.
As usual, I started the year on a huge high and promised myself it would be the best year ever in terms of my business and lifestyle design. 2015 was the year I threw myself head first into reading about and following entrepreneurial women– women who have created 6 figure businesses and changed their entire lives in less than a year.
I was pumped by the idea of turning my own photography business into something amazing– I basically put all my focus into this which quite frankly was utterly exhausting. You can read more about by business year in my next post and why I won’t ever have a 6 figure income. (Ooh controversial.)
Whilst I was striving for more and reading books on how to sort my life out, one of my closet friends was diagnosed with cancer, and if the thought of losing a close friend to the C word isn’t enough to put things into perspective for you, then nothing will. What did cancer teach us as friends? Read about it in this post.
At this point, I have turned to Rich and asked him what the hell I actually did in 2015 because already it seems like a complete blur! Also, I should probably change the beginning of the post and make it sound less like I’m about to tell you all the shit things that happened during my year, because in actual fact, I can’t think what I did yesterday, let alone during the last 12 months.
I could sit here all day reeling off all the things I did or didn’t do during last year, but the bottom line is this: I felt like I was doing a whole lot of nothing.
I turned 31! What a bitch that was, as if turning 30 wasn’t bad enough. No really, it was horrible and I cried on more than one occasion. Why? Because I hadn’t hit any goals on the list I wrote when I was 9 years old; I was no longer in my twenties yet no closer to marriage and babies. It’s a tough time when a woman hits her 30’s and is still not married with 2:4 children– back in the day I’d be considered an old spinster! And no, I haven’t forgotten the fact I have a man in my life, even though it sounds like I’m talking as though this is the case, but that was another mishap of 2015– Rich had a few wobbles and decided that maybe the life we had built together wasn’t for him at all. So he left.
You’re probably all thinking, “I can’t believe she is writing about this when Rich will be reading it”. Well believe it guys because this is my blog and I’ll write about whatever I want– nothing gets left out– not even this subject. Plus, I just asked him if it was ok to write about it and he seemed fine*.
Everyone wobbles at some point in their lives. We all think at times we are unsure of the future, that maybe we have made the wrong choices or are on the wrong paths, so as upset as I was, I let him go. To cut a long story short, he came to his senses (obviously) and came home, but for me, it hurt. A lot. There I was crying into my wine about being another year further away from my twenties, and my partner decides he’s had enough and was out of the game? Kick a girl whilst she’s down why don’t you?! *Turns to look at Rich playing candy crush and gives him the death stare*
Ok, so maybe my friend battling cancer and Rich abandoning me are making me look at 2015 in the wrong way. Yes, I had some tough times during the year but there were some good times too no doubt…
Oooh yes, I went to Portugal with my cousin for a much-needed break. My first holiday in a few years and it was perfect. We basically lazed about on the beach for 6 days straight whilst consuming copious amounts of food and alcohol. We lived the dream for an entire week and not only that, it was so lovely there, I’m going back this year with Rich. This time to a 5 star hotel. Oooh…
Midway through the year, I focused solely on building my equine photography business, which didn’t really work out the way I had planned! I poured my heart and soul into a brand new blog that initially started as an online resource for the horse industry. I soon realised this was a lot of hard work because I’m not actually part of the world of equine anymore so finding topics to talk about and photograph was really hard. In the end I turned the blog into a photography website. I did shoot some lovely sessions of girls and their horses but I kinda wish I’d focused more on the wedding side of things instead. Equine photography is hard work when more than half the year it rains.
This period of the year was really draining but I’ve never learnt so much in terms of website building, newsletters, downloadable free guides and putting my content out there to the right people, so this is my silver lining. I’m still in two minds about whether to take my website down altogether and go back to being just a wedding photographer. Hmmm…
So yeah, I could sit here all day reeling off all the things I did or didn’t do during 2015, but the bottom line is this: I felt like I was doing a whole lot of nothing. It felt like a roller coaster of emotions where I went through periods of manic highs and lows. I keep remembering days where I would feel like a complete failure– days where I had the worst comparinitis (is this a word?) in the world. Comparing myself to other photographers and business women and basically anyone who was more successful than me. Yuk.
I must have reached a point somewhere during December where I’d had enough, and like Elsa, I let it go. And now I feel oddly calm, like the sea after a huge storm. I feel like I’m looking at this year through the eyes of someone else; someone a lot more level-headed than the me of last year.
When January 1st arrived, I didn’t throw out all the chocolate or start a new diet, I haven’t adopted the ‘New Year, New Me’ thing, I didn’t flip a ‘work-mode’ switch like I did at the beginning of 2015 which sent me into a state of panic at all the things I was yet to achieve. Yes, that really happened and it was horrible.
I do have certain long-term goals and I’m currently working my way through an amazing SEO course which is really in-depth and full on but will hopefully help me understand what the hell google wants from me. Does anyone ever really know?
What I have thought about, is paying more attention to the things that make me genuinely happy:
Like booking the long-awaited break to Barcelona with my girl Gemma, where we can drink wine and salsa to our hearts content.
Or doing more of the things Rich loves to do, like bowling (which we have actually done twice in the last 2 weeks) or go to the cinema. (I’ll be choosing the films though.)
Or taking my dog on more trips to the woods or the beach instead of just walking him around the block to the park.
And OMG writing! I love to write. More than I ever thought possible. It makes me feel so relaxed when my thoughts just flow out of me.
The little things.
In 2016 I will be striving for one thing and one thing only– simplicity. No more over thinking, no more beating myself up over the lack of achievements, no more worrying about the things that really don’t matter. I want to laugh more, live more, drink Costa lattes even though I am clearly addicted to them, and buy more outfits which don’t involve wearing bras. (This one should probably be at the top of the list.)
Because at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? A simple happy life full of love and laughter?
*and by fine, I mean he knew he had no say in the matter.