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Reflecting On 2018- It’s Been An Interesting Year For Sure!

Personal Development

2018 has been an interesting year. Not the best, and by no means the worst, but looking back over the past 365 days oh boy, it’s been a heck of a learning curve.

A Rocky Start

At the start of this year, I was in my final semester at University. The dreaded dissertation was due soon and the cold winter with its short days made me want to quit every single minute- No exaggeration!

Although I thought he was wrong at the time, my Dad told me I’d be stupid to give-up after having worked so hard for pretty much straight A’s so far (Plus the 40-something grand of debt would have all been for nada). In my heart, I knew he was right. So, off I went back to the library, fuelled by coffee and surrounded by textbooks. Then finally, on a sunny day in mid May, I was FREE!

 

Decisions, Decisions

The ability to make decisions never came so easily to me. From deciding between which movie to rent at Blockbusters, to the University I should go to, it was always a painful process. I’m totally working on this by the way. Indecisiveness is exhausting and makes you not want to do or have the thing anymore that you can’t decide about. Crazy, ey? I’ve started to just take a deep breath and just choose: Just choose the film to watch or country to visit. Will you always make the right decision? Of course not, you’re human, but at least you’ll learn something. Learning equals moving forward, and that sounds good to me!

Anyway, I’ve gone way off track here….ah yes, finishing university! As Spring rolled around many of my uni friends were interviewing for graduate jobs and lecturers were asking what our plans were going to be when we finished. I was totally adamant that I was going to travel the world working, eventually earning enough online to be a full-time digital nomad ( Digital Nomad definition). Of course, most people just assumed this was going to be a gap year, because they’d always follow up with “What are you going to do when you come back? ”. This sounds like a totally normal question to most, but to me, I can’t imagine ‘coming back’ to live in England forever. It’s cold and rainy, not to mention the Brexit catastrophe going on right now.

I was contacting teach abroad programmes for South East Asia, looked at Camp America, volunteering, housesitting…you name it I thought of it. But the indecisiveness and crushing fear that I would make the wrong choice was all consuming. I have a small Amazon FBA business selling bamboo toothbrushes and receive a small amount of income through affiliate marketing, but this was in no way enough to travel on. Plus, putting so much pressure on these creative pursuits was only going to make me resent them and zap them of any joy.

 

Deep In The Heart Of Texas

In quite a pickle about it all, I decided to go and stay with my awesome American Family in Austin Texas. I’d have my last exam, then the next week hop on a plane and head west to the good old US of A. I had no idea what to expect when I met Beebs (Betty-Ann’s my aunt, not technically, but it’s a long story to explain so we go with the aunt/ niece line) outside of baggage claim. I’d met some of the Texas family at my Dad’s wedding the December before, but in the craziness of a wedding, we didn’t get too many chances to talk. We headed into Austin in her big American car and I was amazed at all the huge houses and how green Texas was! I’m forever grateful for being welcomed with open arms into their family and home.

Over the next 2 months we road-tripped to Arkansas (Via Dallas to pick up uncle Jimbo of course!), went to a country music concert, danced the two-step with real cow-boys, ate loads of yummy Mexican food, became even more addicted to coffee, headed to Santa Fe New Mexico and day drank in the casino, spent independence day on the beach, Drove on the right side of the road, swam in Barton Springs, and of course, fell in love with Texas and the States so bad that I miss it every-day.

The people and sights, you’ve just got to experience Texas it to understand why it’s so awesome!

A few days before graduation I headed home in my fancy new Long Horns T-shirt. Graduating made me realise that all the pain and struggle had been worth it. I can still see the proud look on the faces of my family and lecturers.

So we’ve started the year in valley then Texas and graduating was an almighty peak. Naturally, the universe sees you now need testing to reach new heights and gifts you with new challenges.

 

New Challenges

In August, I became quite down about everything. Searching for any job that could get me out of my hometown that I’d vowed never to live in again after university. I felt like a failure; A failure who was supposed to be running a successful business, have invented a new product, found the man of her dreams and be sharing Instagram photos with her millions of followers by now.

I was applying for jobs I knew would be terrible but I was still in my student overdraft and knew this wasn’t the time to be picky! Every day, I would wake up, look at my dream board and visualise the dream life I was going to manifest. Looking back of course, it’s Law of Attraction 101 that by doing things like feeling down and applying for jobs you don’t want is not going to attract to you what you truly want. That’s a massive face-palm emoji moment right here!

My hard work was starting to pay off, however, and after applying for goodness knows how many jobs, I landed an interview with the one! Everything about it was just what I’d been searching for and more.

After another curve-ball of having emergency surgery at the end of August (Another test of strength), I was back on the mend and started my full-time remote marketing job in October 2018.

The 3-months since have been great. My team is incredible; I’m growing as a person and have a whole new skill-set. I tested the digital-nomad waters on a 10-day trip to Budapest and realised it’s totally for me!

Now here I am, on a plane to Bangkok, taking another leap of faith into the unknown. Sure, I’m a little apprehensive, but go big or go home as they say.

 

Here’s To 2019!

2018, you’ve been a year of tremendous growth. There have been some truly crappy times but these will be faint memories in the back of my mind compared to the joy and adventure that will forever stay with me in my heart.

2019 I’m ready for ya! Let’s grow 10-fold, make a difference, create incredible memories and achieve so much I’m gonna need a new vision board.

Wishing each and every one of you out there an incredible new year full of infinite possibility! It’s true that things don’t always turn out how we imagine. But what if this is because you were destined for something much greater? And to be ready for this you need life’s challenges to build strength and show you what you’re capable of first.

Happy New-Year Y’all. Much Love,

Hannah

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