Reflection & Introspection – 2015 in Perspective

 

Years ago I developed my own individual annual “ritual” which entails spending time on my own in the last few days of the year and reflecting on the year that has been. The reason for this is to put into perspective all I have experienced, learnt and achieved. Once I have worked through that, I focus my energy on my goals for the year ahead and getting my mind right for it.

This practice is one I have maintained without fail and I have found it quite useful in my growth as a woman and young adult trying to make sense of life, my purpose and spiritual journey…

I would say 2015 had more triumphs and battles than any other year before it…. It left me numb and I am still trying to wrap my head around everything and figuring out what it means for me and how it has changed me….

My journey of obtaining my law degree and graduating in record time finally came to an end and my life was moving so fast that I didn’t even take a moment to truly take in and appreciate the accomplishment it was… I walked across the stage as they called my name with my head held high and a big smile on my face but it felt like an out-of-body experience. As though I was floating and not truly present in the moment….

I realized that I don’t take the time to acknowledge and celebrate my achievements because my mind is always set on the next thing I want to attain…. The next height I want to reach…. No time to dwell or celebrate anything because, after all, I’m “not there yet”….

So I set my sight on the next step towards building my future…. A practical legal training programme at the school for legal practice under the Law Society of South Africa… At first I was excited because it was something that I wanted for a long time and I had to work hard for it…

It wasn’t long before I became conscious of the fact that I would have to leave my life as I knew it in pursuit of completing this demanding course… I missed out on months of the lives of those closest to me… I lost a part of myself as I was constantly trying to do everything, give my all and attempt to have some sort of balance between meeting all the expectations others had of me and what I expected of myself…. Even though I was doing relatively well under the circumstances, deep down I felt as though I was falling short and nothing I did felt good enough to me… It could always be better… It could always be more… And I didn’t quite live up to my own (perhaps unrealistic) standards…

This left me feeling frustrated, lost and made me question everything… I experienced waves of different emotions which felt inconveniently timed as I felt any sort of emotion would throw me off track and I wanted to just escape it all, however there was no time for that… No time for me… I felt drained physically, emotionally and spiritually…. My ambitions and passion for a life in law were tested in ways like never before and it scared me… I didn’t want to be a failure at the one thing to which I dedicated four years of my life and then some more…

I finally have a break to breathe before I get back for the final phase and I am trying really hard to evaluate what I can do differently to make the last part something I can enjoy and remember with a smile… The answers that come to mind are that I need to have more faith in myself. I have to trust in my abilities and potential and I must stop being so hard on myself. Sometimes we need to take life one step at a time and turn to things that make us feel alive and give us a sense of purpose…

Creativity has always been my outlet and this year I was so caught up in all everyone else expected from me that I turned my back on what brought ME joy…. Music… Writing… Laughter… Time alone… Time with people I care about… Challenges which inspire growth…. Maintaining my inner peace and being true to myself… Embracing all the ways in which I am different and unique and avoiding anything that would make me feel discouraged, withdrawn or which has the potential of being destructive…

Being a perfectionist can be both a blessing and a curse because it motivates you but can also make you your own worst enemy… It keeps you chasing a certain level of greatness but if you fail to validate yourself, nothing anyone else does will ever matter. Because it is not what others think and say that keeps you encouraged… Instead it’s what you tell yourself… And that is dangerous if you fail to acknowledge, appreciate, give thanks and take time to breathe and reflect…

Why am I doing this? Why am I writing something so personal and putting it out there for anyone in the world to see?… Well, I have taken cognizance of the fact that what I have experienced is a very human thing and it is common to many… Merely in a different context to every person… And I genuinely believe at some point everyone needs to know there are others going through the same trials but it’s something we can all get through and learn from…

Looking back, I see that I need to be proud of myself and love myself for holding on and not giving up… I know one day this year will be something I will look back on and laugh about because it will not feel like such a big deal… Yet I will still take pride in knowing that it was an important building block in my life that had a purpose…

The value of time and being present in the moment resonate within me… Going forward, I choose to carefully and consciously decide what deserves my time and energy and what doesn’t…. Who matters and belongs in my life and who doesn’t… What brings me joy and makes me feel alive and what holds me back and pulls me down…

No, I don’t have all the answers… However, I have perspective and awareness… I can hold my head up high and admit to myself that my heart was always in the right place… My intentions were good throughout all I have done and I have become stronger and more enlightened… I have been bruised but not defeated and I am ready to do better and be better…

2015 was one of the best years thus far irrespective of how many hurdles I faced and I am open to the experiences 2016 has in store for me… My main focus will be ME. My dreams. My happiness… Reaching for the next level and making my mark but taking time to be thankful and to enjoy the moments which I will never relive again…

What did you learn from this year? What will you do with the lesson? How will you make 2016 a better year?… Take the TIME to reflect and introspect as that is where the answers can be found…

Cheers to an epic new year!!!!!!

Be brave. Be bold. Be fearless!!!!

 SELF REFLECTION

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s