To say that 2019 was a challenging year for me would be an understatement.
Just having resigned from an international company with amazing benefits (including the best locally available medical cover for me and my dependents) in the beginning of January 2019, I found myself getting to grips with a serious health scare.
I was terrified for my future and needed to find a way to beat my fears and stay positive. The wake up call made me finally focus on my physical and mental health. The truth was that long hours at work far from home were making my lifestyle very unhealthy. I was stressed and constantly felt guilty for leaving work on time to drive back home to another town. I didn’t have any time for myself or to see or even talk to friends during the week, let alone for regular exercise. To top things off, the office provided daily free snacks morning and afternoon and I could not resist the delicious subsidised lunches. I got into a daily routine of eating croissants and cakes whilst drinking copious amounts of coffee. My figure was expanding and I could barely walk up 2 flights of stairs without panting. For a long time I had wanted to get on an exercise routine but didn’t have the time during the week and at weekends I felt that I didn’t even have the energy to go out for the long walks I used to take.
I started meditation, yoga, pilates and swimming. Having no job may have meant I no longer could get free medical treatment and had to use my savings to pay for my new hobbies but I could have free time to think of what I really wanted to do with my life: career wise and health wise. The free time in my hands meant I could have all the exercise and other activities I enjoyed every day of the week. I started to take things slowly and enjoy my time off after years of working in stress. I even managed to lose over 10 kilos over time.
As 2019 progressed, more and more setbacks and family health problems appeared one after the other. I don’t want to get into the details but let me tell you it’s been relentless. There were tears, sadness and fear.
These issues kept me from sticking to my health regime’s initial momentum. But the silver lining is that they have been a constant reminder to stay grounded and grateful for all the good things in my life, including some amazing new things that this year has brought me. For one, it brought me the pretty little Bella. A petite, cheeky and friendly street cat in need of a loving home who adopted my family. Yes, she found us and we’re her slaves and I worry for her like an over-protective mother but I love her so much and I’m deeply grateful she came into my life to bring me so much joy.
Secondly, a few very good, lovely friends (you know who you are) and my wonderful family have been a great support this past year and I’m grateful to them for listening, providing practical solutions and generally being there for me at my darkest hour this year.
2019 also gave me the opportunity to practice my makeup artistry skills on a more professional level. The photo and video shoots I worked on were a great confidence building exercise. I’m grateful to the people who by entrusting me with these projects made me feel like myself again.
Finally, 2019 reunited me with a wonderful person I worked with in the past who had been discussing with me the possibility of a future collaboration for some time. It was a slow process but was just what I needed this year. To slowly realise what I really want from work is creativity, flexibility, working with great people in a stress-free, non-corporate environment. And to realise that I have now found these.
I look forward to the new year and decade and a creative, beautiful future ahead!