I’ve always loved the water. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m a water sign, maybe because I love the colour blue, or maybe for some other unconscious reason that I can’t fully explain, but I’ve always loved the water. Its fluidity, its power, and its sheer expanse have always drawn me to the water, which is weird considering I can barely swim (thank you traumatizing swimming lessons where I almost drowned).
This year has felt like I’ve been living in and around a large expanse of water, even though I actually don’t. This year has been a year of ebbs and flows that at moments have felt like the most calming thing in the world and at other times have felt like I had been dragged under its waves with no means of escape.
I started off 2018 with a large number of goals in mind, things I wanted to experience and goals I wanted to accomplish. I had every intention of achieving them, but life has a way of showing you that you’re never fully in control. And as a person who craves and needs control, you can probably understand how out of sorts this year has been for me.
I thought 2018 was going to be my year:
- I was going to get a job in publishing
- I was going to expand my blog
- I was going to read 50 books
- I was going to get a tattoo
- I was going to go on a solo trip
- I was going to get more comfortable in my own skin
I didn’t reach all the goals I set out this year. To be honest, I failed to reach some of them entirely. I didn’t get a job in publishing, even though I tried. I didn’t read 50 books this year, but I did get close. I didn’t get a tattoo, though I am determined to get one in 2019. And I only got moderately comfortable in my own skin, and as a person that’s always had an issue with their size, this was a step in the right direction for me. I did expand my blog, not to the extent that I wanted to, but I did it and I hope to continue to do so in the coming year. And I did go on a solo trio, which you can read all about here (Portugal 2018).
Dealing with failure or just the process of letting go of something isn’t an easy task for me. I can fixate on something and obsess over every aspect of it, especially when it comes to something that’s related to me. And 2018, has really been a year where I have had to come to terms with letting things go, especially things that aren’t good for me or things that have held me back from being the best that I can be, and relinquishing my control. It’s not an easy process, especially because I crave control. I need control and without some semblance of it, whether it’s good for me or not, I flounder. I like winning, I like succeeding, and when I don’t I feel horrible. But its something that I’ve had to become okay with over this past year. I think I’ll always be on this journey of learning that it’s okay to let go and to fail, but that I will always have the strength and ability to get back up again, one way or another.
A few things that have gotten me through this year has included reading romance novels. I love the genre of romance. It’s one of my favourites and this year has been about connecting with some of my all-time favourite authors and discovering some new ones. Shout out to Courtney Milan, Alisha Rai, Alyssa Cole, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Talia Hibbert, Susannah Nix, and Ruby Lang for all your wonderful, diverse and amazing stories that helped me get through 2018.
Podcast-wise, the Call Your Girlfriend podcast and When in Romance podcast have been absolute mainstays in my world this year. I loved listening to long-distance besties Ann and Amina, and have since their first episode of Call Your Girlfriend. This year’s many episodes that included thoughtful conversations on life, friendship, health, and politics that really helped me get me through 2018 and all its madness.
This may or may not come as a shock to some, but Little Mix’s music has been a constant for me this year. From their earlier albums to their newest, I’ve loved their all their stuff. H.E.R’s multiple EPs have also been something that I’ve kept returning to again and again. Her music has soothed my soul in so many ways and in moments where nothing else really could.
I can’t go on without saying how much I adored Crazy Rich Asians, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Black Panther. I cannot wait to see more representation on all media platforms come 2019.
I would not have been able to get through 2018 without my friends and family. The support, love, kindness, and understanding that I have received from the people in my life have meant the world to me. Whether it’s family or friends in my hometown or friends across oceans and borders, having that support system has been absolutely vital and I really couldn’t have faced what I’ve faced without them.
I’m looking forward to 2019 and saying goodbye to 2018 my way – relaxing, reading, and reflecting on the past and looking towards the future.
I hope 2019 brings you good health, happiness, and prosperity!
Happy New Year!