THE BEST OF 2018
THE BEST OF 2018
I thought this post was going to be an easy one. I have been trying to reflect on my life regularly for a while now, and pulling it all together to see what I have achieved in the whole year seems like fun. The reality is different though. I am getting lost in all the notes, rewriting parts many times and finding it hard to compile it all into something that sums up my year and will make sense to you too.
I am going to divide it into few parts.
If I had to use one word to describe 2018, it would be ‘CHANGE’. 2018 has been the biggest year for me so far. Everything has shifted. My life has changed completely. Things I used to dream of turned out to be the biggest nightmare and things I was scared of and did not think could ever happen became reality and I could not be happier.
“Facing your fears and trying new things is the best gift you can give yourself.”
At the start of the last year, I can say, I was probably the unhappiest I have ever been. To some people, I might have lived a great life. I lived in London, renting 1 bedroom flat with my boyfriend. I worked in Central London in a full time job that I thought would be very close to my dream job. I was earning enough money to comfortably pay my bills and save as well. Read about how I felt here.
It’s the first week of January. I have just finished yoga and sipping my green tea whilst writing this and listening to birds outside of our window in a small ski town in Scotland, where we moved 4 months ago. I am about to plan my day the way I want because I work for myself. And I could not be happier with my life.
Let me explain a little bit more how I got from the unhappiest to the happiest in one year.
It was the beginning of January 2018 and it was only 2 months since I started working in an architectural company in London as an in-house Graphic Designer. After a year of travelling around the world on a budget and coming back with no money, I finally had some certainty. I was certain I will get paid at the end of the month and I lived in a flat only sharing with my boyfriend in a lovely part of London. It did not make me happy though. I was bored at work which I blamed on ‘getting used to the job’ at first. I was so excited to be creative again and do amazing things to finally show people what is inside me. Instead of fulfilling my potential as I hoped, I felt trapped. Trapped in a job that gave me the idea that I will be part of something great when I applied but instead I was asked to do tasks that perhaps should have a different job title and any initial effort that came from me was ignored.
My first plan was to redo my CV and start looking for a new job. I did indeed change my CV and started looking but it went a different way than I thought. All the job descriptions seemed the same. You have to be the best, be a good fit for the company but many times, especially when you are applying through a recruiting agency, you do not even know the company’s name until the very last minute. And you have to have years of experience. Have you ever thought about what you would put in your CV if there was not rules? I have written a post about, read here.
I was demotivated and that was the time when I started looking for other options, listening to podcasts, reading and noticing how other people live and how they got there. My mindset changed. People can live life differently, it is possible and mainly you do not have to be gifted or come from a rich family. You just have to want to. Want to learn, want to try, fail and try again. One step at a time. I decided to give it a try while I still have the certainty of a job and a place to live.
THINGS I WENT THROUGH DURING THE YEAR
- I started cooking new recipes.
- I started a food blog called Fast and Curious Cooking (more like an online cookbook, mainly for myself and the people who want to try new recipes).
- I upcycled second hand furniture for our home.
- I started a new Instagram focused on outdoors and travelling.
- I started a 2018 challenge to help people. It lasted 3 months and I managed to bake and distribute mince pies for homeless people in London. I donated my voice to The Human Voicebank. And I created awareness posters for recycling.
- I started eating more healthily – more vegetables, less sugar and salt.
- I started planning meals so I limit my waste which involved reconsidering the way I shop for food.
- I learned how to use Adobe Lightroom for photo editing.
- I became a British Citizen.
- I started cycling to work in London (in March) even though I was scared of London traffic. I had not cycled for years but I stood up to my fears and started cycling 18 miles every day.
- I started learning to design websites in WordPress.
- I quit my full time job and moved to Scotland.
- I built my ‘Make It Your Adventure’ website in WordPress.
- I set up my own business and started working for myself.
- I fell in love with running after moving to Scotland.
- I started reading books regularly.
- I started writing a blog.
- I joined the local Scouts to help leading and to pass on the experiences I have had growing up in the Scouts in the Czech Republic.
- I started doing yoga every day.
- I created the first website I got paid for.
- I have gotten involved with a project called Team52 to get people more active and have fun.
THINGS THAT CHANGED IN MY MIND
My major realisation was that not everything has to be done right now. Over the years, I had so many ideas for projects but in my mind everything had to happen straight away. If I could not think of a way that will make it happen right now, I gave it up. Everyone seemed to master everything straight away but that was just a false truth I made up in my head. Baby steps changed my life.
I have learnt so much about myself in 2018. I have always lived with a belief that we can do anything we want in our lives if we really commit to it. Yet in terms of a career, London education and approach has left me with feeling that I will never be good enough. When I finished uni, I was proud of myself for getting to the end and growing so much in those years but at the same time, I felt like I was never going to be as successful as my classmates or other people. London has lots of opportunities but even bigger competition.
2018 changed everything for me. I started the year with figuring out what makes me happy. I stopped comparing myself to others. Instead of being jealous of other people I started taking them as an inspiration. I stopped trying to fit in and started putting energy into things that truly make me happy. I slowly filtered negative influences out of my life (and will continue doing). I started learning to have time for myself. I started small and now when I look back, all of it together, it has been huge.
“It has only been 4 months since we moved to Scotland but it feels like more things happened in those 4 months than in the 8 months before.“
I truly believe that the only person that can change my life to the better is ME. No-one else can do it for me. Things around me will not change but I can change my approach to it. It will involve a lot of hard work but it is possible. Everything is possible.
THINGS I AM TAKING TO 2019 WITH ME
I am excited for 2019. In 2018, I realised that I am capable of anything I set my mind to and that is the biggest drive for the year/s ahead for me. I want to make an impact on people’s lives, I want to inspire with my actions and my adventures, and give you the power to chase your dreams. I am excited to learn new skills, face my fears, get rid of my insecurities to help YOU.
To achieve all that I know I need to listen. Listen to how I feel, what feels right and listen to you. Listen to what your struggles are, what stops you from taking the first step and your needs.
I wish you the happiest of New Years, and hope to have the chance to inspire and help as many of you as possible.
What is your biggest message you are taking with you to 2019?