The new year is typically a time for creating new goals and forming good habits for the year ahead. As I’m not really a New Years resolutions kinda girl, and seeing as I already created a big list of goals in the form of ’23 for 23′ , I’m going to skip the goal creating and instead use the time to reflect on the year that has passed.

2014 was a year of change, of grief, of struggle and of personal battles. Yet it was also a year of achievement, of getting stronger, of personal growth, of meeting new friends and strengthening relationships with my dear friends and family.

I began 2014 on a windswept beach in Tora with a beautiful bunch of girls. I moved out of home, again, into a new flat in the burbs, surrounded by nature and wildlife. I began painting one of my favourite pieces; a commission of three beautiful peonies. I relished in Summer weather with good friends and music, heading off to Laneways Festival with one of my best friends, Natalie, and spending many long afternoons in the sunshine, beers in hand.

In February my world was turned upside down with the loss of my beloved Grandfather. My family was strewn across two sides of the globe. We were briefly reunited at the funeral where we managed to put aside differences and celebrate Granddad’s life. I began my Masters of Architecture exhausted, grief stricken and unwell, but I managed to persevere and create a solid work ethic for the difficult months to come. I met the brilliant Jackie, who has become one of my closest friends, and relied heavily on the stellar Emma for support.

Unfortunately, my grief got the better of me, and although I was succeeding at university, I began pushing people away and retreating into myself. I battled with health issues, getting tests every other week. My flat became a hellish place to live, I hurt people and I lost friendships. The world became a dark place. With some help, I plucked up the courage to move out of my flat, finding the place where I live now; a bright, happy home with two wonderful flatmates. I reached out and fixed those lost friendships. I met a boy. My Mum came home. For one shining month I was unbelievably happy again.

Then it all fell apart. I started this blog in an attempt to motivate myself through it all, but I was battling with myself internally. I became exhausted, overwhelmed and deeply depressed. My anxiety worsened. In saying that, I was strong enough to get help, I was strong enough to finish the first half of my Masters, I was strong enough to keep going to work and university everyday even though it was seemingly impossible. I kept my friends close.

There are bright moments in the dark though! I went to Melbourne and explored a city I now hope to one day live in, I learnt new skills in my course that will help in my future, I celebrated the end of Fourth Year with a big bunch of friends I had met throughout the year. I turned 23! My Mum came home and I began to feel more whole each day with the help of my family, friends, my doctor and my therapist. I ended 2014 in the most humble way; with some very close friends and a card game – bliss.

I am beginning 2015 an incredibly strong person. I have been to the absolute bottom, I have battled my way through an incredibly difficult year, but the fact that I can reflect back on moments of joy, of learning experiences and of the importance of love, friendships and family in my life just proves to me how strong I am. This year is full of exciting challenges that I honestly cannot wait to embark upon. I want to improve my mental and physical health, learn, discover, grow, strengthen friendships and develop new ones. I am a creator, a discoverer and I have a bright, sparkling personality that is slowly returning to me. I can feel it in my core; this year is going to be a good one!

I just want to take one final moment to be thankful. Thank you to everyone out there who reads this haphazard, reflective blog. I really do not have a direction for it, but I enjoy writing it, so if people read it – good! Thank you to my parents, my siblings and my entire family who have supported me this whole year, despite our whole family going through difficult times. And finally, thank you to my beautiful friends; you have been beyond perfect, everything you have done for me is incredible and I just do not even have the words to tell you how much you mean to me, but imagine me stretching out my tiny arms as wide as I can – it’s bigger than that.




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