Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday Reads: #1 My Official Farewell to 2013

Sunday Reads is a monthly post about life. It's about a 20-something who enjoys being a flaneur. It's about personal development. It's about being female. It's about being a student. It's about the nature of work. It's about leadership. It's about relationships. It's about friendships. It's about physical and mental health. It's about staying sane. It's about being human. 

Basically, it's about everything except skincare. 

Sometimes words on a page can stick out like a sore thumb. They speak to a part of you that you thought no one could ever understand and, in a very odd way, soothes and reassures you of your experiences.

This is the feeling that I hope Sunday Reads evokes in you.

Long story short, 2013 was by far the most difficult year of my life.

I can't remember ever being so busy, run-down, distraught, frustrated and in need of a good shoulder to lean on. I was sick very much from the start of the year. Whether it was gastro, skin infections, heart palpitations, fatigue...I had them all in succession and some concurrently. The worst thing was having to push through all the sickness because life seriously does go on regardless of whether you're functioning normally or not.

2013 gave me so many amazing opportunities and it always seemed that the state of my health was forcing me to choose between going full steam ahead or foregoing a chance that might not ever come around again.

On most days, I woke up at 11AM to go do back to back project meetings. I then attended night classes for my Masters, ate on the way home, made it back by 11PM, took a shower, worked on the computer until 1-2AM and went to bed at roughly 2:30AM. I'd roll around in my bed until I fell asleep at around 4-6AM.

My phone and Macbook slept next to me and I would check emails and details throughout the night. After six months, I went absolutely insane and my breaking point was when mum came in to wake me up one day and the first words I muttered were some upcoming meeting details. It seemed that even though I was asleep, my mind was still running. 

During this time, there was no such thing as balance. I stopped exercising completely. I overate. I gained an unspeakable amount of weight and I stopped hanging out with friends. I stopped going out. I stopped doing things that I love doing. I suffered emotionally because there never seemed to be enough time for anything other than projects, projects and more projects.

In public, I am mostly a mild person. All smiles, all politeness. But it's amazing what stress and a lack of sleep can do to you. I became an absolute monster. I was more impatient than normal and quite open about it. I couldn't hide my displeasure at things. I was quick to point out flaws. I was demanding and all sorts of controlling.

I saw my dermatologist several times for really bad dermatitis and he told me that I had to stress less because my skin was flaring because of it. Usually, I can just smile and nod, and say 'I'll try'. But the first thing I blurted out was 'I can't! You don't even understand! It's not that easy! If I'm not in control, everything falls apart!'.

I was absolutely horrible and the worst thing was that, at the time, I thought I had a right to be all high and almighty. Mentally, I thought that because I was carrying so much on my shoulders, people had to be understanding of me. I had this crazy sense of entitlement and belief that people had to cater to me.

I treated my family horribly, especially my mum.

 via Society6

To be honest, 2011 and 2012 were tough years as well but they each gave me a handful of defining moments. 2011 was all about learning patience and humility, and 2012 taught me how to take a leap of faith. Looking back on 2013 and all its highs and lows, the year actually gave me an incredible insight into what I thought I wanted in a career. And while I really enjoyed the type of work I was doing, I disliked the person I became.

I think from a very young age, I was always rushing into things - guns blazing. And this has really influenced the type of person I've become. For years, everyone was telling me to slow down but I just wouldn't listen. But with the amount of times I was sick, frustrated, unhappy and tired in 2013, it became painfully obvious that what I was doing was unsustainable.

I'm slowly weaning myself off bad habits and trying to make myself relearn some new and helpful ones. For one, I am starting to see the benefits in delegating work. It sounds simple but delegating is not something that I was very used to last year. I've learnt that it's okay to leave instructions and let others complete the tasks.

I'm also learning to take better care of my body by changing my eating and sleeping habits. The changes have been slow but I think I'm getting there.

I'm positive that 2014 will end much differently and I'm sure that I'll gain even more insights as to how I can develop into a person that I'm comfortable and happy being.

I hope your 2014 will give you as much as it will give me.

How's your year been so far? I find that a simple question like this can open up a reservoir of feelings and thoughts that you may not have considered. 


  1. Your 2013 was quite a rollercoaster. I'm glad you stayed strong and rode through it - I would go crazy after a month of your previous schedule. I wish you all the best for this year :)

    I can't decide whether I'm having a good year or not. I think I've always experienced some form of difficulty when committing to a career. I can't remember how many times I've changed jobs and jumped industries. I guess it's really hard finding something you really enjoy doing, and if I'm doing something I don't feel particularly passionate about, I'd feel like I'm wasting my life... although, I'll be persistent for a while and see how everything goes.

    LilynotLouise | Beauty and Food

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment!

      I hear you! I've had similar career issues as well. I definitely agree that it's difficult to find a job you're passionate about. I feel the same as you - if I'm not passionate about it, I feel like I'm just going through the motions and that leaves me lifeless after awhile.

      I hope everything goes well! I'd love to be kept updated with how things are going!

      All the best for this year as well!