It is safe to be said that this has been a year of remarkable change. Though there have been some terrible hardships and life-changing decisions made, I am heading into the new year, stronger and wiser for them.
As this year has gone by, I have added special memories to a jar, so that I can remember them all at the end. What will make this even more enjoyable, is that on the other side of the world, one of my dear friends Taigen will be doing the same thing as the same time! We will share a years worth of happiness together and relish in each others joy at how much 2015 has brought to us.
One milestone in anyone’s lifetime is getting their first car, and I did just that at the very start of the year! I fortunately passed by driving test a few years back (even though I was so ill) so alls I needed to do was be confident enough to really go at it alone as well as support the car myself. Thanks to recovery, I can go where ever I please, when ever I wish and that is such a gift. It may not be the most lavish of cars or even modern, but my little clio is my black beauty!
Way back in March, I did something that I had never done before; travelled alone. In fact, I went a whole week travelling around London on my own, exploring the city, meeting incredible people, seeing the most talented artists of our time and enjoying what life has to offer.
After that unforgettable week, I caught the travel bug and couldn’t stop going to different events and becoming more and more independent. I was apart of the first ever #GirlGains event (so I am one of the original girlgainers!), went to Birmingham for the weekend at Body Power with friends from social media, and we have met up separately since! It is these inspiring women who I hold dearly, and look to for motivation to achieve my dreams. I hope one day I can show them all how much they have helped me grow.
Through ill health, came great sacrifices for my family. Over five years we had not been able to go away on a relaxing holiday abroad, which left us feeling low whenever the summer came round. I was always filled with guilt that I was the prevention of their time in the hot Sun, so this year I made it my mission to be in a better position to fly again. So whilst my sister had a holiday of a lifetime travelling around Europe with friends, me and my parents, flew to Icmeler, Turkey for our first holiday. Were we took a break from our daily lives, and simply enjoy the wonder of the world. Honestly, I never though for a second I would live to see the day were my parents could go abroad again. But there I was, on a boat trip across the Aegean sea, admiring the ancient architecture of Marmaris sitting next to them.
When I think back to January, there is no way I would have believed you that I would have left university after the first year, to embark on my career as a personal trainer. After making this tremendous decision, so much positivity has come my way. Though these past five years, I have certainly grown to learn that you need to follow your hear, and your life will work itself out eventually, but you need to be willing to let it happen. Since qualifying to be a fitness instructor, I have become a self-employed personal trainer at the UK’s leading PT company Lifestyle Fitness, I have achieved a lot already in my first few months. To get through their four stage interview process is extremely competitive as only 15% make it through! So I feel very grateful that I was chosen to become apart of their family.
Due to starting out my business, I have been extremely lucky to have been featured in my local newspaper The Sentinel. It was a real ‘pinch me’ moment when I got the call. The journalist wrote a lovely piece, expressing my story, in such a positive way. As an effect I have had endless comments, and interest from people to join in my ambition to make a difference to others. So just keep you eyes peeled for more news from ‘Growing Butterfly’ HQ!
On a personal level, I have never felt happier in my own body and mind. After everything, I now have a wonderful relationship with myself, treating myself as I do with others; with love and care. My body aids me to live the lifestyle I wish, allowing me to do all the incredible things I do and so I need to look after it, as it has with me throughout my eating disorder. Seeing images of how much damage I endured through my illness is horrifying. It is indescribable to view myself in such a malnourished state, yet at the time, I couldn’t see it nor believe it. It has taken something unthinkable to happen to me to realise exactly what I needed to do to recover and live the life I dream of. Though this sounds a bizarre thing to say, I am actually rather thankful for my eating disorder, as it has given me a whole new lease of life, being more in touch with the every day, cherishing my loved ones, being grateful for the small blessings and learning to love my true self. My mind is full of amazing things, but sure I am by no means perfect. I still suffer every now and then with doubts of mental struggle, but I am only human!
Reflection is a wonderful exercise for all of us, as it gives us an opportunity to look back to what has been and see how we have grown from there. Being able to reflect in a positive manner is important for future self-development, because you can use life lessons as tools for you to handle similar experiences differently. I urge you to take the time out to do the same. You will feel more empowered to be who you truly are as, simply being you has brought you all this years happiness and achievements.
It is also useful to see what you can learn from the past as well, since we often drag negative experiences with us and do nothing to make them heal. We all play victim at some point, it is part of human nature to do so. But what I have learnt from this year, is that you have to act on your beliefs, bringing about positivity to the world around you. Through leaving university, I took a huge risk, gambling my future on what my heart was telling me to do. Now look where I am; working on growing my business at the same time as understand what it means to be independent.
I have also learnt to be kinder to my body and mind, as I have been through a lot over these past five years. There is a lot still to be done, but understanding that you need to create a harmonious relationship with yourself, caring for your body and mind, as it takes care of you when you aren’t even aware.
Next year is set to be bigger, better and brighter, so I hope you stay to watch how this butterfly will spread her wings.