Compared to my 2017 and 2018 Year In Reviews, 2019 bares a significant amount of pressure. This late in the year, I’m not just reflecting on the last 365 days, but also the last decade. Fear not, I have no intention of extending this post to include all ten years! But after realising all I’ve experienced and accomplished, excitement’s evoked for what may occur in the next decade. It’s easy being weighed down by the ticking pressure of time. But for once, reflecting on the past has given me confidence for the future.
2019 was a year to sort my shit out. I needed to focus on creating a sustainable and supportive foundation for the rest of my twenties. While my first two years as a fully-fledged adult had been tremulous, now was the time to get life in order. As the first few weeks of 2019 unravelled it was clear that three areas of my life that needed attention:
- Career in order for a better work/life balance
- Homelife for my mental health
- Finances and credit card for stability.
I’m happy to say that hard work resulted in success across all frontiers. However, despite a rewarding 2019, life became incredibly challenging from a mental and financial perspective later in the year. If I had to sum it up, I didn’t thrive. I survived. Life had become a whirlwind and all my energy and time had to focus on keeping my feet on the ground.
Promotion was a rewarding way to wrap up work in late 2018, with a new Account Executive (AE) to replace me so I could fully evolve into my new position. Unfortunately, when work commenced, things didn’t go as planned. The AE didn’t work out, and by the end of January, I was still spread thinly across multiple roles and departments.
I could’ve held on a tad longer, but I knew my time was up. I’d put work before my health far too often, I’d lost my passion and instinctively I knew it was time for a change.
By mid-February, I’d been offered a creative-based role as a Social Media Content Manager at a female-driven agency. As soon as I made the decision, I knew it was the right one. My body eased into comfort, a sensation I’d forgot even existed as I’d been in a permanent state of tension for 18 months.
I’m still developing as a professional in this space, and while there’s a lot to learn and experience, I appreciated a few months of calmness as a result of a better work/life balance.
My previous housemate hinted in late 2018 that space would need to be made in their apartment for their growing e-commerce business. As a result, rental hunting was well and truly on my radar for 2019. Thankfully, due to stock delivery delays, the move was a lot later than expected! This allowed me to save some extra money before the move in May. Geographically, it’s not a huge difference. It’s a block of 70s studio-style flats in the neighbouring suburb. The big change is that it’s all mine without a housemate insight. After the breakup in early 2018, living on my own was the goal and I’d finally made it happen.
Living on my own has been the solution to a lot of issues, but it comes with its own challenges too. Unfortunately, as soon as things started to settle in my home life, problems started to occur in other areas of my life which made it difficult to celebrate and acknowledge my achievement.
However, after a refreshing summer break back on the west coast, I’m eager to head home and enjoy my space with fresh eyes and a tranquil mind.
One thing to know, money has never been my forte. In fact, 2019 was the first time that I’d incorporated and stuck to a budget (cheers Barefoot Investor!). While seeing the dollars growing was rewarding, I was surprised by how liberating self-imposed limits were. From the age of 14, I impulsively spent and relished the surge of dopamine that followed. I wasn’t too sure how I was going to react to a budget, but it was a healthy challenge I enjoyed partaking in.
Unfortunately, things became difficult in August due to, what I call, the “Car Chronicles”. In the new financial year, my sights were set on project “Transfer my Car Registration from Western Australia to Victoria”. For financial ease, I took on extra work for more income. However, things were intense when my car endured two car break downs and a minor car collision within six weeks.
Cheap $7 pesto pasta became a staple for every meal so I could make it to the next paycheck. The lack of healthy nutrition and long working hours led to a lot of physical stress. Not to mention, the situation itself affected my mental and emotional wellbeing. I couldn’t catch a break, and I also wasn’t giving myself a break either.
Just when I thought things were settling, the car broke down for a third time almost two months after it’s last one. While not as costly as the others, it’s highlighted a longterm problem that could be.
An endeavour that’s made its way back onto my radar is the goal to write a novel. Knowing who I am as a person, I don’t want to overcommit myself. But my aim by the end of 2020 is to write an 80,000-word 1st draft (given I edit as I write, it’ll probably be draft #73). The point is, I want to have an entire manuscript that I can read and edit holistically.
While on the topic, I’d love to dabble in wellness writing with the intention to contribute to lifestyle magazines. Health, wellbeing and self-development are growing interests for me. Given how much I participate in this space as a receiver, I’m interested to give to this space and shape my career along this trajectory.
Resting and recharging myself aren’t my strong suits, as I’ve realised in 2019. I read an article by Francesca Baker in Breathe Magazine, which aimed to redefine what it means to be a “hard worker”. She refers to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s theory idea that work and rest are partners and how you can’t have one without the other. As she so aptly puts it, “The better you are at resting, the better you are at working”. Ambition and drive engraves my DNA. But my aggressive approach to life over the last few years has left my motivation fragmented, my mind frazzled. It’s paramount that rest is a key focus, not just in 2020 but the next decade.
Wherever you’ve wound up in 2019, I hope the journey’s been challenging, worthwhile and memorable. May 2020 and the next decade deliver more than you could ever imagine it to be.