Dear 2018….

Dear 2018

As the hours close in on us parting ways, I have spent some time reflecting back on our affair over the past 364 days! It’s been one hell of a journey 2018 and one that will leave a massive imprint on my life! It’s been an adventurous rollercoaster ride with many highs, lows, twists and unexpected bumps along the way.

This year I have learned a lot about myself; my strength, my resilience and my passions but as time ticks to your end I now understand what I need to do in 2019 to be the best version of me.

Three main themes flow strong through you that I’ve reflected on; travel, health and relationships.

Travel has always been my fortae and something I gain intense pleasure from. Nothing else gives me that sense of adventure when exploring new countries and cultures, meeting new people and learning new things which in turn make me humble and appreciative of what I have and accomplished in life. 2018, you allowed me to visit pastures new; Vietnam, Abu Dhabi, Chicago, North Carolina, Germany, Austria, and Marbella and return to olde stomping ground; London, Nottingham, New York, Washington and many corners of Ireland. My love and passion to travel will continue with 2019 and yet again venture to new corners of the world along with reminiscing in many places where a piece of my heart lies.

My health has been a major focus with you 2018 and many times you tested me and my strength! I found myself on the operating table three times in 11 months, trialing of medications and treatments that were unsuccessful, numerous GP, nurse and consultant appointments with no answers, feelings of intense pain, anxiety, uncertainty but most of all anger. The anger is fuelled by the fact that I certainly don’t want to me sick and the scientist buried deep inside me wants to fix it and make it go away! But 2018, one thing you have thought me is my chronic disease cannot be cured and will never go away. The past few days reality has set it and I’ve come to terms that I need to make peace with my illness and accept it is a part of me; Jen. I won’t let it define me but 2019 and I have big plans……plans to accept it, manage it and most of all be kinder to me. We all believe we are invincible but with time, age and illness I now know that I need to live with the hand I’ve been dealt with! I know I’m resilient and many times I’ve portrayed this during 2018 but resilience is not the key. The key is to be nice to me and take care of me and know I’m doing the best I can!

Relationships……where do I begin 2018!!! Whether I think of relationships with friends, family or romantic ones all have taken a spin along the rocky road you laid down for me 2018! Relationships have been built, relationships have been broken, new ones created (some lasted but some lost) existing ones tested (but with a slap of reality and acknowledging who is important to me have withstood you!) Using Jen terminology at times it’s been a proper SHIT SHOW!!! I too at times have not been the best sibling, daughter, friend or partner and have pulled people towards me and pushed many away. I’m not proud of the way many of these relationships have developed and disappeared but one thing is for sure 2018, I’m leaving this SHIT SHOW with you while 2019 and I rebuild the broken ones, reflect on the lost ones and learn to not allow it to happen again and invest in me to be the sibling, daughter, friend and partner that I want to be.

So 2018, as we part ways, I cherish the time we spent together as I now understand myself more and identified what I want to work on with 2019. I bring forward some lessons learned but leave behind the pain and sorrow that you gave me.

2019 and I will start with self care and being kind to myself; knowing I’m not superwoman! Nourishing my soul and looking after me is not being selfish but stripping away the things that hold me back from being the best version of me.

2018……thank you for the highs, the lows, the laughs, the tears, the memories, the adventures and the past 364 days! It’s been a journey but now its time to say farewell!

Good Night 2018, Good morning 2019 ❤️