I love the start of a new year. It gives us the opportunity to start fresh, to set goals and to reflect on the past year. Whilst we don’t necessarily need to wait for January 1st to do this, I find that time flies by so quickly that I often forget to revise goals or reflect on how my year’s going. It’s also easy to get stuck in a rut that only a fresh new year can shake.
Looking back at the past 12 months, I’m not ashamed to admit that 2019 wasn’t my best year. I can’t say it was a terrible year, for the most part, myself and my family were safe and healthy, but I felt unfulfilled career-wise and personally. I spent the year going around in circles unsure of what my next step should be and too afraid to try something new. That rut I was talking about, well, I was waist-deep in it!
Instead for diving straight into new goals for 2020, I decided to turn on my email’s auto responder and take a solid two weeks off to properly reflect on last year, to discover why I spent the majority of it not feeling my finest. After all, feeling anxious, stressed or unhappy is our body’s natural way of subtly – or not so subtly- pushing us towards a positive change. So, here are 3 things I learnt about myself in 2019.
I Need a Job
To be clear, I have a full-time, tax paying job as a blogger/ influencer. I work hard and most months earn a humble wage. I know there’s a lot of people out there that dream of monetizing their blog or earning money through Instagram – I was one of them. However, if I’m being really honest with myself, I have to admit, doing this fulltime is no longer making me happy. I miss having colleagues and set hours, and I miss having somewhere to go every day. I miss feeling part of something bigger. That’s why one of my goals for 2020, is to get a part-time job, perhaps in a boutique or a café, the location isn’t really important, I just want to be part of a positive team that works well together. I’ll still continue my blog and Instagram, but I will be taking a small step back and possibly posting slightly less often.
I Need to Escape the Comparison Trap
When we refer to the comparison trap, it’s often in regard to Instagram. Comparing the quality of our lives to others, our bodies to those of the Facetuned & altered. I understand how this can lead to anxiety and unhappiness, however, my comparison trap was different, yet equally destructive. In 2019, I was continually comparing France to Australia. I found myself frustrated with France and its complicated politics and societal rules A LOT. Instead of accepting this as part of France’s charm, I found myself often saying things like “that would never happen in Australia”, or comparing the situation to a more positive Australian example. If I had to compare Australia to France, on paper, Australia for me, will always have more positives in terms of quality of life, but France has so much unquantifiable charm that’s hard to put on paper. The point of this paragraph, is that I need to accept France for what it is, the good, the bad and the ugly, and I need to accept it independently from what I know about life elsewhere.
I Need to get Back in Touch with 2012 Chelsea
Who was I in 2012? I was still me with all my quirks and oddities, but I was deeply passionate about the environment. I had dedicated 5 years of my life to studying environmental management or majoring in environmental studies. I had been vegetarian for 8 years, I shopped at organic markets, and most importantly, I cared. I cared enough to be the annoying one lecturing others on their carbon footprint, on the degradation of Australian soil, all whilst also throwing around random food wastage facts. I was annoying and often overstepped the mark, but I was passionate about a good cause.
I moved to France at the end of 2012 for a 4-month period and I wanted to embrace the experience in its entirety. I gave up being vegetarian so I could experience French food at its finest, and I swapped my environmental subjects for cultural studies and French. I also met my husband during this period which turned a 4-month experience into a journey that’s still continuing today. I fell in love with my new life here and never looked back.
Seeing the devastation caused by the recent Australian bushfires was a major wakeup call for me. I feel guilty. I’m highly educated on climate change and yet for the last few years, I’ve being doing very little to reduce my carbon footprint or to educate others on this topic. I want my niece and nephew to grow up in a safe country with fresh air, that’s why this year I’ll be doing a lot more to be earth conscious & to promote sustainability here on A Parisian Journey.
There are other smaller things I learnt about myself in 2019, but I won’t bore you with them today. The 3 I mentioned above are definitely the most important. I’m hoping that by addressing them and working on these issues and I can better myself and have a positive and successful 2020.
If you’ve also been reflecting on 2019, drop me a message and let me know what you’ve learnt about yourself and what you’d like to change in 2020!