Well gals, 2020 went a bit t*ts up didn't it? I still do not even feel I have fully processed WTF actually went down? 😂 And now, here we are in 2021. The year we made big hopes and dreams for. We began planning - or if you're me, buying - the bikinis we will wear on allll them holidays we will be going on all Summer long. Planning valentines, birthdays, mate dates, anniversary's and the girly shopping trips we feel we are long overdue but then, lockdown . whatever TF . something happened and now our 2021 is up in the air as well! I really hope my blog next year isn't going to be "hi, ditto of last year, bye" because I am not for this life boo.
Like many of you babes I'm sure, I, selfishly, feel so robbed and cheated out of so many memories I should have been making. After years struggling with social anxiety, I finally felt I had turned a corner... well clearly I took a wrong turn down a crack alley 'cause this was not the light at the end of the tunnel I had in mind! However, I am alive and I am grateful for that giving the current wild circumstances. 2020 may have been a hangover from hell, but at least 'the fear' after a big night out will seem like a piece of p*ss after being through all of this!
SO, what did 2020 teach me? Besides that face masks are the root of all evil, I did learn quite a lot (remarkably) and I went through quite a bit, too. My top 10 'things' about 2020 are going to be a mix of self-reflecting and general milestones- shall we do this then?
Here We Go!
1) Hobbies can become passions that become end goals.
If 2020 taught me anything it is that hobbies are pieces of work our brain really enjoys doing and when you enjoy doing something so much, and really rate it, you should pursue it any way you can. For me my 2 long-time hobbies were; writing and crafts. I had always blogged on and off since I was 15 and loved writing stories when I was wee. Blogging for me was a 'release' and for me, it's a place to write my deepest thoughts but also be my real and authentic, silly self. I could be whoever I wanted to be and share it with the world... but where do you find the time to commit to making this an actual thing? Enter: national lockdown! Very early on in the OG lockdown I just went for it, this was it. I bought a domain and set up my socials. 3 months short of a year on and I absolutely love it! Have I created as much content as I would have liked? Absolutely not. However given the lack of inspo around us, I am proud of myself for just finding any inspiration at all!
As of December 2020 I decided to get my own Etsy shop, selling designer inspired frames, diffusers, car diffusers and I plan to branch out more throughout the coming year! Crafts has long been something I have naturally been good at and I am an overall creative person in general- so I am finally owning it! Hobbies aren't always silly, you never know what could come of it. Do you feel a deep passion for it? Committed to it? Wanting to bring it to a wider audience? Then freekin' go on, girl! Own that sh*t.
2) True Love Will Be Tested
Now, if you were in a relationship during lockdown and you have survived- applaud yourselves! Nothing about those relationship times were ordinary. More so if like me, you were only 6 months in, decided to isolate together for what you thought would only be a few weeks which turned into months! Couples had to make the ultimate decision; to move in together... or to stay apart, all with not much time to think it through at all. I personally thought I knew my boyfriend really well before locking down together but you quickly realise looking back pre-lockdown you didn't really know each other at all! Lockdown was always going to naturally make or break you as a couple and I am lucky that my relationship grew into something pretty special and tbh, I admittedly don't know if we would have found that point without lockdown and normality separating us for different various reasons.
3) Self-Care Is The Best Care!
Everyone got on board the self-care express train didn't they? 2020 should definitely be crowned the year of self-care because I don't think anyone has ever put themselves first quite like how they did last year. We all were forced to stop, re-analyse our lives; our mindfulness, our happiness. We had to be faced with our 'real' and raw selves day in, day out. We were left with no other choice than to embrace our greys, pale skin, bare nails and bushy brows! We just really had to learn to chill the f*ck out, re-prioritise and look after the body we are in didn't we? Because we quickly realised we only get one of these beauties and they are of no use to us if we run them down to the ground. I definitely think this is 1 of the top things a lot of people will be carrying on over into this year and beyond- it's about time!
4) If You Don't Love You- Who Else Will?
Whilst this saying is pretty damn harsh and not completely true, those who practise a bit of good 'ol self love and are happy in their own skin of course radiate that and it attracts others. This year we were stripped of all our normal beauty and pamper routines. We had nowhere to go, and no motivation to get off the couch most days either! Lounge-wear and PJ's became the go-to outfits of choice. 5 day unwashed hair was scrapped back into a bun and sometimes, I admit, I couldn't even be bothered to shave my legs because, where was I going?? It was pointless. Not only was seeing my own day in, day out Au-natural reflection quite strange and tough, but if like me and you chose to isolate with your partner, it was extremely raw and exposing. Normally, he would see you all dolled up most of the time because you both would have a nice social schedule but now that was well and truly out the window, he was seeing you how he did first thing in the mornings except, all day every day, 7 days a week!
Us gals had a major shock to the system tbh. I really struggled at first to fully embrace the 'real' me. On Instagram I was at first presenting this 'best version' before I thankfully asked myself "why?" - because I should be showing all versions. Through exercise, arguing with my own reflection and cute moral from my boyfriend, I can truly say I learned self-love during 2020. Do I still have inner battles with it? Of course I do! I am only human after all, but whilst I still struggle to take compliments, I am definitely much kinder and more complimentary to my own reflection when I look into a mirror and that is huuuge progress.
5) Exploring The Country You Try So Hard To Escape From
Now, we are probably all the same on this one! We always talk about how we "can't wait to get on a plane away from here" and whilst yes, the sun is definitely better in that destination of choice, we forget the beauty of our own country. Before lockdown, I fully put my hands up and say I thought Scotland was over-rated by tourists and doubted what they seen when they dubbed it 'the most beautiful, scenic country in the world' like what mate, my home country? Nah you're bluffing! However when your faced with 1 hour outdoor exercise per day, you are forced into venturing out into your local surroundings... and a love story begins! Maybe it's through just feeling grateful to be outdoors, to be alive, or perhaps also because that view from the top of that hill you ventured up was also absolutely breathtaking! I for one plan - if COVID permits it - to do more travelling/exploring of Scotland this year for sure- road trippp!
6) You Grow Up- Fast!
I am feeling pretttty adult now. Lockdown forced us all into more mature situations like financially, within our work ethic, within our relationships and even within our home life. With the hospitality industry closed, you probably found yourself cooking more or like me- actually learning to cook, periodt. I became more confident in the kitchen, I started to seriously think more about my future and long-term goals, friendship situations and once lockdown was lifted from August-December- I even moved out! It feels crazy because if lockdown didn't happen I would probably still be living at home with my mum, moaning at her to make my dinner. Moaning day in, day out about how bored I am and spending my money recklessly (occasionally still partial to this mind you...) with zero proper ambition so in some ways, I am grateful all this happened because I finally grew up! I may have missed out on so much but I have also gained so much, too.
7) I Threw Myself Into My Training
Exercise has been my total release for about 4 and a half years now so when I learned of the gyms closing, along with all the other gym bunnies out there, it hit me pretty hard. Nobody in my family could really relate because unless you are a gym-goer yourself and in training as I like to call it, you just won't get it. When you're anxious, stressed. Feeling lost, broken- you always have the gym to go to and it instantly re-centres you. In a time of such uncertainty like this pandemic, it would have been your main outlet yet, it was closed off to you. I was very lucky I did have weights in the house otherwise I genuinely don't think I would have coped and I am hand on heart not even dramatising that. I threw myself into a 4-5 day fitness routine and challenged myself - and my body - in ways I had been too scared to challenge it before.
By the time the gyms re-opened fully in September, I actually came out of the OG lockdown physically stronger and had a more fearless attitude in the gym environment (which is ironic considering I had to wipe everything down impeccably in-case I caught corona!) but I just became so fearless and my training reaped the results from it. I am so happy with my body right now and all my 'gains' and I am proof that yes, lockdown is shit and I too miss the gym sooo much, but you can actually come out of it fitter if you put in the 110%. It is far from easy but is definitely achievable.
8) I Learned To Celebrate The Small Wins
Celebrating the small wins. Something we either don't do enough, struggle to do or just totally fail to do completely- Guilty of it? Me too! I straight up neglected myself this way and my mood suffered from it or, when I did celebrate the small wins, others around me rolled their eyes! However, I am now PROUD of my small wins and nobody's eye rolls are going to stop me from championing them- and encouraging others to champion them as well! I even began a #igotdressedtoday tag on Instagram because I want to make it my mission to encourage others to celebrate those small wins, even if it is something as seemingly simple as getting dressed because in times like these, that is a freekin' achievement! Even if it is just getting out of your PJ's into joggies- well bloody done gal! For anyone reading this join in and put the hashtag in your story to celebrate those small wins like getting dressed because nobody ever felt worse for getting dressed did they? Pat yourself on the back for getting up, making your bed, doing your hair, cleaning- anything! As silly as it sounds, just 'doing' is a win in these times.
9) Valuing Your Health & Resting!
A biggie yet, something we often neglect to value or do. If this year has made us value anything it is being healthy if not happy. We value our health more than ever and finally realise we are no good to anyone if we are not fit and we also have realised this runs our wee bodies down and that makes us prone to catching things more. I definitely value my health more than ever now and whilst I do have pre-existing medical conditions that can limit me, I am still alive and so thankful for that. Rest- it has taken me a long time to grasp this one and I still battle with it! It's a total girl thing isn't it? Guys chill at the slightest yawn or niggle yet us girl activate extra AF mode and we don't put out feet up enough! We literally burn ourselves out then moan about not having put our feet up today, maybe we should take a leaf out the lads book more often? (not the naughty ones FYI xo) not completely mind you, but maybe enough to listen to our body when we feel we need to put our feet up or when it's telling us it really is too tired to exercise- know the signs.
10) Feeling Grateful & Settled
So in December 2020 I got my first flat! December is a manic time to be moving at the best of times but during all these restrictions? Beyond stressful, I genuinely don't know how I coped and juggled it all! I had zero time to just relax there was so much needing done however all the home chat is for another blog... or three! I just feel so grateful to have a boyfriend I work alongside with really well (mostly!) who I share similar ideas with and it makes for such a less stressful experience when you and your other half are like that for sure. I feel so grateful for my fam who helped me massively with the move whether that was helping to buy furniture, flooring or helping with the painting- so appreciative and now, because of all those things combined, I am finally settled! I have successfully fled the nest and took to it so well- it's like I have always lived here which is such a nice feeling! I am so glad I saw this little flat and it is honestly everything I hoped and visioned it would be, too. I can not WAIT to create a lot of home content on here and on Instagram- Maybe I should dedicate a page to it? 👀 because it definitely deserves it's own spotlight, it's my little passion project!
So gals, that is my 10 things I learned and/or experienced in 2020! Whether or not this year is yet another one filled with restrictions, I am determined to achieve absolutely all I can and make the bloody most of it- we only get one life! Our life may be more like tequila slammers than a nice fine wine ATM but we gotta just make do, babe x