The word reflection is so useful as it means to throw back but not absorb. You can look back at your year — like in a mirror — seeing how amazing you are and what you’ve learnt — but you don’t need to take any negative feelings forward. As the year comes to an end, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or experience a sense of lost opportunity, particularly as those around you share their achievements. It’s important to also remember that the mirror doesn’t always tell the truth and to remember we’re all on our own paths.
This year, you achieved so much by being here. You woke up 365 days, and you put something good into the world with your thoughts, words, dreams, connecting with people and making them feel something too. You were also human. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes sick, sometimes celebratory, sometimes grieving, sometimes scared, sometimes needing help, sometimes bold, sometimes optimistic, sometimes not your best. This is what it is to be alive and feeling. We are a breadth of emotions and feelings, all valid, all good. And when you start to think on a micro level, you can start tapping into what makes you happy and drives you forward.
For me, this year has been a whirlwind. I know I have done what I could with what I had. Perhaps I could have done some things differently but I also know I made decisions based on the information and resources I had at the time. I’ve also had the most wonderful experiences. The workshops at the end of this year have been a big highlight. Bringing people together to collage, to talk about their feelings — and give those feelings shape on paper — and knowing that it’s really helpful as well as fun has brought me so much joy this year.
Working through our feelings and knowing our own minds is where success and joy live. It’s in our minds that we determine our own true version of success. And while you’ll need many people to help you on your way — and be inspired by other people’s stories and success — knowing what your own version is, giving it a shape, a voice, helps you work towards your own dream.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be considering my own version of success — my dream — making sure it’s still aligned with my present and future. If it’s not, I’ll be thinking about what I need to change, as well as breaking down what I need to do into small, achievable steps to make it happen.