Last week I was sitting on the sofa, in my cosy Bucharest flat, savouring a post-workout treat and contemplating 2016. Facebook was inundated with jokes and memes about how shit the year was, how many great people we’ve lost and how everything’s changing.
While 2016 wasn’t the best, I didn’t hate it.
I started the year off with all my plans up in the air. I moved country, ended a relationship, moved house, hated work, lost money… you name it, I f***ed it up. And it was all because I was determined to stick to my plans.
A very wise friend of mine once said: ‘The biggest illusion people face is the idea of safety and certainty.’
As a serial worrier, this illusion is something that kept me going for a long time. I’d go to great lengths for certainty and the feeling of safety, in my personal, as well as professional life. In 2016 I was shaken quite badly by change, which brought on a lot of anxiety. It finally made me realise the only thing I can hold on to is my inner strength and ability to adjust.
So I knew I had to work on myself. In fact, in my last year’s post about New Year’s resolutions, I acknowledged the confusion I was feeling at the end of 2015. I also felt the need for some long term goals mainly related to personal development and growth.
In 2016, I stuck to some of my resolutions – I traveled more (more than ever actually), I worked harder , I kept active and fit. All of these activities opened me up to be happier, feel freer and stronger, regardless of what was happening in the world.
Of course, I wasn’t immune to all the madness, and there were times where I honestly asked myself ‘What is the point?’ I was let down by friends at times, sometimes by work or even my family. But the difference this year was that I got better at dealing with it. I learned to know when things are out of my control and to let them happen, adjust around them, focus on what I can change and on where I can make a difference.
I think this was a common theme this year: shit happens. Often, unpredictably and out of our control.
But aren’t we all a little better at dealing with it? In a weird twist of fate, the amount of change and unexpected events has shaken our beliefs and ripped a hole in our safety net. But if you look deep inside, I think it made us better at handling change and more grateful for what we have.
I decided not to make too many plans for 2017. I have one main goal this time – become even better at dealing with change. Because that, my friends, is the only constant.