Bittersweet, Eager & Apprehensive

When I look back to 2018, from beginning to end, I feel conflicted. There is as much good as bad. As much growth as failure. As much happiness as sorrow. I won’t lie, I’m not ending the year in the best note, even if it started amazingly (I was having a great time in Senegal!). For the last few weeks, I have been in a very strange place, trying to make crucial decisions whilst dealing with very mixed thoughts and emotions. And, 2019 might be as conflicting: for now, I just know it is going to be a very challenging year.

My 2019 is going to be about taking chances and getting outside my comfort zone, without knowing at all what will be the outcome (an awful situation for someone as calculative as me). For the first time in ages, I can’t plan my short-term future because I really don’t know where I will be nine or ten months from now. I don’t know because it is not a decision I can take right now, and it is also not solely my own decision. All I know is that in a couple of months, I will feel either on top of the world or at the bottom of it. No in-between.

If there is something I’m certain about, is that 2018 was a year of self-discovery and self-realisation. The best and worst aspects of myself, and of my life, became crystal clear to me. It was also a year of dissociation and reclusion. I have never been as detached or separated, physically and emotionally, from others. And, it was a year of recovery and healing. Both my physical and mental health improved through it, as my illnesses became more stable and less troubling. With all this in mind, I’m walking into 2019 full of eagerness and apprehension. I can’t wait to leave 2018 and its bittersweet memories behind, but I’m terrified of what is to come.

Nevertheless, I have every intention of working hard towards my ambitions across all the areas in my life. One of my key goals for 2019 relates specifically to this site: I want to blog more, like I used to back in 2013-2015. Sharing at least one-two posts a week is my current aim. As my health irregularly improves, I hope the site becomes as active as it used to be before I got sick. I don’t want to make promises, but I will try my best. I miss blogging a lot, particularly writing about more than just my travelling experiences. So, I can’t wait to be an active blogger again.

In addition, thanks to everything I learnt through a digital skills course, there will be some technical and content changes coming to the blog’s site, to improve and optimise it. This will occur together with some re-branding of my artistic persona, as my creative work is expanding beyond written content, whilst still centred around my love for writing. Don’t worry if you see anything odd and/or various random changes across my social media sites and/or blog. It is all planned and under control.

Lastly, I’m in the very final stages of completing a *secret* creative project that should be out during the first trimester of 2019, although it could be pushed back to later in the year, depending on time, financial and *skill* issues. When comes to my other creative work, I will gradually revise the original content posted on my blog (i.e. poems & song lyrics): I believe they could be much better, and there is a lot of room for improvement in most of them. Where content is updated, this will be noted in the respective post.

Furthermore, I plan to go back to my prose projects as soon as I’m done with the upcoming assessment period at university. I haven’t properly worked on my novels and fiction tales since I got sick. I think it is about time I finish the manuscripts I have been working on since I was a pre-teen and teen: I have many other ideas lined up, and I want to bring them to life too. This also means I will certainly self-publish books in a not far away future, though I’m in no rush.

I have no resolutions to share for 2019, I don’t want to jinx myself, and I’m wary of publicly sharing various of my plans due to a fear of embarrassing myself if/when I fail. However, to try to leave the year in a positive and rosy note, I will mention some things about 2018 that I’m grateful for:

  • I’m grateful for those in my family who truly love me, who give me a reason to keep going every day and be the best version of myself (shout out to my siblings!).
  • I’m grateful for my friends, those close and far away from me, people who support me no matter what, always cheer me up, listen to my rants without a single complaint, and deserve the world (even if we have never physically met and/or always talk via messages).
  • I’m grateful for my professional and career achievements, particularly being accepted into both volunteer and paid roles to work for environmental and climate organisations, my main areas of interest (a significant highlight to mention: I went to an interview for a paid research assistant role, I was quite nervous, and though I expected to hear back the following week, I was called not long after the same day, with an offer for the position!).
  • I’m grateful for the professors at my university: they have helped me a lot during the last months as I tried to make decisions about my future.
  • I’m grateful for my international experiences, as I rediscovered my passions in Senegal, I visited Spain (my country of birth) and its delicious food for the first time in ages, I was invited to iftar (meal to break the fast during Ramadan) by my wonderful flatmates whilst in Morocco, and I attended two climate conferences in Poland a few weeks ago (where I met incredible and inspiring youth from across the world!).
  • I’m grateful for my health, my mind and my body: I don’t value you as much as I should, and I thank you for remembering me that I’m not an emotionless and untouchable machine.
  • And, last but not least, I’m grateful for myself, because I often wish I was different (or, nothing at all), yet I have survived and made it far against all odds, particularly considering where I started and everything I have been through.

Happy New Year!

With love,

Emilie

(P.S. As I wrote and reread what I was grateful for, I smiled at times, and I noticed how my mood improved subtly. Perhaps, I need to practice gratefulness more often. It definitely helps to be more positive and less gloomy. So, I recommend everyone to do it!)

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