Reflections: I don't know about you, but I'm feeling '23'

30 November 2015

I'll let you in on a little secret that I don't think I've told anyone before. Well, until now that is. Every year on my birthday, I take some time out of my day to reflect. I reflect on the achievements I've accomplished over the past year, mourn the loses that change brings and prepare for the year ahead. It's almost like a tradition - pre new year. So in celebration of my birthday this past weekend, I wanted to just take some time and reflect.

Let me take you back in time to last year. I was fresh out of university with my newly qualified degree, ready to take on my next new adventure. I had just taken up a new full-time position to support my future endeavours, and was actively pursuing my personal and career ambitions. But like many who leave university, I was still figuring out all the pieces of the missing puzzle. I felt so overwhelmed by the culture shock of no longer holding the title of student, and the life that came with it. I had no clue how things would be in the next couple of months, let alone a year. But despite all that, this past year - no matter how puzzling it seemed to be - has been one of the most enriching experiences I've had in my life. Though nothing went according to plan, everything worked out for the best. Life gave me what I needed - nothing more and nothing less. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that ...

Every single person that you know - even those in the most highest of places - is winging it. 
Seriously, nobody has everything figured out. The managers and CEO's of the world were in the exact same position as you are not too long ago, stumbling into chaos and manoeuvring their way through life. And yet despite all that confusion and fumbling, they achieved so many wonderful things. But never in all those years did they have a calculated formula to get them to where they wanted to be. It doesn't exist. You don't have to have all the answers at this stage. Or ever. And isn't that a relief!

When you don't succeed at first, change your approach.
When I first started applying for jobs last year, I took the traditional CV and application route. After a while, I realised two very significant points that changed the way I saw job hunting. First - most of the jobs that I wanted to apply for weren't always advertised externally. Second - If they were, there was immense competition for these sort after roles. Welcome to the tough reality of trying to break into the creative industries! So I decided to change my approach. I reached out to local companies I admired about obtaining experience with them and made my own connections. All of that hard work led me to the opportunities I've found this year. If it wasn't for that little fumble at the beginning of last year, I would never have been blessed with these chances.

Not all the people from your past will make it to the next chapter of your life.
By nature I'm a people person. I love talking to people, and friends are an important aspect of life. As human beings we are social creatures. We crave attention. But change is inevitable. People change and evolve. Some even move across different parts of the country and the world, and that can be pretty tough on friendships. But that's okay, because everybody is trying to figure out the best thing they need. Maybe someday you'll reconnect when the timing is right. But for now, appreciate the memories you shared together.

Take the plunge and don't look back.
Risks are an important part of life. If you don't take advantage of the opportunities life presents you, you'll never be exposed to the new things you around you. It can be so tempting to just settle for something reachable. Though feeling comfortable may seem like the best thing for you now, it really doesn't add much value to your life. If you don't take the opportunity to do something new, how will you ever know what you're capable of? How will you be able to experience new places and people? It is worth the risk, because every experience is educational. 

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice for the year ahead, what would it be?

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