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I'm probably going to sound very cliché throughout this entire article, so brace yourselves. But, clichés at the end of the day are clichés for a reason. We all go through different journeys but always seem to find ourselves meeting at a similar road and that road is what makes us human. That road usually embodies things like loss, guilt, pain and growth.
A lot of people find themselves feeling very down and depressed towards the end of the year, for a couple of reasons... Pain over the upsetting things that have happened the past year, pressure over being optimistic and thinking 'new year new me' and guilt over what they could have achieved but didn't.
I find that incredibly sad but also incredibly relatable. This was probably the hardest year of my life, so as the end of the year approaches, I find myself feeling very sad and flat out exhausted over all the 'feelings' I have felt this year. I also find myself saying, "This was a horrible year, 2020 you better be good."
I'm also not the only person I know who says this often, so it got me thinking... was it really a horrible year? Or was it just like the one before, only we've grown to be more aware and sensitive to things? Is this too much pressure to put on 2020? Are we just setting up 2020 for disappointment by expecting it to make up for 2019?
Why do we have to put so much pressure on ourselves and on the universe to be in our favor this year? To have 'better things' and less 'sad things' happen to us. So, I sat with myself and thought about what those sad things have done to me. Yes, they've made me grow and if there's any good to come in the next year, it would not happen if it weren't for the things that happened to me in 2019.
Now what am I expecting from myself? Am I expecting myself to be more successful, more career driven, more productive and efficient? Am I expecting myself to be a better daughter? A better partner? A better friend? Have a more environmentally friendly lifestyle?
Yes I am. Is that problematic? Yes it is. Why? Because expectations are dangerous, toxic and the easiest way to set yourself and others out for disappointment. I want all these things to happen, but I can't expect them to happen. I can't expect myself to be all these things, all year, all at the time and all at the same time!
Self development is like working out. It's good for you and you want to do it. But you can't go to the gym, do yoga, take a Zumba class, run a marathon, try kite surfing and play tennis every Friday.... all at the same time. We are physically and emotionally incapable of doing that.
Yes workouts need hard work and dedication, but some days you're gonna wake up and you're gonna feel exhausted and you're not going to want to get up and practice. And that's OKAY.
Take that and visualize it for working on ourselves. Some days we're going to be really good at it and consistent, and other days we're not going to have the time and energy to work on ourselves. The trick here is to not feel guilty, not feel like you've wasted the year, not feel like a disappointment and not feel like all that you've done so far has gone to waste.
Give yourself a damn break, at least that's what I've been trying to do lately. Accepting that it's okay not to be on top of my game, it's okay not to be okay and it's definitely okay not to expect anything from 2020. It will be a year, just like the last one... it will have some good parts, some bad parts and you will definitely, most definitely grow... A LOT.
Happy New Year Everyone xx
Main Image Credits: Instagram @wolfiecindy