How are you? Has anyone checked in on you to see how you have been coping with the latest lockdown? I hope you have been keeping positive and are ready to embrace a few days of the easing of restrictions over Christmas. I’ve been in two minds as to whether I am happy about it or not.
On one hand I’m so glad we’ll be able to spend quality time with family, especially after such a subdued Diwali and New Year. But on the other hand I am dreading the possibility of further restrictions and lockdown in January. I’m an Aquarian and while most are super depressed in January after the festive period, I have a bit more of a bounce in my step excited for birthday celebrations. To think this time last year we were planning our trip to South Africa for my 30th! I can’t believe we have spent the majority of 2020 living through this and in a national lockdown. But hey, I’m sure there are actually a lot of positive things to have come out of Covid too.
2020 and Lockdown Achievements
However big or small I’ve been taking some time to appreciate just how many positive things have happened for me. Firstly I’ve been lucky enough to go on 2 amazing trips this year (South Africa and Turkey) when most people have had their travels cancelled. I know this was meant to be a year of travel for me but I’m lucky to have had this. Both trips allowed us to explore new cultures and experiences and we made lifetime memories. For those that have had trips cancelled this year, I hope 2021 will bring new opportunities.
From this year I can pinpoint so many milestones that will hopefully allow me to achieve great things in my future. I started this blog for one, and it’s given me such an outlet for expression and to connect to something I never knew I even enjoyed that much… writing! I’ve connected with new and old people through this space and social media. All of this has led me to realise the most important relationships to me, including my relationship with myself. I’ve learnt about my values and what is actually important to me, rather than what society thinks is important. I’ve begun to set boundaries and understand the kind of people I want to surround myself with. I guess the time that Covid gave away from social settings made me evaluate where I want to invest my time. I left a world of work that was sucking all the energy out of me and I plummeted into the world of the unknown. It was a long time coming and although terrifying it was so liberating!
Each and every single experience this year has enabled me to connect to myself, the person I want to be, irrelevant of society. And I am bloody loving it! I’ve started something new on my Instagram page and while the old Neelam would have had a panic attack before each post wondering what people’s reactions would be( I mean I get mini ones… actually more of a rush of excitement), I love the opportunity to share, express my personality and hopefully help people in some way. And to actually pursue something I enjoy. You know what I realised in all of this is that my whole life fear has been holding me back. When I was around 17 choosing my options for uni, I actually really wanted to go into fashion. I loved Textiles, got an A at GCSE and A Levels and loved the creativity of it. But there was a fear holding me back as I didn’t see how it could be a safe or respectable path to follow. I also had perceptions of the industry and didn’t understand how I could break that. These were all my own inner battles, not actual reality. I’ve still got a long way to go, but what I have started I am enjoying and I’m excited to take that through with me into 2021.
I’m not saying this year has been perfect, in fact it has at times been so challenging, some of the hardest times I’ve actually ever had. I actually read a post this week about how we should accept our real emotions and not feel forced to always feel grateful. We can often feel a pressure to always be grateful for what we have but if you have a day, a week, a month where you find it harder to feel grateful, that’s ok. Our feelings are valid and everybody’s situation is different. It’s not a comparison
For me this week it’s felt so good to write out the positivity that has personally come out of 2020 despite Covid and lockdown. In a time where it is so easy to compare yourself to others, focus on the negatives and put yourself down, in that moment where you are feeling positive why not try and acknowledge all of the great things you have in your life and everything this year has taught you. I know over the festive period with the easing of restrictions it might start to feel a bit overwhelming seeing people again, so this is the perfect time to use your final bit of downtime of 2020 for some positive reflection.
I hope you have a lovely week ahead moving into the festive month of December!