I’ve been in the UK for about 15 months now – how insane! I guess time flies when you’re having fun. It feels like only yesterday I was announcing that I’m moving to the UK and now that I’m here, it feels like I’ve been here my whole life and I can’t even begin to imagine having to wind down my life next year and make plans for the next step once my visa runs out.
Anyways, I thought I’d use this time to do some self-reflection on how my life has changed in the last 15 months and how I’m feeling about life and everything in general.
I think I can wholeheartedly say that I’m really proud of myself. I know I’ve been so lucky since moving here and everything’s worked out quite seamlessly but don’t let that fool you! Everything hasn’t been entirely easy peasy lemon squeezy. I’ve had to make hard decisions, had moments where I was dangerously low on cash and also made some very irresponsible choices and not following my gut, which, as you can imagine, impacted my entire being.
But I think the negatives had to happen in order for me to grow and I suppose, find myself. After all, isn’t that part of the reason why we go on crazy adventures?!
I’ve noticed that I’ve become a lot more independent and resilient. I used to think I was an independent person just because I was going to the supermarket on my own, making appointments on my own, you know doing all the adult stuff that you’re supposed to do when you’re in your 20s. But there were times where I just couldn’t face doing those things on my own and would rely on my sister or my friends to come along with me in order for things to get done (and they could be simple things like going for a walk or going shopping).
Having been in London, I’ve travelled on my own (and might I add, to countries where English wasn’t the common tongue, God forbid!), lived in flats where I knew absolutely no one, found jobs on my own, made friends, went on spontaneous adventures on my own and even moved to a new city within the UK on my own. I think I’ve gotten a lot better at being on my own and frankly, it’s been nice knowing that I can trust and rely on myself and just really enjoy my own company, especially since I never thought I could ever do that.
I think I’ve also become more mindful of myself. I’m the type of person that worries about how my decisions or actions will affect others before thinking of how it would affect me. I tend to forget that at the end of the day, I matter and I should put myself first before putting others ahead of my own happiness. While this is a hard one to crack, I have found myself being better at putting myself first. It’s still a work in progress but the fact that I’ve been doing it a little bit more each time shows me that I know that I’m important and that I want to be better for myself.
I’ve also noticed that I’m less likely to run away from problems. I used to be so good, like so, so good, at running away from everything I didn’t want to face. Now, with a level head and a deep breath, I find myself working through ways to sort the problem and face them head on. This has also helped me a lot in being able to express my feelings and emotions, which is something I’ve never been good at doing. Now I’m actually communicating and it’s done wonders for my relationships with others as well as with my boyfriend.
This last change is a biggie for me. It may not be for most people because it’s a skill that should be ingrained in everyone but I never had it and I never, ever thought I would. But I’m saving money! cue the dance party music
I used to spend money like there was no tomorrow. When I wanted something, nothing would stop me from buying it right then and there and I was usually left with a feeling of self-loathing and dissatisfaction from the purchase because it turns out, I didn’t want it anyway or I don’t actually like it. To be able to say I’ve got the money to plan a holiday and pay for things is such a big deal to me because it used to be that I’d have to wait until payday to commit to anything. Being able to control myself from spending my money in one go is also a massive achievement. Such an incredible feeling!
As humans, I think we’re always changing – be it for better or for worst. Challenges happen when we least expect them to and how we react to them is how we grow.
There are some things that I do that I know I probably should grow out of… like procrastinating, being lazy, trying to find shortcuts to solutions but acknowledging that I need to work on these things is the first step to improving. That’s what I tell myself anyways. Watch this space!
Tell me, how have you changed in the last 15 months?