Soul food

The year that was

If I had to choose one word to sum up this year, it would be change. It’s been a huge year of transformation and growth. I like to do these reflective posts because they show me how far I have come, but they also keep me accountable moving forward. So, here’s my 2014…

My son turned 18.

My journey of motherhood is now, to a degree, finished. Of course I’m still a mother and always will be, but the child rearing years are over. My son is a mature, gentle and kind man. I’ve done well. My feelings about this transition are a melting pot of happiness, relief, sadness, pride, liberation, tiredness, freedom, fear and excitement. I am 42 and the world is my oyster. No limitations. What do I want to do with the next stage of my life?

I went to Italy.

My son’s 18th birthday present to myself was to go to Italy. I’d wanted to go my whole life and it was incredible. I traveled from Rome to Milan, via the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany and Venice. I’ll be writing an article about my favourite places soon.

Travel is definitely on my to-do list again in 2015. Ideas so far include Eastern Europe – my grandfather was from Czechoslovakia and I’ve always wanted to go there. I’m thinking Berlin to Vienna via Prague and Budapest. Or two weeks in Spain lazing on the beach and eating tapas. Or combine a digital marketing conference with travel in the US. As the year rolls on, one option will become more appealing than the others. I’ll just see what inspires me.

I quit smoking.

Everyone smokes in Italy… and so did I. When I got back to Australia, I quit again. And again. And again. I want to make a long-term commitment to my health and never pick up a cigarette again. One day at a time.

I changed jobs.

After four years at a university, I start work with a small digital agency in the new year. It will be a totally different environment, which is both scary and exciting. But quite simply, it’s an awesome opportunity and I’m going to grab it and run with it. I want to step fully into my power in 2015.

I bought an apartment.

I love Melbourne and I now call this city home. You can read about me buying a unit here. I’m renovating my bathroom and refurnishing my living room this year. One of my new year’s resolutions is to get up early twice a week and go for a morning walk by the bay. I bought myself a bike for Christmas, so I’ll be doing more cycling too.

As much as Melbourne is now home, I have set a new goal for myself. I’d like to live and work overseas at some point in the future. I’ve always wanted to live in Europe, but the languages make it difficult. I’m not drawn to the UK. So, I’ve been thinking about a two-year stint in the US or Canada. Just putting it out there…

Love was disappointing. 

I had two short-term romances this year that I thought were IT. Both ended up being confusing and heartbreaking and strange. In 2015, I’m saying no to emotionally unavailable, dysfunctional, immature men and yes to available, healthy, adult relationships.

I found some more peace.

I did a 12-step program and art therapy this year to address childhood issues. The process has made me realise I may never fully heal the wounds, but I can learn to live with the scars. On the summer solstice, I had a conversation with my dad that I’ve wanted to have for a decade. It included ‘I forgive you for hurting me’, ‘I know you did the best you could’, and ‘I love you’. I feel like the past has been laid to rest. It is a turning point. We’re talking on Christmas Day. I’d like to call him once a week, like I do my mum, in the coming years.

It’s now two days until Christmas, so I hope you have a wonderful festive season shared with your loved ones. Best wishes for a fabulous 2015!

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