It’s been a tough year. You’re probably sick of hearing that, but it has. I am so ready for 2017 to be over and, as much as I don’t want to wish my life away, I’m kind of counting down the days till January 1st. To be fair, the last couple of months have been considerably better than the first eight or so, and hopefully, the tail end of 2017 will be a fair bit kinder to me. I started out this year on a high, thinking it was going to be my year, but instead, I was met with countless challenges that made it seem like the world was insistent on throwing a spanner in the works. Health issues, giving up on one-sided friendships, long-distance relationships, a car accident and losing my childhood pet have all had a slightly detrimental impact on my self-confidence, but after overcoming a quarter-life crisis I can feel that doubt slowly trickling away, only to be replaced with that unfamiliar sensation of actually believing in myself. Self-doubt is one of my biggest strengths, ironically, and I’m regularly told that I don’t give myself enough credit. No matter how many times I hear this, I still struggle to believe it, but that’s changing…
How? Well, I’ve started cutting myself some slack for a change. I know that I haven’t achieved anywhere near as much as I wanted to this year, but that’s okay. Things don’t always go to plan – I get that now. I’ve learned that I need to be kinder to myself and allow myself time to recuperate and recharge. I have a bit of a bad habit of piling way too much on my plate at once and realising this has been an absolute gamechanger for me. I’m no longer juggling 101 projects at once, instead, I’m being more realistic about my capabilities and appreciating the need for downtime.
I’ve also taken a really big step, that I haven’t talked about all that much on here yet. A couple of months ago I launched my freelance business, Content by Charlotte, which has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Going freelance was something I never thought I’d be capable of, but here we are. I absolutely love it, and it’s been a huge confidence boost! I’m still learning every day, but I am so proud of what I’ve achieved so far. Putting my skills into practice for new clients has been so much fun, and I really really really really love it.
I’m in a very fortunate position right now where I can really spend my time focusing on the things I love. As a result, I’ve given up on YouTube for the time being, as it had turned into a drain on my energy that I just wasn’t enjoying anymore. Now that I no longer work weekends, I have a bit more time free to spend on the things that make me happy, and even though I definitely work harder now than I did before, I get to spend my working hours doing things that leave me feeling fulfilled.
And on my really down days, I simply take a look back at how far I’ve come, despite all the challenges life has thrown in my way this year. It was actually my counsellor who encouraged me to do this, and it was one of the most valuable things I learned from CBT. Even with everything that’s happened so far in 2017, I’ve come out at the other end stronger than ever before. I smashed my first year at college, with great results, I’ve launched my own business and my little blog has been on the go for over seven years. I paid off my credit card (woohoo!) and I’ve become more comfortable with who I am as a person, too. I need to appreciate my own strengths more, and if I’m being honest, I’m really proud of myself for making it through this year.