This took a lot of trimming down but I came up with my top 5, in no particular order...
1. What were your top five moments of the year?
1. Visiting San Francisco for the first time in my life with my sister. Running in to two Aussie friends that I've had for years and spending precious hours with them. Trina and I also visited Alcatraz. The whole trip was a highlight, even in the freezing cold San Francisco rain.
2. Visiting New Orleans for my 40th birthday with my sister. Riding an airboat on an alligator infested swamp. Eating the best seafood in the US. All the food was fantastic.
3. Heading home to Darwin. Surprising my Mum and Dad who had no idea I'd be visiting. Hanging out with old friends and making new ones. Eating the great topical food and Asian delights. Seeing my furbabies who I miss every single day.
4. My 40th Birthday. It was spent with very special friends and my sister. I celebrated a lot. It is marvellous being 40 years old.
5. My friendships. Working out who I want in my life and who I didn't and then making the changes needed to concrete that.
2. What are you really glad is over?This one is a hard one to say out loud but if I am to be honest then so be it. I am glad to have moved on from a team at work that I had been on for almost two years. Having learnt a lot and finding my confidence to use my talents in Amazon, it was time to do something new. It is something I should have done three or four months earlier but it was nice to finally say goodbye to that chapter and find out what new adventures await me.
3. How are you different today than you were 365 days ago?This one is much easier to answer. Today, I care much less about what others think of me. My sense of self is solid and being surrounded by very stable, kind and talented human beings leaves me little doubt that I am who I want to be.
4. Is there anything you achieved that you forgot to celebrate?I have only recently started to stop and congratulate myself on seeing toxic people and situations early and walking away from them. It is something that became clearer to me in the last 12 months but I didn't realise how healing it is to stop and say "Good on you for walking away instead of tolerating it or fighting it." Some battles (inner or outer) are not worth it.
5. What have you changed your perspective on this year?There were several moments or experiences that have changed my trajectory greatly in the last year. The biggest has to be my view of friendship. I cut off several very unhealthy friendships with people who brought their problems to everyone else's lives and were not very nice people. Instead of persisting with the friendship well passed its used by date, I am more willing to simply invest more in the ones I love and not waste energy on the ones that don't.
6. Who are the people who really came through for you this year?Wow. That is a list. Not one I will share publicly though because they enjoy their privacy. They each know who they are. I tell them repeatedly and unguardedly.
7. What is something you tolerated for a long time, but now you will not?I've long suffered people who believe ALL their problems are extrinsic and walk the Earth with a scary sense of entitlement. They are people I will no longer give energy to.
8. What old beliefs did you let go of?I have let go of the belief that I do not deserve happiness. For a long time, I figured that was for other people and that I would simply exist and accept. That changed early on this year and late in to 2015. Now I am quite content with knowing that I do deserve all the love I get and that I am not lucky, I am treated well because I treat others well.
9. What was one thing that you found really challenging, but can now see supported your growth?I had a workmate who befriended me who later told me she only was my friend to gain my support at work. When I challenged her methods and professional behaviour, she was honest about her motives. At first it was shattering but eye opening as well. Since I'd never do that, thinking someone ever would was beyond me. Now I've grown to be slightly less naive but still open and caring.
10. If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself this time last year?I would tell myself to trust my instincts and leave when I know things are bad. Being a martyr and holding on through bad situations doesn't win me any prizes.
These questions were inspired by this post by Gala Darling.