Happy New Year!
It's been aaaages since I've written anything here, but let's not talk about that.
2015 is coming to an end and it's time for a little reflection. It's been a year of tremendous growth and change for me and while some of it was challenging and painful, overall it's been an incredible year.
I discovered the local Buddhist centre via Facebook back in 2013 before I even moved to Preston but felt apprehensive about just walking in. But this past January I found they were doing a talk at a local health spa and took the opportunity to find out about it and that was when I met the lovely Pagpa, the man who would become my teacher and my friend. In May I became a vegetarian again (after 10 years) and I took my Refuge Vows, officially "becoming" Buddhist, which was not my intention at the beginning of the year!
I got to know my Instagram friend, Damon, much better and formed an incredible friendship with him. He's someone I admire and look up to and see as a positive influence in my life. I was fortunate enough to get to meet him in person over the summer when we both attended the summer Buddhist festival and I know that I've made a friend for life. I've not felt that way about many people.
I lost a lot of weight. A lot. I'd previously been a UK size 26/28 but started January at a size 20. By the summer I'd dropped to a 14 (US10) and it's felt amazing. That also ties into my running. For several years I attempted the Couch to 5k program and never succeeded. Until this year. And in September I ran my first 5k race (and didn't take last!) and felt so good about what I'd finally accomplished.
I finished my college course in Health & Social Care with a Distinction!
I got accepted to university and began my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, officially becoming a Student Nurse.
I donated blood three times, potentially saving a total of nine lives. Totally worth giving up a few hours of my time and experiencing a little bit of discomfort.
I became a British citizen! I'm now a dual citizen of the UK and the US, putting me in a very privileged situation of holding two different passports.
I also learned to open up to people again and to talk about things. Something I had not done for a very long time.
And, I enjoyed a lot of very beautiful sunsets.
As 2016 is about to begin, I'm thinking about what I want to accomplish over the next year. I haven't set a lot of goals. Mostly I want to continue to grow spiritually, personally, and academically. I want to continue on this path that I've started and maintain happiness and a sense of inner peace as much as possible.
My other plans include:
- Lose more weight
- Run a 5k race
- Run a 10k race
- Run a half marathon (21k)
- Run a sub 30 5k
- Do the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge--23 miles (37km) in 12 hours over Yorkshires 3 highest peaks
- Keep donating blood
- Increase my Buddhist practice
- Go abroad
- Do more for others
- And, I want to be able to do one of those amazing hand stands that I see all over Instagram so I have a lot of core strength training to do! :)