Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Reflection on the past and hopes for the future

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! :)
There were some low points this year. Some struggles. But I'm happy. I loved 2015. And I'm going to love 2016.