IT HAS been a year of struggles and lessons for many people and as we head towards a new year full of hopes and dreams, it is a good time to reflect on the lessons you have learned.
Here is a list of the lessons I learned in 2015:
You can do everything you want to do, but even Superwoman needs some down time.
I started the year off focused on working full-time, studying psychology part-time, exercising and painting. Early in the year, I decided to set myself another challenge - get myself fit enough to hike a number of days through The Alps in 2016.
I had planned on working full-time, studying part-time and working on my fitness levels all the way through until I fly out of Australia, but my body had other ideas.
Apparently four terms of university in a row, on top of working full-time, was too much and I burnt out. It has taken me about three months to recover 90% from this.
Complex health issues can take months to unravel and fix.
The body's reaction to my burnout left me in a lot of pain, constantly. I'd have headaches daily, back pain, shoulder pain, nausea, etc. I used to have headaches regularly, but not daily.
And after visiting a masseur three times and an osteopath once with very little relief for a few days, I had to explore other options. Luckily I found someone in Rockhampton who could help unravel the pain issue and after three months of remedial massage, dry needling and chiropractic treatments, I feel a bit more like my old self.
I now have to massage my muscles myself on a daily basis, but I'm not restricted to spending any time away from work on a couch in pain.
It only takes one person with the strength to speak out about mental health or other issues for the doors to open.
I've been vocal this year about my mental health battles, both publicly and among my friends.
But I've also shared some other private matters with some friends this year and found that quite a few of them have had similar struggles.
A few have even thanked me for speaking out about my issues as it has helped them deal with their own with a bit more ease.
Living up to others' expectations of me - career-wise, mentally, physically, etc - is not my problem, but theirs.
Every day, someone is questioning a decision I have made, or asking why do I not date, or why don't I want children. Why? Why? Why?
It really gets annoying after a while. It wouldn't be so bad if the questions sounded like people were simply curious, but most of the time the questions sound judgmental.
As in, they can't understand why I am not living my life the way they think I should live my life.