I stated 2017 broke, deep into my overdraft. A frustrated recent graduate with big ambitions but without the wherewithal to make it happen.
A year on I can proudly say I achieved most of my goals. I’ve paid off all my overdrafts (yeah, I did a madting and got bare student accounts, uni was peak) I’ve started my career in a field I love, I’ve opened my own bar (Noir Escape- go check that) and I’ve secured a place on a masters course at a prestigious university.
For all intents and purposes this year has been the most successful of my life.
Whilst I go into 2018 with bags of optimism and confidence, at the end of 2017 I feel the least accomplished I have ever felt, despite having achieved a number of things I set out to do.
This is the year I paid the least attention to myself. I did fewer of the things I enjoyed, I socialised a lot less (and when I did it usually revolved around drink), hardly ever got a full nights sleep and I spent A LOT less time with my family.
I forced myself to believe that all this sacrifice was necessary to fulfil my lofty ambitions. To be able to pay back my family and friends for all their investment of energy, time and love.
For a period of about 6-8 months, I did little else but work. Relentlessly. Up in the morning, work throughout the whole day, crash out at night (usually the early hours). I did this 7 days a week, non stop.
Initially it was going great. I was hitting targets, making a lot of money and mixing in the right circles. I brushed of my fatigue as a necessary side affect of my desire to be successful.
Invariably the lack of sleep, absurd working hours and zero leisure time took its toll and my stress & tiredness started to manifest physically. I was far more withdrawn towards my friends and family, way more irritable and probably not an easy person to be around.
I had lost any semblance of a normal routine and had foolishly convinced myself that my current situation was a necessity.
It was my Mum who intervened and told me words that will stick with my forever: “Mal, what good is all the success, if you’re not really here” She pointed to my head to insinuate that I was rarely ever “present”.
The person I was doing this for, was effectively telling me to stop. That being available, well rested and happy was more important to her than any career success I may achieve. It was at this point I realised I had to make some changes.
I certainly wont abandon my career goals in 2018. I still great pride in the things I have achieved and intend to achieve. However my primary goals this year are to be the best ME.
To be the best son to my parents, the best brother to my sister, and the best friend to the people around me. If I can enter 2019 saying I have achieved this, then I can feel 2018 has been a success.
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create” – Jana Kingsford
Happy New Year!