What 2020 Has Taught Me So Far

Hello Everyone!

I’ve been feeling a bit reflective the last week or so, which is why this is going to be the second post in as many weeks talking about 2020 so far, but I really feel like 2020 has taught me so much already and I thought it was worth writing about. I’m also in the middle of an awful lot of photoshoots and projects right now, which has left me with little spare time, so I felt this was a nice easy post to write!

I talked about how I’ve been getting on with my goals in last weeks post, so if you want to know about my more tangible, planned progress so far this year, then you can check that out here, but for today I just wanted to talk about how I’ve been feeling in myself the last month, how I’ve been managing my Autism, mental health, college, personal projects and looking after myself and also just how I’ve been feeling about 2020 so far.

If you didn’t know already, I am Autistic and I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression for some years now, and while I consider myself to be mostly out the other side and in a much better place now, it is a delicate balance. Up until late last year, when it finally sunk in that I was never going back to school, I was more just surviving rather than living. School was such a struggle for me and my only focus was making it out in one piece, but after I’d done that I was then left to pick up the pieces and find some sort of balance between living my life with Autism and managing the mental health problems school had left me with. It was a difficult balance at the end of last year and I had to take some time off college towards the beginning of Decemeber because it was all quite a lot what with starting a new college and of course the Christmas period is stressful for everyone.

I spent a lot of time over Christmas and New Year planning and experimenting with a few new routines whilst I wasn’t in college, so that I could start the new year (and decade) stronger than ever with plenty of flexible routines and coping mechanisims to keep my life in balance. I am pleased to say that, for the most part, they have worked better than I could have ever hoped for and I have found something of a balance between work and rest, so that I can still work on some of my own projects as well. Things have still gone wrong as they always will, but I’ve learnt that it’s okay to slip up a couple of times a week, as long as you get back to your life as soon as you can. I used to have a bad day and write the whole week off as a failure, but I’m learning to stop being such a perfectionist and and pick myself back up after a meltdown or a bad day and keep the momentum going anyway.

Momentum has been a key theme for me the last few weeks ever since I wrote the blog post inspired by Austin Kleon’s ‘Show Your Work’: Should we tailor our lives to fit the story structure or show it how it is? because I had to look through my notes about it to write it and I came across my notes about his view on momentum. It wasn’t a huge section of the book and I didn’t think it really warranted talking about at the time, but I may make another blog post specifically about it because it really has helped me keep going and find a balance between work and rest by knowing I can stop at anytime and pick right back up where I left off.

I know people say every year that they ‘have a good feeling about this year’, but I truly did have a really great feeling about this year and decade coming into it, mostly because it was going to be the first whole year I was free from school and everything that had made me so miserable. Part of it was also down to the fact that for the first time in years, I really felt like I had a future. For so long I could never see myself making it out of school because there was still so long left to go, I was so miserable and they were so inflexible, but now I’m studying my passion and I’m so much closer to touching my dreams than I ever realised! And all of that is down to my hard work!

I’ve known for years that I want to be a photographer and a writer and whilst I was working so hard on my blog, working away in the background, researching and everything in between, I wasn’t really seeing any progress because I couldn’t fully commit to anything whilst I was in school and my age was holding me back since I wasn’t able to open my own paypal account to sell things online or upload to stock photography sites since they all require you to be 18. Since having a bit more time and throwing myself into my passion though I finally seen the things I’ve been working so hard for come to light and I’m going to be 18 before the year ends, meaning I really am on the final sprint now!

I feel like I went off on a little bit of a tangent there, but to bring it all back around to what I’ve learnt in the first month of this decade, I’d say I’ve definitely seen how my hard work has payed off and I’ve taken some huge steps in the right direction to learning how to balance everything going on in my life, whilst keeping the creative momentum going.

What has 2020 taught you so far?

Goodbye for now!

Over and Out

(2) Comments

  1. Charlie Halfhide says:

    I love this! 2020 has taught me so far:
    – It’s okay to take a day off (sounds silly but this is hard for me!)
    – My goals and dreams are achievable if I ask for help (again, find this hard!)
    – I actually make quite a tasty curry!

    1. Samantha Drage says:

      I totally get it! I had to learn it was okay to take a day off and ask for help as well, especially because my limits are so different to other people’s because I’m Autistic. Taking a break helps in the long run though and I find it makes me more productive over all!

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