I think before this year, I would've avoided posts like this one. But this week, I've found myself lost in people's blogs, reading what they've learned, what they've achieved and feeling an overwhelming sense of pride to be part of something so magical.
This year has been life changing, to say the least. You've been with me for the journey, witnessing me rise and fall - and with every blow there's been one of you to pick me back up and throw me back out there and I'm going in to 2016 feeling stronger than ever.
This post is going to be reflective, acknowledging what I've done this year - not in a blow my own trumpet kind of way, just in a 'this is what made my year the best it could be' kind of way. Sort of laying the groundwork for 2016 - not just for me, but for you too. I'm not one for New Years resolutions - but I like the idea that I can document what's happened in my life on here and that perhaps we can both look back and learn things from it. And I figure if next year is anything like this one, it'll be a successful one in my eyes.
The first point being is that you define what successful means. Learning and accepting that is a challenge in itself. Up until 2015 I've always tried to squeeze myself in to an ill-fitting mould - I defined my successes by measuring them against others and quickly learned that wasn't the way to live a happy life.
I make my own success, I pave my own path, I make my own rules.
And my 'successful' year looked like this:
Being brave enough to say "enough" and taking giant leaps towards removing myself from a failing relationship. Even if that did mean leaving behind someone I loved with all my heart. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. And at the end of 7 years together, it's safe to say, regardless of the crappy bits that meant we were no more, he'll always be special to me.
And subsequently he moved on incredibly quickly, getting engaged at the beginning and married not too long ago, meant I not only had a heartbreak to contend with but almost a kind of grievance too. A shattered woman would be pretty accurate...
...but the beauty with broken pieces is that they can be put back together again.
And so I picked myself up. I realised that all of the above meant if I was capable of going it alone in that sense that I could do it in other aspects of my life too.
I quit my office job of 5 years to blog full-time. It didn't feel scary then, although it does now it's a full-time reality but it's one of the best decisions I ever made. I've been given opportunities I couldn't have even dreamed of and constantly find myself having a giggle with friends or family about how none of it feels very real. Except, it is.
I continued to love my body and made conscious decisions to ensure that didn't slip away. It's okay to appreciate what your mumma gave you, it doesn't make you vain or silly or anything but wonderful.
I traveled - alone and with the best of friends. I realised that the only limit was myself and that 'traveling' didn't mean I had to put on a backpack and be gone for a year. It means whatever you want it to. I visited so many places yet was only away for two separate months of the year and I came back alive and with the best memories.
I invested fully to the friendships I truly care about. I let any negativity drain away from that aspect of my life and have managed to surround myself with the most wonderful support network. There are too many to list, but I'm ridiculously lucky to know so many amazing women and be honoured enough to call them my friends.
I fell in love. I met someone new and let them in to my life, I let my guard down and decided to trust. It's been the best experience of 2015 without a doubt. Letting go of my doubts and pessimistic views on relationships - believing that there is good in everyone and letting that swallow me whole. It's not come without its challenges, but I've met someone who loves me in the best way - Jamie makes me feel like I can be myself and he's not afraid to show how much I mean to him either. I feel special every day that I'm with him and I think he feels the same too, which is pretty great. He's made my world feel brand new in the best kind of way and my heart is full to the brim with love for him.
It's a real kind of love and that can't be measured by time - it just is.
Jamie also re-designed my website and together we've created a brand for Wonderful You - he helped give what I've put so much time and effort in to it's own identity and I couldn't be more grateful for how perfect it all feels for me. (you can totally find out more about how he could do the same for you too, here).
I feel so fortunate to have someone as brilliant, kind and talented as Alex in my life too - who is not only one of my most treasured friends, but she helps me bring my blog to life with her stunning photography and creative mind, I love you lady.
You let me be happy. Yep, I'm really, really happy. You've been insanely difficult and absolutely fantastic all in the same breath. You let me realise life isn't all a bed of roses, and I've many a challenge to face headed in to 2016. But god knows you've got me excited for it.
And being able to write this all down helps to digest where I started from - the realisation that it's all down to me. No-one can hold your hand through life, not forever - sometimes you've just got to do you and the rest will fall in to place. And I think these photographs that Alex and I took together help to encapsulate that. A real sense of inner calm and peace - of just being in the drivers seat of your own life and keeping control (almost).
And I know our successes are different, and that this isn't what your successful year has been, nor should it be. This is just me, saying to you, that quite literally anything is possible. If you believe in yourself.
So let's believe.
That 2016, we're ready for you. And we may not have set resolutions to follow, but we've got a positive mindset that means we'll take on whatever comes our way.
Because life is worth living.
Love, Megs x
Photography by my lovely Alexandra Cameron. Get in touch to shoot with her here.