30 Questions on 2015, Answered

Bit of a random post, but my dear friend Alanna posted a 30 questions to ask yourself about 2015 post on her blog earlier. It's from a Buzzfeed article. So, here we go - my take on these questions! 

1. What did you do this year that you’re proud of? 
There’s a few things here. I’m most proud in life to have the friends I do. There’s a section of them that are the part that keep me strong when all else fails, and those friendships are stronger than ever before. I’m equally proud and delighted of the fact. 
2. Who did you meet this year that inspired you?
I’ve met a few new people this year, perhaps not as many as I’d have expected in my first big bad year out of college. I’m hugely inspired by my friend Alanna, and many of my friends. I met some new people through work, one of whom is named Amy and has had a very positive impact on my life. Beyond that, I’ve developed a much stronger relationship with my parents, and they’ve both inspired me in their own rights this past year. 
3. What did you read that you think bettered you?  
My friend Alanna’s blog. The Crossroads of Should & Must, by Elle Luna. Many stories of people that have struggled through difficult times and come out stronger. 19st to 10k blog - Dude is unreal. 
4. What are songs that you will always hear and think of this year even when you’re listening on some contraption that hasn’t even been invented yet? 
Kiesza - Hideaway.   
So Fresh, So Clean - Outkast   
King Kunta (well, To Pimp A Butterfly) - Kendrick Lamar
Life Story - Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm
5. What were some times that you laughed so hard you could barely breathe?  
There were numerous, for which I am very grateful. Watching Jack’s montage of the past year had some painfully funny moments (pre-tears). The Last Bounce going away party we had at the end of college. Moments with friends are more often than not fun. :) 
6. What were your favorite movies? Not what was good, not what you had to see because of your friends or the media. What were your favorites?  
The Judge, Straight Outta Compton, Whiplash. 
7. What are some fears that you had at the beginning of the year that you overcame?
I felt like I wouldn’t ever get control of my anxiety. I started the year worried that the only way I could beat it was through medication and that i’d be a mess for the rest of my life. I’m grateful every day that I’ve been able to deal with it. 
8. What were quotes that you loved this year?  
“Give it twelve months, and see where you stand.” - Never been more relevant or true. 
9. What are ways that you exercised self care?  
I got help for severe anxiety, I learned that it was okay to (at times) say I need space, or that I can’t continue to do something as it’s affecting me personally. I wouldn’t have dreamed of that last year. 
10. What are things you want to see more of next year?  
My friends and family. Ireland. The world. Travelling is high on the list. 
11. What are five things you did that you never thought you’d actually do?  
Beat anxiety. Enjoy jogging/long walks. A survey like this. Cry as much as I did at the start of the year. (lol. “men don’t cry” = bullshit.) Begin to feel comfortable in the person I am. Go on a rollercoaster and not be scared shitless. 
12. What were your favorite things this year?  
The memories created with friends. Spending more time with some friends. Christmas just gone. My mom’s 60th birthday and having my brother Peter home from Australia. Sitting, even silently, in the company of loved ones - it’s hugely underrated as a means of being completely content. 
13. What are the most important things you learned this year?  
It’s cliché, but you can never know what a person is really feeling. I tried to hide a lot of how I was feeling, and many people didn’t realise I was struggling as much as I was - it came as quite a shock to them to find out.   
To enjoy every little moment with people. That at times things are hard and tough, but there’s always a positive to be found. To try and be more positive. To stop dreaming about the things I want to do, or fearing that I wouldn’t be able to do something because of reasons x, y, and z. If I really want something to happen, I have to try, fail, and repeat until I get there. That’s just life. 
14.  What is your favorite photo from this year?  
This. 


15. What are five things you want to say to people you love?  
To tell you how much of a difference you've made, in a way that captures how much it means to me. I’m still struggling to figure out the words to do that feeling justice.   
That I’m always here for you if you need something. 
That we’re all flawed, but how we adapt and progress from those flaws is what really shapes us as people. 
That I’m sorry if sometimes I’m a little too inquisitive when asking about things that may be bothering you. I’m a little over-zealous at times but I mean well in doing what I do. I want for you to be happy, and feel I should try help you get there. 
That I love you, dearly. 
That you can always be honest with me. I’d rather that. 
16. What are some places where you feel true joy in your life? 
With my closest friends. Ballybunion beach always brings me solitude. 
17. Where do you feel most yourself?   
With my friends, for the most part. There are times where I still get social anxiety and get loud, slightly obnoxious and say dumb shit that I really shouldn’t, just out of anxiety. It’s one area i’m still trying to work on. I also feel very well in myself when out walking, particularly on Ballybunion beach. . 
18. What were your favorite meals?  
In 2015? I’ve loved the Mollocone pizza from Pizza Time in Tralee. Bad, I know.. I love fresh vegetables. Chicken, potatoes, mixture of veg, and some gravy is an ole reliable. 
19. How did you calm yourself in times of stress?
I didn’t, initially. I learned to give myself outlets. I walked more and found exercise hugely beneficial. Mindfulness breathing exercises. Creative outputs. 
20. What are some compliments that you received that deeply affected you?
Nothing has meant more than the messages of support from my family and friends through this year, and how far I came in a short few months to get control of anxiety. People like Kayleigh, Michelle, Ryan, Mirm, Sarah, Alanna and others have said some truly wonderful things to me that have made me well up when hearing them. When self esteem is low, hearing such things is a little overwhelming, if i’m being honest. But it has meant so so much to me and I really wish I could express quite how much.   
Similar messages from my family, particularly those of late. 
21. Who are people that you believe are bringing out the best in you?  
That lovely group of friends that I’ve alluded to here numerous times. I think i’m trying to pry a better self out too for the first time. I really do see this new year as the year where i won’t be overweight for the first time in as long as i can remember. 
22. What items of clothing did you buy that felt the most you?  
Some black jeans/chino type pants.  My blue DC's. A wine hoody and a grey zip-up hoody, and a wine t-shirt. 
23. What are you excited about leaving behind in 2015?  
The much more negative attitude that I started the year out with. 
24. What are five things that you were hard on yourself about but would never have been hard on a friend if they were experiencing it?
My weight, motivation, abilities, attitude, appearance and so much more. Self worth has been very poor, but i'm improving it, slowly. 
25. What are the best pieces of advice you heard this year?   
Learn that it’s okay to be selfish. If you’ve given all of yourself to others, you can no longer help yourself. At that point you can't help anyone. 
26. What are the best pieces of advice you gave this year?   
I don’t know, really. I think time is pretty important, and that whole idea of give it time and it’ll work out has been prominent enough. I think the thing i’ve done most is to try help others see a more neutral perspective at a time when they’ve been harsh on themselves. Objective vs subjective thinking, i guess. “Don’t be so harsh on yourself”, and “it’s okay to not be okay!” have been pretty common threads this past year. 
27. What things have you been putting off doing because you didn’t have time?  
Weightless hasn’t gone my full attention, ever. I’m working on it, but there’s a distance to go yet. I have no memory of being skinny or normal sized and I think that’s half the battle here. Desire to be has to outweigh the lack of belief that I can be. 
28. What are some things you’d like to focus and work on in the next year?  
Photography, film, write way more music, and to help others a ton more. Get fit and healthy. Travel. 
29. What are the best parts of you that you feel really showed through this year?   
This is a hard one to answer. I’d like to think that I’ve been more positive in the second half of the year than I was in the first. I’ve tried not to show it on the days where I’ve really struggled, but at times i’ve tipped that balance a little too far in the eccentric direction. I’m learning. I’ve tried to show gratitude more. I’ve never felt more grateful for all that I have, though, I don’t know how well or clearly i’ve expressed that gratitude.   
Despite having been more selfish at times to allow myself to deal with things, I think i’ve been more outgoing in trying to help others this year, than in any year prior. 
30. What are your biggest hopes for 2016?  
Be happy. See my friends more and do more things with them. Lose more weight and be fit and healthy. Actually leave the country. Give my all to something I’m passionate, and learn from whatever the outcome is. Be grateful. Create more. Smile and laugh more. Do more for my friends and family.