Istarted about a few years ago to set goals for the upcoming year and to make a small recap at the end of the year. It worked great at the beginning, but this year I just lost the thread. Yes, I completed a lot of my goals I had set, but I went through so many unexpected situations that I just had to be flexible and fit fast. This year I didn’t really focus on my work and portfolio (as you maybe could have noticed). This year was about something else. Something deeper. About knowing myself better.
Something I’m very proud of is that I came to live in Sofia.
It wasn’t an easy step for me to come back home, change countries and the living place. It doesn’t matter how flexible we think we are, our body isn’t ready to make some big changes. There is a biological time that we cannot influence ourselves. If you wonder how much time it took me to adapt myself in the new environment – maybe 6 months, maybe a bit more. In that period I probably had my happiest and my saddest moments ever. Especially the second ones.
The hardest step I took this year was to face my fears…
…or at least part of them, because damn.. they are a lot. To know my emotions better, to read books for self-development, to search for inner love has been my hobby for years, but that journey is hard to go on with, it changes you a lot, takes out your demons, makes you angry, vulnerable and alone. And those are things I don’t really like to feel.. especially the last two. I am a big fan of balance, but having the balance means to know what is like being down in a hole and being up in the clouds. To know the middle between them and to search for it.
I had been thinking for a while about starting therapy some day. And that day came this summer while I had a very strong anxiety for about a week or more. This wasn’t the first one and also the last one. If I have to be 100% realistic I probably would have more in the future. And that is part of life, but there is a big BUT! First step for making any difference in such moments is to know your emotion, where it comes from and why. That was the first thing I learned from my therapist – to validate every emotion and to know its root. It is interesting how we think that we are already grown people and at the same moment we act like children. This usually happens when we start building a relationship. This is the time when we start showing how we get used to seeing things at our home, how we perceive every situation we are in and how we deal with conflicts.
All the things that happen in our relationships are based on our childhood experiences.
It’s funny and sad at the same time when someone tells me “What kind of traumas do you have? You have grown up in a perfect family, you should feel happy and thankful, because there are children out there who don’t have anything to eat.” Don’t get me wrong. I know about those children and I try my best to help some of them, but having food and money doesn’t give you everything. Not at all! We all need love, we all need connection and to experience that we need to show who we really are, which means to be vulnerable and to have courage (as Brené Brown says). The biggest paradox for me is the desire to give a lot of love and not to receive one percent of it. That hurts. But that also means that I have much more to learn.
Not to wonder that our generation has partners who are mostly emotionally unavailable and among other factors, it is hard to build a strong and sustainable relationship. I’m not here to blame my parents or any parent. I’m here to say that we are big enough to take care of our mental health because that is very important. Our parents just give the best they have and blaming them will not change anything. It will make it even worse for ourselves and for our relationship with them. I’m also not gonna say to forgive and not do anything else. To forgive something like that and to forgive in general is so hard and has a lot of layers I still don’t know and I am about to learn (probably one day). I will say – go and explore that journey! Life is hard and you will definitely have ups and downs during this journey, but you will learn a lot about yourself (and your parents!).
Something I want and I plan on doing next year is to write more about mental health and taking care of it. I will leave some links if you have interest in that subject.
- The therapist Daniel Troev: http://www.danieltroev.com/ – he has very useful articles and videos about relationships, anxiety, panic attacks, fears and stress.
- Instagram page of Dr. Nicole LaPera and her podcast SelfHealers Soundboard together with Jenna Weakland.
- Reinventing your life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior…and Feel Great Again, by Jeffrey E. Young, Janet S. Klosko – the game changer book.
- Brené Brown’s TED Talk.
- Brené Brown’s movie.
- Instagram page MentalHealth Bulgaria.
- And because relationship is my favourite topic: Talk with Esther Perel.
Here is my interpretation for balance:
The light always comes up after the storm!
Thanks to Momchil for this insane tattoo!
2022, I am so ready for your lessons!
Cover Photo: Ümit Bulut on Unsplash