So another Christmas has past and New Years Eve is only a few days away. Everyone is busy planning or setting intentions for the things they hope to achieve in the 2016 - or trying to decided how to bring it in.
I'm not really one for big New Years Eve parties, and to be honest I hope to spend the night at home with a couple of my besties watching Madonna movies and drinking Sailor Jerry's in my pyjamas.
But before any of that happens, I like to spend some time reflecting on the year that was. I think that this is really important, because it's really easy to just allow the days to float on by with indifference, but when I stop and take stock I'm always struck by just how much has happened.
To put it bluntly, 2015 has been one hell of a strange beast.
There have been challenges, tears, fears and moments of depression, but on the whole this year has been amazing.
On The Business Front
It's been almost 12 months since I hosted my first ever live group coaching event, 'A Rad Bitch Tea Party', and I've since gone on to host events in 3 major Australian cities, including my first sold out workshop in Brisbane.
I spoke at both The Artful Business Conference, and The Brisness Women's Breakfast with Rachelle Panitz.
Launched a You Tube channel, and stepped into the world of hosting live online events - something I've recently started doing again.
The Rad Bitch Girl Gang has grown and it still blows me away that so many incredible and creative women feel so safe to share and connect in there.
2015 has seen me work towards and achieve some huge goals like stepping away from my Nanny job after almost 6 years, and face some huge fears like speaking about my experience in an abusive relationship.
I've worked with and alongside some seriously incredible women, and thanks to the power of the internet and social media, I've connected with awesome babes like Anastasia Amour, and I totally fangirled when Harnaam Kaur commented on one of my facebook posts.
I think that the experience that I'm most grateful for and blown away by, has also been the most surprising, yet seemingly simple. Earlier in the year I joined in on Gala Darling's Radical Self Love Instagram Challenge, one of the prompts around halfway into the challenge was to share a #NOMAKEUPSELFIE. On the surface, this probably doesn't seem like that big a deal - especially considering that I share photos of myself in my pyjamas and without make up pretty frequently.
This became a big deal because I chose to share an incredibly honest photo - one that I would probably never have shared otherwise. The lighting was harsh, my hair was messy and I stood in front of a bright white wall, so every single wrinkle and remaining spot of my hemangioma stood out. It was also the first time I used, or looked at the hashtags #HEMANGIOMA or #STRAWBERRYMARK.
This was the day that I realised that medical and surgical treatments of vascular birthmarks are not only still a thing - but that they've become a really common thing.
This was the day that I realised just how much fear lives in the hearts of parents of babies with strawberry marks, and how much the medical industry is preying on those fears.
This was the day that I felt as if I needed to start sharing more of this part of my story on Instagram.
I'm honestly so glad that I stepped so far out of my comfort zone to do that, as I've had way more parents than I ever anticipated reach out to me.
The thing I'm most proud of this year, is that the very first mum who reached out has gone from editing her daughters hemangioma out of photos because she was afraid of what her people might think, to feeling so confident that she's started writing and sharing photos of her gorgeous little girl publicly.
One of my absolute favourite things about working for myself is the freedom to collaborate when and how I choose, and to support the businesses of people I love. Most recently, that's been the Rad Bitch Hot Mess collaboration with my Best Girl, Emma. There is soooooo much yet to come, and I'm seriously so goddamn excited to get stuck into creating and writing new things!
On The Personal Front
Personally this year has brought some mental health ups and downs, but nothing too overwhelming. On the whole, I feel as though I've become fairly good at recognising what I need in each moment and respecting that.
I'm also incredibly grateful that I have a partner like Jordan who makes the effort to understand, but also knows that sometimes there's nothing more to do than just be here. He challenges, encourages and supports me while bringing healthy doses of his own brand of Real Talk every now and then.
This year we've travelled around our own city like tourists, explored the state and created big dreams for our future. Together we've celebrated more weddings and birthdays, he's spun me around on dance floors while we've grinned and laughed hysterically, and we've talked late into the night.
I've reconnected with old friends, re-established old friendships, and started to heal some old hurts.
On The Year Ahead
Twenty-Sixteen is a year of Making Shit Happen.
It's going to be a year of pulling up my socks, doing the fucking work, and reaching as many people as possible.
I'm excited about hosting more events, both on line and live in person.
There will be more collaborating, more expanding, more growth.
I'm committing to having my writing published for a wider audience, working with more one on one coaching clients, and embarking on new adventures.
In the short term, I've decided to take the first week of the year off social media in order to focus on creating, holding sessions with clients, reading the books I was given for Christmas, connecting with the people I love and maybe even catching a movie.
I want to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who has come along for the ride so far, your support means so, so very much.
Wishing you all a happy, safe and abundant 2016.