So, I have caved and unofficially signed up for a “31-day-blog-challenge”. I haven’t done one of these before but I’m hoping it will force me to post more frequently. Today’s topic (technically day two’s but I’m gonna play fast and loose with the rules, baby) is “How I’ve Changed in the Past Two Years”… controversial! You can find the lovely Amy’s blog here (the challenge was her idea). Here we go:

1. I’ve grown the hell up.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy, moved in with him, got engaged, planned a wedding and generally experienced the highs and lows of what it means to be committed to another person – for life. I’ve also changed my priorities when it comes to the life I want to live. I’ve made some big sacrifices in the short-term in favour of happiness in the long-term. I also did a few fun grown-up things like buy a fancy new car, fly business class to the other side of the world and raise a puppy.

2. I’ve seen how “the other half” live.

I spent time in South Africa and went to a township where I saw first-hand what life is like living in a shanty-town. It was a reality check to understand that when I come home after a day working in my safe, OHS-compliant workplace and walk into my solid brick house, turn on the lights and my heater or air-conditioner, I am well ahead of the majority of the world. But what I also saw was a sense of love and community; when there is precious little to go around human nature dictates we stick together. I don’t even know my neighbours but in the townships people form strong bonds.

3. I’ve gained, and lost, a lot of weight, and learned how to treat myself better.

When I first left uni (just after I got a new boyfriend) I was reasonably slim having recently lost a bit of weight. However, when I started my new job in travel I sat on my ass all day – something I wasn’t used to. The stress of this job was something I wasn’t prepared for and I found myself skipping lunch and eating lots of chocolate! In the lead up to the wedding, I’ve managed to lose about twelve kilos and I’m still going; more importantly I’ve realised I need to be healthy and happy within myself to be a good wife and, eventually, a good mum.

4. I got to know myself again

For a while I forgot who I was. I saw myself in terms of comparisons with others: who I was didn’t matter as much as whether I was bigger or smaller, smarter or dumber, prettier or uglier or whatever than someone else. Now, I remember exactly who I am: an intelligent, passionate, driven young woman who has so many good opportunities ahead. I’ve remembered what I have to offer the world and finally understood why I’m loved by the important people in my life.

5. I’ve learned the mantra “no man is an island”

I’ve finally worked out that it’s okay to rely on others. For so long I didn’t want to open myself up completely; I felt a need to be strong and overly independent. Now I know the value of teamwork and I’m happier because I can share my highs and lows with someone who can do the same with me. I’m a much more sane person for it!

So there you go, that’s my list. How have you changed in the last two years?

Hanging with the locals, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa

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