What I have learned in 2018

2018 was by far the toughest year of my life so far. My mum got diagnosed with cancer in February and all of a sudden everything just stooped. You hear stories from people going through cancer and you always think it must be bloody hard, but you never really know what it’s really like until it happens to you. February and March for me are almost ingulfed in a dark cloud, I remember the snow falling mercilessly in Italy and I just remember this deep sense of unshakable sadness wrapping my heart. I guess I could look at 2018 easily as the worst year of my life. I mean, would you blame me? Even if 2018 for obvious reasons has been pretty shit, somehow I am still approaching the new year with a deep sense of gratitude. The past 12 months have taught me a lot, I feel like a lot has shift in my mind and my heart, my approach and my outlook to life has dramatically changed, ironically for the better. 

I am very conscious that with a large audience it’s very important to talk about the bad times as well as the good. I want my platform to be as real and authentic as I possibly can. I know lots you of might go through difficult times and I hope that me sharing my lows will help you feel less alone.

2018 has been an incredible tough teacher and this is what I have learned. I hope you are going through something similar it can somehow make you feel better or being of some kind of comfort.

1- You can’t help anyone if you are not looking after yourself – It’s so easy wanting to complete dedicate yourself, body and soul, to a close member of your family when they get seriously ill. It’s so easy not to eat properly, not to sleep enough, not to take a break when you feel you HAVE to look after them. Because they are in pain, because they have this horrible disease and you don’t. So you HAVE to be there ALWAYS, right? Well, your health matters too, your wellbeing, your sanity is even more important when you have to face something so devastating as seeing your loved ones sick. You GOT to take a step back and realise that you need to be healthy and full of energy to be able to look after anyone.

2- Time heals everything – I am sure you have heard this before and I know when you go through a really shit time you really can’t imagine that eventually things are going to get better or you are going to feel better, but I promise it does. One day you wake up and for no particular reason you feel a bit lighter and things somehow are looking up. Cry as much as you need, eat all the ice-cream, watch all the Netflix, it’s totally ok to feel rubbish, but please know it will get better. 

2- We are not eternal – Ok, massive cliche but life is really to short. When you face, even indirectly, a life threating disease you are reminded with a slap in the face, that eventually we will die. I don’t want to sound too dramatic but we really don’t know what’s around the corner, we don’t know how long we have on earth. We owe to ourself to live the life to the fullest, to live a life full of passion and purpose. Whatever dreams you have grab them by the balls and start NOW on making them happen. I feel so lucky to be able to do something which I am truly passionate about, something which allows me to design my life as I want it to to certain extent. My mum illness remind me even more to keep working on making my dreams and ambitions happen, to really ask myself everyday “What do I really love doing and how can I do more of that?” 

3- There is always something to be grateful for – As I said I can easily look back at 2018 and cross it as a really bad year, but so much good stuff happened too! I refuse to look only at the negatives, I really want to focus on the positive and be grateful for it. I am grateful for my family, for my friends, for Sam. I am grateful to have food on table everyday, I am grateful for my health, for our beautiful planet, for my home. I am grateful to be able to travel and to do job that I love and adore. As I said, there is always something to be grateful for.

4- Happiness can be found everywhere – I have always been one those people that had to have something booked in to “look forward to”, a holiday, a dinner out, weekend etc.. to be happy. In 2018 I have learned that happiness  can be found in the “now”, in the everyday smallest and most insignificant actions. Happiness can be a piping hot cup of chai on a cold morning, it can be watching a movie while stroking my cats, it can be walking to the gym on a sunny day. Ultimately it’s up to us to create these “happy moments”, we have the power to create these moments every single day no matter how terrible we feel. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this very personal blog post. I wish you all an amazing 2019, full with love, passion and laughter. Thank you for being with me on this crazy journey. And if you are going through shit right now I feel you and I send you all my love. 

XX

Elisa 

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