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The previous years were stressfull ones (bear with me). I was the kind of person who was always busy, no time for friends or family, especially not for myself. I was just always working. Only now can I see clearly how highly-strung I was. Literally shaking, because I was always ‘on’. The first months of this year were no different.

And then May came. One day I woke up and the room was spinning. Not just a little, but frantically. I couldn’t get up. It was like someone was pushing and pulling at me. Finally able to get out of bed, I found myself unstable, to say the least. My head was spinning and I was so very tired. After the spinning stopped, the severe imbalance and tiredness stayed with me for a month… In the months that followed I slowly started improving. According to the doctor it was some sort of virus. No further information, not enough research is being done. As my body was already weakened by stress, fighting this virus seemed a massive task.

Now for the good part (you were probably wondering when I’d get around to that). I am lucky enough to live near a canal, with a path alongside it. At the beginning of the path is a bench. My bench. My first goal was to reach the bench (at first I couldn’t even reach that, but with the loving help of my boyfriend I eventually learned to walk by myself again). Every time I walked a little further and finally, after a lot of time and a lot of walking I was back to being myself. The Self I was before I started working so much. Only better, lighter, happier. I achieved something big and my head was clear, I wasn’t stressed or even depressed for the first time in years. I refound my love for illustration (I totally lost that over the years and I felt miserable). I also started blogging, tweeting, reading all sorts of inspiring posts and went on Instagram (such a good motivator to go out and make photos and such lovely little communities there). And I kept walking (never again will I underestimate the importance of exercise and fresh air!)

It was a funny old year in which I’ve learned more than I could ever have hoped. I cannot say ‘Thank you!’ enough to the wonderful people that have supported and inspired me (some without even knowing it), I’m very gratefull.
Have an amazing year, and remember: it’s all down to you (keep reminding yourself on a daily basis)!