Why my 2014 was bittersweet...and why 2015 is going to be just plain sweet.

Quite frankly, it has been a bittersweet year full of ups and downs for me. 

On the upside, I began dating someone who I have been friends with for years - which in my books is usually a damn good way to start a relationship - and so far, it's going brilliantly (thanks to him!).

Work was fun (thanks to my great work team and hilariously funny and awesome boss!), I spent more time with my super cool cousins and my mum, took a heap load of holidays all over the world (thanks to the Hong Kong Law Society who sent me to Europe to attend a conference!), and started getting involved in more pro bono charity work. 

I also had the great pleasure of seeing one of my closest friends get married in Sydney (and organising her hens night, which was fun - even despite not being allowed to order midget strippers, booo!).

And - of course - Amanda and I started this blog. While it has been at times all-consuming, it has also opened up a lot of opportunities, and been heaps of fun to boot!

On the down side, I tore my hamstring, which took me away from one of the things I'd started to enjoy most - dancing. Sitting on the sidelines while watching your classmates learn tricks you can only dream of was bittersweet - especially when I do dream of dancing.

And far, far worst of all was that I lost a group of people who I once considered my second family. I learnt the hard way that it is all too easy for people to misunderstand things that you say or do, because at the end of the day, they're not you and they don't know what is going on inside your head. So either you make the effort to make yourself understood - or you learn to ignore the backlash. 

So, in the hopes of making 2015 a sweeter year, here are my top three resolutions:

1. Dance more. And do more acrobatics. And gymnastics. And try ballet again. Never mind the last time I did it, the teacher almost made me cry. Which was two months ago.

I'm determined to catch up on the year I lost in dance. Aerial arts is one of the few sports where you can't just be strong, you can't just be flexible, you can't just have great cardio stamina, and you can't just have insane core and balance - you need all of the above. And that means that every day, you should be practicing and refining at least one of those things. 

In 2015, I'm going to be working hard on that - including going to dance camp in Sydney, attending private classes and workshops in Hong Kong, and trying out for a circus performance directed by an ex-Cirque du Soleil director.

2. Spend more time with those who matter.

I am partly to blame for the fallout with my "second family". I wasn't spending enough time with them, and I wasn't communicating with them what was going on inside my head. 

And that has taught me an invaluable lesson: you can't expect people (even those closest to you) to "get you" unless you have invested time in your relationship with them. But on the flipside - if you have invested in the relationship and it's not working out, then it's time to let it go.

3. Read more.

When I was younger, I used to spend almost every waking moment reading. I would read in the car, as I was walking to the train station, at the dinner table, on the toilet (and anyone who says they don't do that is lying!) - and it's something I miss terribly.

In all honesty, this was my new years resolution last year (and I followed through by spending a disproportionate amount of time reading Business Insider, The Diplomat and The Economist - all brilliant publications that I highly recommend), but this coming year, I'm determined to read more widely again.

The takeaway

In the midst of all the hurt and turmoil this year, my ex counseled me with the words "lions don't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep." I've never considered myself either a lion or a sheep, but regardless, 2015 is going to be the year that I dance like nobody's watching, love like I'll never get hurt, sing like nobody's listening and live like it's heaven on earth.

Oh, and I'm going to order those midget strippers.

xx Carmen

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