Every year has been somewhat the same for a while, and I didn’t think 2017 (or at least the second half) would be as different as it was, but here are my lessons.
Let’s Back track
I wouldn’t go out for a multitude of reasons over the past few years – from wanting to focus on my blog and what would ultimately support me 💪, to believing that if you don’t feel like you click with someone, you’re not obligated to spend time with them… to my paranoia of the attention being on my introversion. Look, I’m quiet until you get to know me. 😜 I enjoy comfortable silences and don’t feel the need to talk for the sake of talking, but in general have always been more of an observer, thinker, listener and writer, than talker.
Honestly having people point out this one tiny aspect of me made me never want to speak to anyone, and the more paranoid I was about them noticing, the less I engaged, the more I kept myself in an endless cycle of getting stuck in my own bubble. I always felt like people characterised being quiet, shy or introverted as ‘bad,’ and confidence and extroversion as ‘good,’ when neither was quite true. I never understood why people treated introversion as a personality flaw anyway.
Marina and I laugh about something changing in me in November, and say it was a Balkan club we went to where the music hit me in the feels, or as we say in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian – ‘pogodi te.’ Whatever it was, it was like a switch had flipped literally overnight.
By the end of the week I had committed without hesitation to a multitude of plans, from friends of friends birthdays to spontaneous nights out. I did things like continue partying after my lift had gone home, purely because my friends gave me shit about how the ‘Old’ Ivana would have taken the safe bet of knowing how she was going to get home that night. I stayed out until 4am. A few times. I all of a sudden had 3, 4, 5 plans per week, attended 3 birthdays in a weekend, started networking and shooting with Demi on a weekly basis, grew some 🎾🏀’s and did what I wanted, when I wanted, initiated things, and just basically gave less of a fuck. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I always had it in me but something finally brought it out.
Now we call present me the ‘new Varnzi’ (Varnie being a nickname I acquired back when I was 11, and as it got passed on from person to person it turned into Varnz or Varnzi).
So yeah, without being cliche, this new year quite literally is a new me. Once I let go of all of my resistance, everything flowed a lot easier. From new friendships blooming to blog collaborations becoming a weekly thing and starting to get paid here and there for this little slice of the internet I have. Cheers to whatever happened in November because that momentum hasn’t stopped since 🙌😍
My 2017 Lesson is this:
Don’t overthink and say yes to last minute plans (we hadn’t even planned on going out that first night I did until 2 hours beforehand). Say yes more often in general. Do things that make you feel uncomfortable if they’re going to help you progress as a person. Fake it till you make it. Get out of your comfort zone. Stop caring so much. Socialise. Be spontaneous. Don’t plan everything and go with the flow. ✌
What were your major take aways from 2017?