Oh 2017, where do I begin? With a cliched "it's been a year of up and downs"? Well, honestly, as much as it may sound corny,that sums it up. The ups and downs were far too real and far too drastic. What started out as any new year of hopeful plans turned into a reality check. I barely escaped 2017 alive.
It is a terrifying and important thing to admit that my year took a downward plunge into a mental health relapse nightmare (and I really do owe so much to so many people for keeping me supported, continually) . However, I know that it is crucial not to focus on the plunge downwards that has plagued my 2017. Negativity would only exacerbate the problem. There is always light at the darkest of times, and we should always strive to look for it.
So, let's fuel this steep upward climb that lies ahead with a fab photo-filled flashback through some of the amazing moments that the past year has brought.
2017 saw me jump into a second family
I began 2017 in my 2nd semester of 2nd Year at The University of Edinburgh. One beam of light is the family I became a part of at the University Trampoline club. Each training session, competition and ridiculous social event brought us altogether for some serious tramp bants that I felt a valued part of. Cheers lads.
I Explored a little
Including some great trips around the UK with some great people...
A weekend trip to Dublin with my tramp fam was quite the Irish adventure...
I may not have had the luck of the Irish with my competition, but I definitely had a grand time.
It's a beautiful city.
Us Feingolds' experienced a new kind of travel with our first Cruise! Sun, sightseeing, (sort of) minimal stress and of course plenty of handstands.
Pushing our luck in Pisa Palm tress in Palma Big kids in Barcelona
And oh, Austin. Austin Austin Austin. What a beautiful Texan city to explore:
Vast green parks, built up city scenes, architecture, art, and a deep wildlife-filled greenbelt to get lost in.
I really value the vast travel opportunities I've had this year. I'm so glad I worked hard to make them happen, they are so worth it! Travel fuels inspiration and motivation. Travel for me is about absorbing the experiences, enjoying the journey, meeting new people...
..And attending some events
A Sunny festival..but in the UK?! Yep. The British Summertime Festival in Hyde park was not only blessed with the my baes, Bieb and sushi burritos, but it was a beautiful hot, dry and sunny day! There is still hope for British weather!
I cannot fathom how typically American a College football game is. There are Cheerleaders, there are Corn dogs, there are Chants and so many commercials. I have NEVER seen so much burnt orange or Texas pride in my lfe and I don't think I ever anywhere but that 100,00 seater Austin stadium.
We may have lost each game, but Texas, you sure got spirit.
Austin City Limits music festival. A sunny music festival with no mud, no rain and a wide range of artists? COUNT ME IN!
Plus who could say no to Skepta, Foster the People or Jay Z and his giant golden balloon dog.
I enjoyed all the coffees with all the best people...
..okay so there are a few hot chocolates in there too but it's never REALLY about the coffee.. in fact, I'm not the biggest fan of coffee anyway (gasp). Coffee dates are about the experience of sharing some time with a cosy beverage, calm interiors and great company. Cafes and friends new and old brew together in a perfect blend.
Despite negtive 2017 talk, looking back I am proud to say I achieved some things...
^Here's a video of me trying a back double for the first time!
I'm proud that I ate. Yes this sounds odd, but for me this was crucial. I needed to gain progress in my weight and battle through my eating disorder to enable me to see through the opportunities that lay ahead. This beautiful pancake stack I enjoyed from Brunch and Cake in Barcelona signifies the great progress I made, particularly during sumer to regain my health.
And because of the progress I made with my family behind me, I reached a point where I was all set up to move abroad for a year to study at the University of Texas at Austin! This was a dream of mine, to study in another country and really immerse a new culture and soak up the experience.
I am proud I was able to move to an AMAZING city
Barton springs, Austin. The Bat bridge, SoCo, Austin. Sculptures by Ladybird Lake
Hop Gallery Graffiti Park Down town Austin University Towers
Where I made amazing friends and shared great experiences with
And the yoga community was second to none.
My Austin life became totally wholesome with regular Yoga sessions atop the flagship Wholefoods rooftop at sunset each evening. Also, Sunday Mueller market yoga and even yoga fundraising events for hurricane Harvey relief added to my flow community. I always felt welcomed by the lovely genuine people. It was a dream come true.
..But reality hit me hard.
A final moment of pride that came over me was when reality hit. I had to make the hardest decision of my life...
It was an amazing experience I was having out there but I was held back. Held back by something I had not fully addressed before I left and something I had not prioritised over my duration in Austin. My health.
I negelcted its importance and, scarily, I hadn't fully acknowledged the degree to which it 'went downhill until my family brought it to light when they came to visit.
I had to make the call as to whether I was capable of turning my health around, alone, far from home without support whilst juggling my studies, or to put my education on hold, come home and prioritise my wellbeing. I am proud to say that despite the latter being an absolutely terrifying choice, I chose it. I honestly did not want to leave the life, people and city I loved . Many tears were shed. But, I am proud of my time in Austin, even just for making the leap to go. Furthermore I am proud that I acknowldeged that I health should never be set to the back of the priority list. I am proud of my bravery. Don't ever be afraid to acknowledge your weaknesses and seek help.
Oh and of course I'm proud of my family's 2017 achievements
Not just for being unconditionally and eternally supportive, but for all they've accomplished...
So 2017. I don't really know what to say. I can't really say it's been a great year at all. In fact, it's been pretty draining all in all. But that's not to say that I didn't learn much from you. I learned a lot. Maybe I'll come to regret decisions made or opportunities missed, but if one thing is for certain it's this. If I don't move forward to fight for change and better health, who knows how many more opportunities I'll miss?
2017 has forced me to turn into the face of my problems. I must now face my fears and harness them so that 2018 does not become a year of opportunities missed.
To truely Change your life for the better, you need to change your priorities.
Take a sip from the cup of my mind, and let the thoughts brew...