Happy New Year! 1 Year Blog-iversary and 2021 Wants

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Look On The Write Side!

Content warning: the follow post contains discussion of anxiety, depression, self-harm and weight loss. Please proceed with caution.

At around the middle of December I received a confirmation of an annual payment to WordPress from my gmail. It was only then that I realised it had been one year since I first created my blog- time flies when you’re barely writing any posts, right? 😉 In all seriousness though, I took a look at my notes and was astonished to read that my first post was published on the 7th January. One whole YEAR ago! The mind boggles. So, despite the fact that I haven’t done near as much as I had intended with my blog thus far, I have hit a milestone…and what a big milestone it is for me.

When I started my blog, I was in a vastly different mental state to the one I possess as I type this. I had only been on anti-depressants for a month after a whole life of fear. I had a multitude of personal issues that were coming to boil after a gradual brewing for 12 years. I was newly in the final year of my undergraduate degree at KCL and felt an immense pressure to succeed alongside my peers. The funny thing is that if anything, most of these issues of mine are still occurring right now. I’ve been on anti-depressants for a year and while they certainly take the edge off, I’ll be honest and say that a few times I have self-doubled my dose because I was feeling so low.

Just a quick disclaimer regarding this point: I know that this was the wrong decision to make as my dosage is recommended to me by my GP and it is dangerous to alter medication without the guidance of a doctor. I haven’t done this in a few months and since I have successfully sought other methods at controlling my relapses.

Most of the issues in my personal life have recently been tranquillised following a drastic change in circumstance, but there are after-effects to this which have set me on a long journey for the time to come. I may no longer be a final year undergraduate student but now I am a postgraduate student, which brings its own kinds of challenges. However, despite currently living somewhat of a continuance of those events which had pushed me to mental breakdown in November 2019, I know in my heart that I have grown substantially since then. One factor behind this is undoubtedly, my blog. When I first launched Look On The Write Side, I wrote that I intended it to serve as a kind of therapy for me, and a safe place where I can write whatever I wanted without having to worry about who did or didn’t read it. I may be lacking on the posts front, but the genuinely wonderful response I had received from my post about my anxiety and depression story certainly makes up for it. Minutes, hours and even days after I posted that piece, I received an innumerable number of messages from people taken from all ends of my life. I heard from people I haven’t spoken to in 10 years. I heard from people who, quite frankly, I thought didn’t even like me. Every single person who reached out to me about that post was spreading words of positivity and support and I truly felt like I had accomplished something. People told me that they felt the same but never wanted to admit it to anyone because they thought they were alone in their feelings. It was here that I finally felt that I had done something genuinely good with my life. I had helped people. I had connected with them. I felt a great sense of pride for their own strength and endurance.

So, the main thing I want to express here is…thank you! Thank you to every single person who has ever read from my blog, even if it was only a single post. Thank you to every single person who thought about it, even without reading and if this was just once. I am immensely grateful for all of you ❤

Now, onto 2021!

Because we’ve recently moved into 2021, sooooo many social media influencers and blog writers having been posting those generic ’20 Things I Learnt in 2020′ types of things. I’d like to think that I’m semi-original (I know it’s a lie, please don’t judge! :D) so I decided to take that generic concept and slightly manipulate it into something else. So, lo and behold, here are 21 things that I want in 2021:

3 Things I Want To Do More Of:

1.) Have Skype dates and/or phone calls with my friends:
-This year I have been really awful at getting back to people and organising catch-up dates. This sucks because I miss my friends so much 😦

2.) Cooking:
-I have always hated cooking and preferred cleaning but since I started my new healthy eating lifestyle, I’ve found myself itching to get in the kitchen more. My favourite new recipe is my sweet potato stuffed with chickpea curry…also vegan for those who identify as such!

3.) Self-care sessions:
-Whether this is putting on a face mask, building Lego (yes, I still do this) or even getting back into Super Mario Kart, self-care is something that my therapists have consistently recommended to me. It can be hard to take time out to be gentle to yourself but the benefits are huge

3 Things I Want To Keep The Same:

1.) My progress with healthy eating and weight loss:
-Since the 25th October, I have lost 5kg in a healthy and safe way and rewarded myself with a Christmas of guilt-free indulgence (which I appreciated more than ever before!)

Homemade Terry’s Chocolate Orange brownie bites were the perfect reward!

2.) My focus and progress with my masters:
-I made a good start with studying and in my midterms, achieved better results than I had ever imagined I could 🙂

3.) The ever-growing connection between myself and those I love ❤

Best sister ever ❤

3 Things I Want To Do Less Of:

1.) Criticising myself:
-With anxiety and depression, you have a great tendency to blame yourself for every. single. thing. Everything that goes wrong is because of you, you will never amount to anything and you might as well stop trying. These beliefs are a part of me which is gradually getting smaller but they are still there and unfortunately do pop up regularly

2.) Procrastinating cleaning my desk:
-The problem isn’t that my desk is untidy, definitely not. It’s just that I am so LAZY when it comes to wiping the surface and items sitting on it. I let them gather dust for weeks and weeks before I make an effort to clean it and I know it isn’t good for me or my lungs

3.) Thinking that the worst is yet to come:
-Pretty self explanatory, nope?

3 Things I Want To Read:

1.) Anna Karenina:
-This one is so bad because I literally haven’t picked it up in 6 months despite loving it so much when I started it. To finish this one is a must!

2.) Wuthering Heights:
-My grandma and uncles bought me a gorgeous edition from Barnes & Noble when they visited New York a couple of years ago and it has been sitting on my shelf, yet to be read. I do love dark novels though so it should be good 🙂

3.) One Hundred Years of Solitude:
-I have never properly dived into Spanish-language texts, (albeit the translated versions) and I have always heard countless praise of Gabriel García Márquez’s beautiful writing. There is something about a multi-generational story that formally fascinates me. But of course, the real dream would be to learn Spanish well enough to read it as it was meant to be read, in its native language

3 Things I Want To Try:

1.) Properly re-learn Turkish grammar:
-I’ve had a real turnaround with my progress in Turkish recently which I am extremely happy about, but correct grammar is something I need to study. A dedicated post about my Turkish roots to come!

2.) Living alone:
-This monumental event (for me at least :D) ) is finally going to happen in the coming months and I cannot be more nervous or excited

3.) Yoga:
-I have never touched it within my own home workouts but I think that the mental advantages will be beneficial for me. Besides, it’s meant to be fancy right? RIGHT? 😉

3 Things I Want To Confidently Say:

1.) “I am good enough”, instead of “I am nothing”

2.) I am worthy, instead of “I don’t deserve anything good”

3.) I am strong, instead of “I can’t do this”

3 Things I Want To Give:

1.) Happiness

2.) Empathy

3.) Love

Too often when we hit the new year and think of all the things that we didn’t say or didn’t do, we lose sight of all the good things we did say, and all the good things we did do. Maybe you helped someone through a rough patch, or maybe you started your own business, no matter how big or small. In times likes these, I believe that it is important to remind ourselves not of what we haven’t been able to achieve yet, but rather what we did achieve. For every person in this world, climbing a psychological mountain means something completely different. It could be something deemed by society to be as “simple” as getting dressed and taking a shower. It could be getting through a period of illness. It could even be looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself, rather than gazing in disgust at what you see. I know that new year’s resolutions are not for everybody, and quite frankly, I think that society makes it way more of a pressurising act than it should be. So, if there’s one thing I wish that everyone would do this year, it would be to champion your achievements, no matter the size, because any success in your own battle is something worth celebrating ❤

Happy new year, everyone! 🙂

Published by Leyla Hasso

I'm an anxious, 23-year-old Modern Literature postgrad and competitive gamer born and bred in London, who is trying to navigate this crazy world while always looking on the bright side!

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year! 1 Year Blog-iversary and 2021 Wants

  1. Thanks 4 sharing!

    Your courage and strength is amazing!

    Congrats 4 all your successes with SMK, Masters study, work towards being kinder 2 yourself, being healthier, connecting with others more often and helping others:)

    Good luck with your goals and thanks again 4 sharing:)

    Happy New Year 2 u and Sami!

    Liked by 1 person

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