What I learned in 2018 vs what I want from 2019

by Despoina

There are only three days left into 2018 and it is the moment where every blogger – influencer or facebook friend out there will post something about the year they had as well as about their goals for 2019. I am getting ready for my flight to Thessaloniki today and I could not be more excited about New Year’s celebrations in my hometown. While I pack I think about the things I will do when I am there and I realise that it has been a year since I wrote a post about my 2018 resolutions. Time flies!

The year 2018 has been pretty amazing for me and I feel very grateful. Sure there were also challenges and some sad moments but overall it is leaving me with good memories and a pleasant feeling. I got the job I was after, I finally travelled to New York and I maintained the same size in the jeans I wear – hooray! I am also still capable to afford jeans…… not too bad. Oh, one more thing; I am 95% sure that I am healthy and I have spent an entire month without drinking alcohol which I called ‘Sober October’

Here are some lessons I learned in 2018 that I would like to share and also the goals I am setting for myself for the new year.

Lesson 1: Having a website requires ( a lot of ) time.

I created this website slash portfolio in November 2017 with the main goal to land a job in UX. Besides that, I also wanted to have a place, that is not FaceBook or Twitter,  to write about my life in Brussels and share my thoughts about various shit I care about. I hesitated for a long time before I finally put it online only to realise that what I feared all along about having a website is true; the hard part is not putting a website online but maintaining it and keeping it interesting for the visitor. What a fucking headache that is!!!!!!

Here is the thing, I am working a full time job and when you throw in the occasional overtime I do there, it is not helping with maintaining my website. I spend at least nine to ten hours a day closely staring to a screen. When I finally have time for myself, I just want to play a stupid game or binge watch a show for the millionth time falling asleep in front of the TV instead of producing content for my website. I know, it is not good. I am also exhausted at that point to care.

When I do get around to work on my site I stress about finding an exciting new and interesting topic to talk about.  Then there is searching for the right way to phrase things, finding the perfect picture…it has been 6 months since I came back from New York and I still did not finish my posts about my trip …..

When it comes to my portfolio, I worry a lot about how I will describe a project and wether I should add a video or animations to make the work pop……  and what about work that is outdated? Should I remove it? What can I share and what should I not?  See?  it is a LOT!!!!!

In the end I have to just do it, publish something online and fix it later. Like this post for example! I decided to just devote time to write it, publish it and look for the title, pictures and pizzazz later!

For my portfolio, well things are more complicated I have to find the time to invest in well…..me and how I want to present my work to others.

Lesson 2: Never give up on your goals

I am happy that in 2018 I landed the job I was after, especially since I wanted that from the moment I graduated from VUB. I have struggled, got disappointed plenty of times in the process and worked a lot for it. Now it feels great to have made this first step in. Reflecting on this actually reminds me that I should definitely not settle, I have to keep trying to get better and not forget where I want to go or who I want to be. Push further.

My husband is also a great inspiration and example of how rewarding it is to not give up on your goals and always push your limits further. He gives a great example with the life he leads and inspires me to keep trying to be better! 

Lesson 3: Stressing about work is just not worth it

“Hard work doesn’t always matter.” When I first read that in the book “Yes Please” written by my favourite comedian Amy Poehler , my brain screamed YES !!!!!!! I could not agree more. In her chapter “Be whoever you are” she goes on to say that “your career will openly flirt with other people while you are around [….] Your career is fucking other people and everyone knows but you” Yes, indeed it does. I am of course not having any sort of delusion that I have a career, I do not believe that anyone can have a career in Brussels for that matter, but these words kept coming back to my mind lately in relation to how I feel about my work.

This year in September, I joined a project that I got really excited about. I saw the potential to do really great things with this and I really devoted my energy and time to it. It was exciting and very interesting and I felt that not only I was contributing but that this project could help me become better at what I do. So I naturally asked to extend my time in this one instead of leaving it at the end of the year. Which did not happen obviously otherwise I would not be writing about it. That made me feel very stupid. I felt stupid because I felt disposable, I felt like my work was either not as good as I thought or that my aspirations about what I want to do did not matter to anyone. I felt that people did not see how much I worked for it nor how much I wanted it. Well, I guess they did but probably did not care anyway. 

I consider this a lesson learned and I plan to do what Amy suggests in her book: “[….] care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.” Also, if my career is fucking someone else then I I have no choice but to act like a real Greek girl. Set everything on fire and walk away….. while wearing a bikini that highlights my boobs!

Lesson 4: Taking things for granted is a mistake

But Despoina, isn’t this something you should already know? Counter argument, is this not something we all seem to forget until it happens? Yes, I should remember to not take things for granted. I know that I will not always have nice colleagues so I will lean to appreciate them while I can. I will not always have friends around that will listen and support me so I will give back to them when I can. Maybe try and be less of a spoiled asshole….

🎉 New year ahead 🎉

So what are my goals for 2019?  If I put aside the classics such as try to exercise more, eat healthier be thinner be prettier but without botox injections…they are quite simple really

Goal 1: Spend less time on my phone aka put the silicon obsession down.

I have a love-hate relationship with my iPhone. I spend a lot of time on it. It is the first thing I see when I wake up, the last thing I have in my hands before falling asleep and if I do not check it every few minutes I do not know what to do with myself! I play all of the pet, fruit sagas , I am almost always on social media or sharing pictures on social media. I should know better than to share every aspect of my life on there and let that slowly define how I feel about myself. After all I was born in a time with no internet , come on!

So, I have deleted FaceBook from my phone and I try to visit and post less on Instagram…..I said I TRY ok?

Goal 2: Really, do not stress about work

Really. It is not worth it! I will instead focus on getting better at what I do #goldengoal

Goal 3: Do not obsess about having a child

Oh boy….. tough subject. It is really not fair that us women have to make a decision on wether we want to have child at a certain age worrying that if we change our minds down the line it may be already too late. No, not fair at all! Especially when men are able to spread their genes even at the age of 70…. As soon as a woman gets to her middle 30s it is decision time! I hate it! On top of that around that age people just can’t stop asking about that….. “Are you planning to have any kids of your own Despoina?”  it is none of your business ! And Back off ! I thought I got rid of annoying questions when I got married, boy was I mistaken!

But in all seriousness, I am not against having a child at all. It is just something that concerns my husband and me and not others and I should remember not to stress about it too. A few weeks ago for example, I downloaded an app that tracks my period and ovulation. The first question that popped up on the screen was “How committed are you in getting pregnant?” along with a log of how many times you had sex per day and your ….. I deleted it a few days later because FUCK OFF! I am not gonna give this kind of information to who knows who?!


I am looking forward to 2019 and to what it will bring and I will try to stick to my goals as I do every year and fail for about 85% of it but succeed for 15% the glass is almost full y’all!!!!!  I tried to keep this post brief but I somehow manage to always blab about everything. Well , that’s it! Have a happy New year 🙂





Photo by STIL on Unsplash

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