The practice of reflecting on experiences is easy to romanticise. We can imagine it to be almost like a movie montage, where all the good bits of the period we’re reflecting over are played back to us. There’s some nostalgic music, and the frames gently fade into one another.

The truth is that the value in reflecting comes from looking over the bad and the good. Looking over the good can be quite a pleasant experience. We get to re-live the happy moments and contemplate what has gone right.

But reflecting on the bad is more difficult. We’re forced to face our shortcomings, relive traumatic experiences and unpack our regrets. There’s more to learn here, but it comes with a high emotional burden.

My Year End Reflection

My thoughts around this have come about as a result of my current year end reflection, which I began a few days ago. This year has been an incredibly difficult one for me, and included many dark periods and negative events. Some of them lasted a few days, some of them lasted entire months.

It has made my reflective time quite painful, as I begin digging up all the emotions that I’ve buried throughout the year.

Don’t get me wrong, there has been a lot of really exciting and epic stuff that has happened this year. And that is easy to reconcile. But the dark times have made it a particularly tough year.

I read through my 2016 review and realised how vastly different last year was. I had a more balanced year, with less extreme events. And it made writing the year end review both a pleasant and easy experience.

I know that reflecting on 2017 is important, and that processing these emotions will ultimately leave me in a better space. So I’ll get through them, and clear the way for a better 2018.

Image was taken in January this year at UCT. The flowers are called Flame Lilies (Gloriousa Superba) and they flower in December/January. They remind me of Zim, as they are the country’s national flower. We also had some growing by our pool in Harare when we were younger

Blog 54/365. Read more about my #365of25 journey here


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