Lifestyle · December 31, 2023

23 Lessons I Learnt In 2023

It’s here! I was wondering if I’d get around to sharing my annual old-school diary attempt at summarising a year in a blog post (a.k.a getting a bit deep both via my scanner and in my drafts), and despite the fact this time of year can often go one of two ways (acute anxiety about the year gone by stemmed from too many Quality Street and TikToks, or a renewed sense of hope and promise that feels heady and almost Joe-Wicks-like)- my gravitational pull to oversharing has conquered once more and I find myself opening up a blog post on the eve of 2024 with a few little takeaways (or ‘in/out’s’ if we’re adhering to the zeitgeist).

Admittedly, as the years go on I’m definitely finding I’m repeating a few of these (I just read a blog post from about a decade ago where I talk about people pleasing less and yet HERE WE ARE), but maybe there’s something in a yearly reminder to be more gentle to yourself, switch off to the noise of opinion and comparison and look after myself a little better that holds a little weight, too?

It feels like this year I’ve slightly unconsciously shared a little bit less of life and what’s been going on in it. My life has changed immeasurably in the past year, and at times it has felt safer and a fair bit easier to pull back a bit, namely to look after myself and others. Losing people, finding yourself (wooah there is that you Elizabeth Gilbert?!), co-parenting, dating (for the first time as a nearly-30 year old- more on that one day I’m sure), falling in love, career crossroads, and being an adult woman with hormones is a lot for 12 months and a virtual soapbox. I’ve also realised, relationships online are a funny old frog to contend with. Soft launches/hard launches/breakups/the lot are a funny line to tow whilst navigating the tightrope of privacy and wanting to shout things from the rooftops. Plus, when sharing your life online is largely all you’ve known (MySpace girlies where u at), it’s definitely an adjustment doing things differently. There’s a quiet power in acknowledging that being honest comes with a certain level of vulnerability, and is very much something that’s more than okay to step back from if you want to. I’ve had to navigate lots of really challenging firsts in the last 18 months, and have learnt that when you’re in the throes and weeds of it, sometimes it’s simply too tricky to talk about them- especially when you’re talking to lots of people.

But I want to get that back, the freedom of talking from the heart and the community that comes with it. If there’s one thing in this life you can’t do- it’s go through the days, months and years obsessing over what other people think of you and tying yourself in knots trying to iron out creases of others opinions of you (accurate or not).  It’s been a messy, wobbly, exciting, strange, and everything in between sort of time. But one of my weird fundamentals seems to continually be to capture and share the joys in life and the people in it that make it so, and I know I’ll get back to that comfortable place soon. Over the last (nearly) 15 years, the community and wonderful relationships that have stemmed from conversations, posts, and discussions beginning on this blog have felt like some of the most special things I’ve experienced, and there isn’t a moment that I take that for granted, there truly isn’t.

Anyway, waffling aside (and crikey, I’ve done a good bit of that)- I’m excited and apprehensive for the new year. So much can change in the blink of an eye; and I’m learning to lean into change and try and not always see it as something to be feared. I want to learn to look after myself better, find my joie de vivre again and dig a bit deeper for the drive and love that has gotten me this far in this funny, unpredictable industry that I know has waned a little. I know that’s because I need to step back and look after myself for a little bit. To switch off comparison, rest a little and catch my breath a bit.

Not every year will be a vintage year, with big band bells and whistles, fireworks and fabulousness. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t pockets of little loveliness to take from it either. Some years are a good for being ordinary and cosy and just getting through them, and what an enormous privilege that is too. For a long time I subconsciously put a lot of my self worth on CV-worthy ‘achievements’ and this year has truly been a year of slowing down, taking stock of the little things, making sense of a new direction and what truly fills up my cup. Naively I thought finding my footing after turbulence would be quite easy (there’s a weird ‘girl boss’ ~YOU GOT THIS~ mentality one can jump to when in crisis for brief bursts), but I’m definitely still getting there- but it will happen.

Anyway, if you’ve had a bit of an interesting year to navigate, this is just a little note to say you’ve made it. You’ve gotten through all of your trickiest days, and there are so many more joyful, little and large unexperienced moments yet to come. I hope you have a really gentle start to the new year (possibly rung in by either Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal or Jools Holland), and a very happy and healthy 2024. Thank you, as ever, for sticking around here and coming back again and again. I have the kindest, most supportive people reading and following along- and I know how lucky I am because of it (especially when I know there are so many wonderful people to tune in to), so thank you. You’re really the best.


P.S It’s not lost on me the triviality of this all, and the immense privilege I have to be sitting here writing from my home, at a time where there are so many horrific things going on in the world and people needlessly suffering complete atrocities. It’s been tricky to find value in writing about personal things when there are so many more pressing and important things happening minute by minute, and everything else seems ridiculous in comparison. I hope 2024 finally brings peace and resolution to these horrors.


  • Reply
    January 1, 2024 at 10:27 am

    Oh Liv this was so lovely to read. In a funny way, having a lil old-school blogger catch-up last month helped me to recalibrate a little after one weird ol’ year. ‘Some years are good for being ordinary and cosy and just getting through them’ encapsulates how I feel about 2023. Here’s to a sparkly 2024!

  • Reply
    January 2, 2024 at 10:00 am

    I am delighted you decided to post your new year thoughts again – I enjoy them every year because they are so beautifully written. Wishing you all the best for 2024 <3

  • Reply
    January 3, 2024 at 1:06 am

    What a great post! I am so glad you came back and decided to post your thoughts on the new year! I always look forward to them, because they always remind me to be gentler with myself, and if things are now going exactly how you planned that’s okay too. Wishing you an amazing 2024, I look forward to reading more from you this year xx

  • Reply
    March 14, 2024 at 2:46 pm

    Wow, reading about the lessons you learned in 2023 was like taking a journey through the highs and lows of the year with you! Your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your experiences are truly admirable. I found myself nodding along with so many of your insights, especially the ones about embracing vulnerability and finding joy in the little things. Your reminder to prioritize self-compassion and not to be too hard on ourselves is something we could all use, especially in today’s fast-paced world. Thank you for sharing your reflections—it’s incredibly inspiring and has given me some food for thought as I navigate my own journey in the coming year!

Leave a Comment