I won’t deny it – I am an ambitious, achievement-driven person who feels unhappy unless I have my life filled at least 150%. I like challenges, love tangible achievements and would sacrifice my sleep in a blink for an interesting project or activity.
Throughout years I heard many times “You’ll never be truly happy because it will never be enough for you”. I used to worry about such comments a lot and even tried to change – to want and do less! – at some point. As you could have guessed by now, such a plan did not work out either.
The bottom line of the story is that suppressing your personality never works. Unless you learn to live with whatever crazy, odd or boring personality you’ve got, you’ll never be satisfied. The key to happiness is not “to want less and to appreciate what you’ve already got” (sorry). It is to do what makes you happy – whether that is not doing anything or getting up at 5am in order to conquer the world.
A word of wisdom for other over-achievers like me: do not worry about that constant need of ‘more’. You will be happy as long as there is another goal to achieve, another small or big challenge to go for. And the good thing is that the world is big and full of opportunities.
Get a PhD. Get married. Get divorced. Swim with crocodiles. Open a brewery. Move to Cambodia. Start a new job, just to leave it for another one.
You can’t do anything with your personality, therefore enjoy. Happy (achieving) in 2019!
- Started the year in Vilnius with my most amazing gang of friends. As people say, “There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends that become family”.
- Celebrated my birthday in Malta. The tradition of celebrating my birthday in a different country each year continues!
- Celebrated my birthday (again!) multiple times with my girls: Ina, Jurgita, Rasa, Sam, Egle & Ruta <3
- Started an Acro Balance course in the National Centre for Circus Arts in London. Spent lots of time over the next few months standing on someone’s shoulders and being upside down.
- Tried Aerial Yoga at Flying Fantastic with my bestie Ruta. I had a goal in 2018 to try a new activity every month and that was the first new experience on the list!
- Practiced Acroyoga in the airports of Malta & London with Acroyoga Sanctuary. Definitely made the journey for other travellers way more memorable.
- New experience of the month: sunrise yoga session at the Shard, the tallest building in the UK (and EU as well).
- Fully mastered standing on shoulders.
- Waited for a year (after purchasing tickets in 2017) to see the Hamilton musical in London. It was fabulous! Listen to the playlist for months afterwards….
- Kicked off OB & Leadership courses at LSE & QMUL and became a Fellow of HEA (another teaching qualification).
- Submitted my thesis. Exactly 1272 days (3.5 years) of hard work and constant learning until this moment, including days when I thought “why on earth I’m doing this” and days when I thought that choosing to do a PhD and embracing all academic challenges was the best decision made. 500+ pages of hard work.
- Experience of the month: Trampolining at the Oxygen Freejumping Trampoline Park. So – Much – FUN.
- Got inspired at TEDex London. Sharing our stories – that’s what people should do more often!
- Enjoyed another fantastic experience – floatation tank. Thanks to my cousin Adomas for this amazing gift!
- Went to Madrid with my bestie Auste. We live in different countries, however we try to go on a trip together every year. In 2017 it was Luxembourg, 2018 – Spain, 2019 – we have New Zealand planned.
- Personal Best in deadlifts: 95kg!! As odd as that sounds, but lifting heavy things is very enjoyable.
- Visited my love Lina & her fiancé Stefan in their new home in Denmark. Had amazing time and tried two new things: bungy jumping and wakeboarding. I always said that I will never do bungy…. Now I would like to do it again 🙂
- Had amazing coffee training in London with Grounded coffee company. If you’re ever in London, you must try a coffee (and potentially a cake too…. 😉 at Grounded or Exmouth that both co-owned by my friends Ruta & Smail. You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy coffee and that’s pretty close.
- Decided that seeing my bestie Lina only once this month is not sufficient and therefore went to visit her in Hague, Netherlands.
- Arrange a family holiday in Nida, Lithuania. I have an entire blog about Nida – it is one of my favourite places in the world.
- Published a scientific article. Hubris: Understanding the Hazards and Mitigating the Risks. You can read it here, if you haven’t done that yet!
- Had an interview with Amazon in Vancouver, Canada. Fell in love with this city – if you have a job offer for me there, I’m in. Experience of the month: seaplane flight over mountains surrounding Vancouver. Now I know why Canadians are always happy – it is just so damn beautiful in their country!
- On 18th July, defended VIVA and officially completed my PhD studies. Had an amazing discussion with my main examiner, Prof Peter Garrard, who has influenced me to use Machine Learning in my last research study.
- I had two amazing experiences of the month. First, I did a Colour run in London. Not much running, but lots of fun and colours. Second, I completed a Spartan Race in Midlands, UK. It was an amazing 5km obstacle run that included climbing over fence, jumping over the fire, dragging and carrying bags, crawling under the barbwire and running up and down the hill way too many times. Good fun and definitely recommended if you like to try such race.
- Finished work in London and decided to spend more time with my family in Vilnius. Stayed in Vilnius for a month and had lots of fun in the gym with my brother-from-a-different-mother Aleksej.
- Kidnapped Mum to a weekend getaway in Druskininkai. That’s 21st century for you – you have to force your Mum to go on holiday!
- Went to see my beautiful bestie’s June’s wedding in Istanbul, Turkey. Celebrating love and happiness is breath-taking.
- Experience of the month: acroyoga in a moving yacht! Thank you Andrej for capturing these fun moments!
- September was spent trying to heal my injured knee (no running and squats for a while 🙁 ) That did not stop me from doing a 160km cycle trip in France with Auste & Josef. What can I say – it was an experience of the year, rather than a month!
- Drank A LOT of wine in Heidelberg, Germany (thanks Auste for buying those extra few boxes of wine before we came). Oh, I also went to amazing sauna-cinema in Germany – it was the first time ever when I managed to stay in sauna for longer than 20 minutes.
- Had extraordinary Yoga session with my cousin Ieva, who visited me in UK after her Yoga teacher training in India. I have never thought that I can twist (or be twisted…) into so many positions and stay alive.
- Had a really good (but cold!) trip to Wales. Experience of the month: doing Zip World Velocity 2 which is the fastest zip line in the world. It goes up and over 100 mph speed – that was fast! I also went up the Snowdon mountain (1085 metres above the sea level).
- YES! Wales, Taylor’s birthday, 28th of October.
- Went to France to visit my Fairy-Aunt-Witch (a story for another time) Lina. Marseille was beautiful and we spent some time on a mission to find the best croissant place in town (very important).
- Travelled back to Lithuania again to see my little (well, not that little anymore :)) brother Vytenis who returned to Vilnius after spending another summer in US.
- Moved down under to another side of the world: Perth, Australia. Currently enjoying 8+ hours of sun daily. My new life goal is to travel from summer to summer 🙂
- Started a new job in Perth. Besides having a truly interesting job and fantastic colleagues, I also have 3 amazing coffee shops on campus. As you can see, I have a serious long-term relationship with coffee.
- Experience of the month: sailing! Went straight into a sailing race on a Day 1 – it’s called rapid learning!
- Travelled in Western Australia. It is beautiful, it’s wide, it’s exotic. Come and visit me?
- Finished writing up and submitted another academic article to be published at Journal of Business Ethics. That does not say much to people who do not work in research, but it’s kind of a big deal.
- Tried sandboarding – that was such a fun experience! It’s a pain getting rid of the sand afterwards but still worth it. Also started going to Yoga and AcroYoga classes again.
- Swam with dolphins and celebrated Christmas in +30 degree Celcius temperatures. Definitely something that I’ll remember for a while.
Thank you, 2018, for all these experiences, emotions and adventures – you’ve been memorable.
I read somewhere a while ago that we are our own heroes. We do not accidentally bump into success, happiness or adventures – we work and create them. I wish you exiting 2019 – find whatever you’re looking for.