Whether your 2018 was extremely difficult or the best year of your life, whether it went flew by or dragged on, or whether it comes to a close sadly or with gratitude, I hope you learned. I hope that no matter what this year threw at you, you found some silver lining or anything of substance to take away from the situation. Above all the things to take away from 2018, for you, I hope it’s growth, and here’s what I hope you learned.
1. Love without hesitation or without fear of not being loved back. This is truly the only way to love unconditionally and selflessly, which is the purest form there is.
2. Forgiveness gets easier the more you do it. The same goes for apologizing. Pride is a very expensive thing. You shouldn’t let it cost you a relationship or your peace of mind.
3. You don’t need to be perfect to be happy (because you can’t), you need to be authentic. Honor yourself because at the end of the day, you are the only one who has to wholly live with your decisions from start to finish.
4. Good times, hard times, mundane times — they are all a gift. They are preparing you for something greater or they are a celebration of overcoming that which challenged you. Do not take them for granted. This is your life.
5. No one owes you anything. Except for you, you owe yourself a lot. It’s just a matter of whether or not you will do the work to let yourself have it.
6. Sometimes not getting what you want is the same as getting exactly what you need.
7. Anger, rudeness and hostility are signals that a person is in deep pain. This is not a reason to excuse mistreatment, but I’ve found it much easier to forgive a person in pain than a person I believe is angry for “no reason”.
8. Showing your scars to someone is a much more effective way to form a meaningful bond. It’s much more meaningful than showing them your possessions.
9. Outgrowing is not the same as giving up. A sneaky way of giving up and convincing yourself that you’re not is to stay put when you know you are capable and deserve more.
10. Effort is cool. Caring is cool. Affection is cool. It’s trendy to be aloof and nonchalant and act like life is something to get through instead of experience, but you get out of life what you put into it.
11. People aren’t always who you think they are. Places aren’t always what you’d expect them to be. Things don’t always turn out the way we thought they would. Therefore, worrying is a waste of energy.
12. The only finite thing about life is death. That is to say, anything could happen. This is a simple and overstated sentiment, but when you really think about it in reference to your life, it’s extremely liberating.
13. The moments when you are at your lowest are the moments you will most often lie to yourself. If you find yourself believing that no one cares, no one notices you, no one wants you to succeed, you are wrong.
14. On a sunny day, sometimes you need to step into the shade to adjust your vision and see things clearer. The same can be said for life. However, if you camp out in the comfort of the darkness, you’ll miss out on the warmth.
15. Sometimes the ones who love you the most will tell you things that you don’t want to hear. These are often the things that we need to hear the most.
16. Rather than, “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself” think of it as “you can’t commit to someone else until you commit to yourself.” Love is easy. Commitment is hard. If you can’t honor what you say you will do, how could you ever honor someone else? Not only that, but you need your own life before you can share it with another, so you might as well work on making it worth sharing.
17. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Everyone has their own way of perceiving the world, it might not always align or resonate with you.
18. Life is a gift, not a privilege. Say thank you for getting to experience another year of existence, and vow to make 2019 a year where you are unapologetically you.