I remember the clock striking midnight last year on New Year’s Eve. Standing in a room surrounded by a bunch of strangers. Kissing a guy who would later stand me up on a date a month later.
I thought about how happy I was in that moment. How I thought 2019 was going to finally be my year, one that would be nothing but pure happiness and with no bumps in the road. But that’s not how life works and that’s okay—at least I’ve realized it now. You can’t have a perfect year without there being some bad things. But that doesn’t mean you can’t smile wider or laugh louder and cherish all the good that comes along with it too.
If I could describe this year in one word, it would be growth. I look back at that girl who was so damaged and to see her now is a beautiful thing. It honestly wasn’t something I ever thought I could get through or even knew I had the strength in me to do it. But I did, and I’m so thankful.
I learned a lot this year—19 lessons, to be exact. Some that were a hard pill to swallow and some I’m still taking the baby steps in my life to actually commit to. Overall, these were what I needed to hear and go through to keep moving. I’m done apologizing for every insignificant thing—it’s time I do what’s best for me.
1. Don’t take that extra shot, because you will end up losing your pants. Or better yet, just don’t drink a lot. And when you find your tolerance level, stick with it.
2. Call your mom. You may not always agree with her or get to see her a lot, but she’s never going away and will never judge you. She’s the constant in your life you need, even when you feel like your life is going in a million different directions.
3. Those bad thoughts you put into your head can go away, but only if you want them to. You have to find the strength within you even when you feel at your end. It’s in there, trust me.
4. Trying something new or going out of your comfort zone can be scary as hell, but it’s worth it. Even if it’s something as small as trying sushi and discovering you actually like it. Or going on a plane for the first time, and even getting up in front of a room of strangers at a bar to belt out an Adele song. It’s a rush but in the best way.
5. I am worth more than a 1 a.m. text. I’m no longer spending my time swiping through people who only see me as an option and not a choice.
6. Patience sucks, but it really is key. Sometimes things don’t come together for you all at once. But eventually they will if you take the time to let it all fall into place.
7. Letting go of someone is hard and painful, but it’s necessary. It’s true when they say you won’t ever forget them. But that doesn’t mean they have to continue with moving forward in your life when they can be left in the past instead.
8. There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing your mental health. If you’re having an off day, then take it easy. Because going on and pretending everything is okay will only make things worse.
9. If you continue to compare yourself and your life to everyone else then you’ll never be happy or able to appreciate your own accomplishments. Everyone has their own path, so just keep going on yours, because you’ll be amazed at what’s in store for you.
10. Social media shouldn’t control your life. It’s hard to unplug from it all when we live in a time where everyone needs to know what’s going on and what everyone’s doing. But when it starts to get to a point where you can’t take your eyes away from your phone and you’re looking at that more than people, it needs to stop.
11. Never apologize for using your voice to stand up for yourself or someone else. Just because people don’t agree with your beliefs doesn’t mean your words should be silenced.
12. Music really does heal. It’s an even better feeling getting to hear the artists who helped you at your lowest in concert. To be able to go from listening to those songs alone in your bed crying to that is something else.
13. You need to love yourself first before even think of being with someone. Because if you can’t even give yourself the love you need, how do you expect to give it to someone else?
14. Friends are a blessing in disguise. Please don’t ever take them for granted. Because even when you think you ruined things, they surprise you.
15. If there’s something you don’t like in your life, change it. Otherwise it will slowly start to kill you until it’s too late to go back.
16. The numbers on the scale don’t matter.
17. When you stop caring about what other people think about you, you really do start to see things differently and clearly.
18. People reveal their true colors to you without them even realizing it. Watch for the warning signs and don’t ignore them this time. There’s nothing worse than a naive person who sees the good in evil eyes.
19. Don’t wait until tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Do it now. You won’t be sorry.
I’m closing this chapter to make room for everything new. There’s so much I’m looking forward to already next year. No more looking back.