Since 2018 is coming to a close, I thought I would reflect on some of the lessons I learned this year. It would be very easy for me to look back on this year and think: ” I wish this year never happened”, for there was a lot of pain this year. In many ways, this year has felt very heavy. 2018 was chock full of lessons and was a year where I was forced to heal myself. Although this year may not feel as abundant with great moments and memories as 2017, it was a year full of breakthroughs. I am more than ready for 2019 to come along. To meet new people, to travel to new places, to feel new feelings. But before we transition to this new year and say a sweet “farewell, see you never!!” to 2018, here are some things I learned during this past year:
1. I should not be allowed to have access to iMessage after 11 pm. Everything I send after 11 P.M. is usually never a smart idea. Go to bed and if you still want to send the message at 8 AM, go for it.
2. Growing really, really hurts at first. It’s not pretty. It looks like your arms shaking while in plank pose, spending Saturday nights alone, and ending relationships that you didn’t think would end so soon. Accept that this is a part of life and try to move through sticky moments with as much grace as possible. You will fall down, it is a part of the process. That is OK, just pick yourself up after. Call a friend to help in moments where it feels all a little too much to deal with alone.
3. So many people know how to talk, but very few have much to say. Words matter, the types of conversations you have matter. Change the conversation, and if the people you have surrounded yourself with are not able to, change the people you surround yourself with.
4. Start wearing butterfly clips in your hair. For some reason it makes life feel a little easier, and who doesn’t want butterflies in their hair?
5. Romantic love, although glorious and special, isn’t the only thing worth living for. Live for your morning Sufjan Steven playlist, rose tulsi tea, reading, and friends who send you Office memes every time you feel sad.
6. Goodbyes don’t need to be sad and heartbreaking. Saying goodbye doesn’t mean that this person can no longer be important to you. I have special places for certain people in my heart, but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy for them to be in my daily life anymore. Thank people for lessons and then choose to move on without making it messy.
7. Try to keep your mouth shut when you feel inclined to speak badly of someone else. It just shows you where you still need some healing. Breathe through it, write it down if need be. Just remember that everyone is truly doing their best and us human beings really desire love.
8. Start drinking celery juice. I have no idea why or how but after drinking it consistently, you will feel a major shift in your physical well being and mental clarity.
9. Don’t seek “getting back to the old you”, you are constantly changing and evolving from new life experiences. Grow out of the toxic patterns, clean up the blockages and parts of your personality that were no longer serving you. Let yourself evolve and change.
10. Take care of yourself. In tough moments, control what you can. Dress in clothes that are soft and make you feel pretty. Only listen to music you really love. Don’t force yourself to eat food that isn’t very tasty. Take breaks when you need to.
11. We have a huge plastic problem. Recycle, buy a reusable mug and straws. Don’t spend your money on fast fashion. Encourage others in your life to do the same.
12. Sure, there are many things you would like to do (i.e. watch the entire second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in one sitting) but first get what you need to get done before indulging and relaxing. Show up, be accountable.
13. Being confident is more than just believing you’re attractive. It has a lot to do with trusting your instincts, pursuing your passions, and speaking what is true for you. It is not about being better than anyone. It is about taking accountability for your own life. It is about valuing yourself enough to invest time and energy to make sure you are living the most truthful and enriching life possible.
14. Eating a bagel, hash browns, and a blueberry muffin in one sitting will make you want to vomit. Don’t eat foods that make you feel terrible, but don’t punish yourself for eating a bag of chips.
15. Don’t waste your time wishing you were somewhere else. Fully engage and do your best wherever you are. Listen and pay attention in classes, be the best worker you can be at your job, and be the best listener when you are talking with a stranger. You will go to bed feeling much more fulfilled. Your life is now, don’t just stall and think your life beings when you get your dream relationship/job/lose the weight. It doesn’t work like that.
16. Your followers on social media do not care about you all that much. Get your life together on the DL. Be selective with what you share. Don’t look for constant outside validation that you’re good enough.
17. There is a lot going on in the world, and it is important that you take the time to educate yourself on it. Being ignorant may be easier, but being an informed citizen is vital in these times. Care about the world around you, set aside your small daily dramas and put yourself in other’s shoes. Donate to charity, be a person who stands up for those who don’t have a voice. Don’t just assume “those activists”will take care of everything.
18. Sometimes you are a little too close with someone to see how their behavior is affecting you. We love them and we attach ourselves to them and we don’t see the toxic behavior. In our eyes, they are shiny and whole. It is sometimes it is necessary to step back and re-evaluate. Listen when people express concern for how your loved one(s) treat you, they may be on to something,
19. As cheesy as it sounds.. watch the sunset more often. Watch the colors of the sky change and watch as the day comes to a close and night begins. There is something so sacred about this time of day.
20. Loving someone doesn’t mean you are entitled to having them. You can love someone with every bit of you and it is not their obligation to feel the same way back. Don’t make it about you. Accept their feelings and let them be happy… even if their happiness doesn’t include you.
21. Journal every day. Watch as your feelings and perspectives change and evolve. Document funny jokes and moments where you were really joyful, don’t just turn to write in your notebook when you’re feeling sad.
22. Gaining a few pounds does not decrease your worth or your beauty.
23. Being apathetic, indifferent and complacent are some of the most unattractive qualities. Care. Love. Speak about what matters to you. There is nothing cool about acting like you don’t care.
24. Asking yourself the hard questions. “Is eating this 5th raspberry oat bar helping me feel clear minded and making my belly feel good?” “Is stalking talented girls Instagrams getting me closer to my own goals?” “Am I being the type of person who I would want to be friends with?”
25. Just because a relationship or experience was brief doesn’t mean it was of less importance than a relationship or experience that was longer.
26. “What you allow will continue.”
27. Sometimes you are the one in the wrong (I know, mind-blowing!) Learn to apologize for your mistakes.
28. Do yoga before going on a date, performing, or when you feel any little bit of anxiety. It helps you get grounded and helps you communicate what is real and true for you. Also, it makes you feel all stretchy and when you’re friends complain of aches and pains you get to say: “can’t relate!”
29. Turn your pain into art. Write a really angsty song, spend your weekends creating art to hang on your walls. Get out your icky emotions, don’t let them just sit and fester in your brain.