My most favorite holiday is the New Year, from the New Year’s Eve dinner to a countdown, to seeing January 1 on my phone. To me, it is full of excitement, new hopes, and new adventures that I am looking forward to. I love the countdown part the most, to the point that I am so stressed out about where I will be, what I will do, whom I will be with, etc. It is a very special moment to me. Though the New Year was not always off to a good start, every year I still hope something will be different. I have faith that it will get better.
The New Year is also the time that most of us reflect what happened in the prior year. Hopefully we were able to cross off some of the items on our list that we wanted to accomplish. Here are the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout the years.
1. Nothing is certain.
I believe everyone’s life is like a roller coaster. It is full of ups and downs. It is just a matter of the size of the ride. How you handle it is the key. It shows that nothing really lasts forever. It teaches us to manage both expectations and disappointments.
2. What does not kill you really makes you stronger.
Well, yes, it is so true (even though I want to say, “I don’t need to get any stronger!”). I have been through some very tough times throughout my decades on this earth. I will not lie that sometimes I am sick of the getting stronger part. I have stopped counting how many times I felt like I was drowning and could not breath. It is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. I have to remind myself to go back to look at #1 (nothing is certain). This overwhelmingly tough time too shall pass. I just have to suck it up and go along with it. I truly believe that life does not give me more than I can handle.
3. Procrastination sometimes works to my benefit.
With all constant changes going on in our world these days, I have learned to not react too fast when a situation arises. Most of the time, things sort themselves out, and things turn out better than what it would have been had I acted right away.
4. Patience is the best quality to have.
Relating to the prior point, sitting on a situation teaches me to be patient. I admit that most of the time it is very difficult for me. I am the type of person who fixes a problem or tackles what I have to do right away. But most of the time, things are not in my control. I am forced to wait and be patient. Well, actually, I can be very patient if I know when I will get my answer or when I can do my part. The most challenging thing is being patient when I do not know the ‘when’. But patience teaches me to really think things through, seek guidance when I need to, and sometimes even have to change my approach as the time goes on.
5. The only thing that is in my control is myself.
Sometimes it is very difficult to control my thoughts. I remember so many sleepless nights I had because certain things were going through my mind. That makes me realize that if I cannot even control my own thoughts, how can I control anyone or anything else? I have learned to let go and do my best. I just have to have a little faith.
6. I cannot help anyone if they do not want to help/change themselves.
People have their own thoughts. Everyone has issues. I can explain my reasons into them all day long, but nothing will happen or change if they do not see that they have a problem. At the end of the day, it is their life and their decision. And if they choose to live that way, who am I to say otherwise? I can only choose to be there for them (or not).
7. Always trust my gut feeling.
I am not saying that I am always right, but a gut feeling is a very powerful thing. Looking back at many events that happened in my life, most of the time I had a gut feeling (good or bad) about it early on. I might not be able to pinpoint exactly what and how. And I had to make sure to distinguish between my gut feeling and being skeptical/paranoid. I had to wait for events to unfold so I could know exactly if my gut feeling was right. Most of the time, it was.
8. I am my own best friend.
It sounds sad to me, actually, but it is so true. At the end of the day, people come and go in and out of my life. The only person I can rely on to always be there for me is myself. I get it that people are social creatures. We are made to socialize. However, I have learned to be independent and happy on my own.
9. What is meant for me will stay.
I always put my best effort into everything I do, so it is heartbreaking when things do not turn out the way I hoped—from a job that I wanted to a relationship that I thought was ‘the one’ to unexpected news. I have learned to accept that those things are like a part of a play. While certain characters are the main ones and stay throughout, others just show up to move the story along and make it more entertaining. Every part of it teaches me something valuable. What is really mine will always be mine, and it will eventually stay.
I do not know what this coming New Year has in store for me. But I am hopeful that I am strong enough to handle another year of roller coaster rides. Bring it on!