About a week or two before Christmas I sat down to reflect on 2019 and the past decade. So much has changed. I entered the decade as a quiet and shy 14 year old. Now I’m leaving the decade almost closer to age 30 than age 20. This is crazy! I’m still that quiet and shy younger me, but I’ve learned an insane amount. Even in just this last year. I think the most important thing I did was put myself first. And not in a selfish way. Rather, tending to my physical and mental health first. Eating better, spending time with those who help me thrive. I’ve learned that if you truly take care of your well being first, everything else seems to work out. As I sat down to reflect on this past year, I wrote down the 19 things I learned in 2019, and I’m honored to be this open and share these life lessons with you.
19 Things I Learned in 2019:
- The answer is usually somewhere in the middle. This has been one of the hardest lessons to grasp. Not everything has to be black and white. One way or the other. Oftentimes, you can find a really good answer to a problem.. somewhere in the middle.
- What someone says about you says more about them than it says about you. Self explanatory. I was bullied most of my grade school and high school days. It used to get to me, to the point of stomachaches and acid reflux from too much stress. Now that I’m older, I feel sad for those who cannot say nice things, rather than sad or anxious for me. I offer my empathy. I reflect on the life I live, and it’s a life that fills me up so full. The only reason I can think that people can have so much hate in their heart, is because they are lacking the type of love they need. I wish only that they find this one day.
- Write down to-do lists and 3 things you are thankful for, everyday. Organizing is my thing. I’ll hand write my groceries lists before I ever choose to try and type it out in my phone. Physically writing down things to do holds me accountable and keeps me more organized. Writing out 3 things I’m thankful for each day, goes back to #2. It offers an insight on all the things that fill my life so full of happiness.
- If you’re the smartest person in the room, move to a different room. I’ve seen this throughout the years but it was 2019 in particular that this resonated with me. This year I discovered a creativity in me than I never knew I had. I owe this to the environment and the people I surround myself with. Reading books helps, too.
- Say no when you need to. I’ve always been afraid of letting people down. Losing friendships. Not this year. Remember, your well being comes first.
- Life is a series of peaks and valleys. Do not get discouraged. I’ve learned some of my TOUGHEST life lessons from the most painful events in my life. Embrace the lows as much as the highs.
- Wake up earlier to be successful. As I’m writing this, I’ve already worked out, ate breakfast, took a shower and got ready, did laundry, made the bed, walked Myla, sent out several emails, wrote two blog posts… and it’s not even noon. Trust me on this one.
- Transcendental Meditation (TM) will change your life. Yes, I meditate. Yes, I think my exact words right before I started practicing TM were, “wow this seems a little like hocus pocus.” Yes, I was wrong. More on this later. It needs its own blog post. For now, I encourage you to do your research on it. Some of your favorite celebrities practice TM. One of my favorite articles on TM and Russell Brand’s take on it is linked here.
- Wear sunscreen. Everyday. For roughly ten years (ironically the last decade, LOL!) I was an avid sunbather. Outside, everyday in the summer. A few times a week in the tanning beds during the winter. My brain must have developed significantly over the last few years because I would never again! BAD IDEA. Wrinkles. Skin Cancer. It’s all horrible. Now I mainly apply sunscreen to my face, scalp, and hands.
- Never say sorry for the way you feel. We all come from different walks of life. We all have different perspectives on life. It can be frustrating. I’ve experienced it first hand. But we can’t ALL have the same perspectives and feelings. That would be weird. Stand strong for your feelings.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. My dad says this one to me all the time. Read it over a few times. You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s how we learn lessons! We may think we know (thank you ego) but how can we know something that we don’t know yet? I’m telling ya, eye opening.
- Your rest is just as important as your work. Another reminder for self care. Rest when you need to.
- Empathy goes a long way. You never know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
- Surround yourself with people who make you belly laugh. I’ve sought out these types of people my whole life! It’s like another form of self care. I don’t know how I can tell, but I feel that I’ve spent more time laughing this year than any year previous. And I love it!
- Authenticity is the best policy. You’ll be seen as more reliable. People can trust you. Also, you know that anyone or anything around you is there for the real you.
- Always tell your people you love them. Of course, I’ve always know this. I just made it a concrete, routine habit in 2019. Always ending a conversation or meeting on a positive note.
- Never stop dating your significant other. This love I have with my boyfriend is something I always dreamed of. And of course, it fell in my lap when I was least expecting it! I would never, ever want him to feel anything other than deep, true, beautiful love.
- Drop the ego. I work in customer service during my day job. These clients are some of the most difficult I’ve ever encountered. I’m also young and… I don’t know what I don’t know! There are also people in my personal life I’ve interacted with who are so unpleasant they don’t even know they have an ego. All of these scenarios have become easier to manage and let roll off my back simply by dropping my own ego. Lose the battle to win the war, as my dad always says.
- Whatever it is that you fear, do that. I’ll leave you with this. Take that first jump into whatever it is you’ve been afraid to try! I once read that most companies in Silicon Valley won’t even think think twice about hiring someone if they haven’t filed bankruptcy at least once. It shows they’ve failed, learned, and had the confidence to try again. Don’t be afraid to fail! …or succeed.
Now onto the next! Here’s to 2020.