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End of The Year

Creating Goals for 2023

Every year I talk about the lessons from the year, but I rarely if ever write about what I want out of next year and how to make goals for yourself.

Something I learned this year from a few different people off Tik Tok, is that we can’t go straight to climbing Mount Everest. We have to start small and take baby steps in order to stay consistent and achieve the climb. For some people, consistency looks different every day as well. The goal may be achieved but the way it is done is different than the day before. Our goals have to be realistic to ourselves and our lifestyles.

I’m impatient, so consistency and baby steps are hard for me. This year was proof though that completing parts of something or doing it here and there is better than nothing at all. This year I got closer to my salary goals by increasing my pay rate through each job. I started exercising again, averaging twice a week- even though that wasn’t my original goal. I attended a music event and left the state once, which I though wasn’t going to happen at all. I’ve spent some time with friends both with and without my daughter. I stopped journaling and couldn’t pick up meditating, which are two things I wanted to be consistent with. I also didn’t read as many books as I hoped to, nor have I written as much.

Next year, my goals will build upon the goals I set for last year. Some will need some tweaking to be achievable. Some goals will be new. I like to have to goals for different areas of my life. It is also something my life coach/therapist has encouraged me to do. Making goals in this way makes you make certain aspects of your life a priority. I was tasked with making goals for myself, for my career, and for my daughter. What areas of your life are you focusing on?

If you want to make resolutions for the new year, but have trouble with where to begin, you can start by looking at the big picture. For example, I have goals of making writing a bigger priority. After having this thought, to make it achievable, I need to break it down into smaller tasks. I can do this by posting more. You also need to be specific. How often is more? I can do this by posting once a week. The idea is daunting since I rarely post once a month. So maybe I change it to twice a month on the same day at the same time. This is a baby step, and once I can do this, I can up the stakes to make it a weekly task.

Being specific, being realistic, and taking action is key to achieving your goals and New Year resolutions. This falls in line with manifestation. To manifest anything, you have to be specific enough about what you’re looking for, really believe you can have it, and make steps for making it possible. You cannot meet someone new if you don’t put yourself out there or open yourself up to receive it. You cannot read note if you don’t pick up a book.

2023 feels like it’s going to be a great year. I hope it will be for me and you. Let’s work on making 2023 a great year.

Categories
End of The Year Self Love and Personal Growth

Lessons from 2022

It’s nearing the end of the year. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I always use this time to think back on what the year was like for me and what I want out of the upcoming year.

2022 is the year my baby turned into a toddler. It’s the year I really accepted and embraced that living in Vegas and the freedom before motherhood is in the past. It’s the year I started therapy. It’s the year I’ve made steps to learn what I want out life. It’s the year I’ve made steps to learn what I no longer want to tolerate in my life. Here’s what this year has taught me so far.

Most People are Selfish

Because everyone is living their own individual life. Some people take their selfishnesses too far. Some people aren’t selfish enough. However, most people do things to serve their own interest. There’s nothing wrong with that because we are the only ones living our individual lives. The problem lies in how selfishness affects our actions and the way we treat other people.

Everyone Values Different Things

Seems obvious, but encountering this in our lives can be jarring. Some people value money, some family, some sleep, some wellness, some justice, some religious beliefs etc. Everyone values different things and that can tell you what they prioritize and explain why someone is the way they are. It can explain why people are willing to overlook certain characteristics or situations. Our values in comparison with another’s can be the reason we don’t get along with someone else. Our values and beliefs ultimately affect the bubble we find ourselves in and the media we consume. These values form when we are growing up from our family, caretakers, and society. They adjust as we get older and see the world for ourselves. They can change over time as our perspective changes.

Therapy and Growth is Uncomfortable

This year I started therapy/coaching and baabbyy. I never understood until this process why people say it can be uncomfortable and lonely. It’s made me notice patterns in my life. It’s forced me to understand my anxiety and my habits. It’s caused me to consider the people who are in my life and if I still want them there. Therapy has helped me be honest with myself. Therapy has helped me think about what I want and don’t want out of life. Therapy has helped me find ways to cope and embrace the way I am changing. It is not for everyone, but therapy only works to the level you are working it. You have to be honest and vulnerable in order to make breakthroughs, even if it is not right away.

Ego Can Get in the Way

An unhealthy ego can stop you from taking accountability. It can prevent you from communicating issues with people you care(d) about. An unhealthy ego causes you to be too selfish. It makes you over confident. It keeps you connected to people you no longer have an interest in or who no longer have an interest in you.

An unhealthy ego stops you from asking for help when you need it. It affects how vulnerable and prideful you are. An unhealthy ego gets in the way. We all have shadow sides. We all have egos. But not all of us recognize or can healthily navigate that side of ourselves. No one is perfect and even someone who is aware of their shadow side will still have moments when their shadow side takes the lead. Being self aware and learning that part of yourself can improve your life.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Imposter syndrome is so real. An inflated ego is so real. We all have characteristics we can work on and those we can thrive in. Know both sides of yourself. Your strengths can propel you to be who you want to be. Your weaknesses can teach you ways to heal yourself and then be turned into a strength.

Childhood and Generational Trauma

Everything is cyclical. How we were treated when we were young has a strong effect on who we become. Trauma does not always have to be a severe situation and the situation doesn’t have to occur to you directly for it to traumatize you. It is any jarring event that has happened to you or around you that has a lasting impact.

The interactions with our family lead to how we interact with other people. How our caretakers love us is how we love other people. That’s why part of parenting is leading by example. A common example of this is the transition of an adult who was spanked as a kid who doesn’t spank their kids because it led them to being fearful and unable to express emotions effectively. Childhood affects our inner child and can let us know how to help our inner child feel seen.

There are also studies that trauma lives in our DNA and this can be passed through generations. Hence generational trauma. There’s also the fact that we sometimes repeat the situations of those who raise us. The things our caretakers focused on when we were children we may inadvertently focus on when we have children. Because as we grow up, I feel like we either subconsciously become like our parents and caretakers or we make sure we’re the complete opposite of them.

Letting Go

I say this often. And every year I always forget. It is okay to let go of people and any environment or situation that no longer serves you. It is okay to let go of what something used to be. I’m not talking about not holding a grudge. I don’t think everyone and every situation deserves forgiveness. I mean, relationships, situations, our feelings, others feelings, they all change and that’s okay. Sometimes we miss what was and want to hold on to them. Sometimes letting go and letting things be, is for the best. It would be nice to be able to control everything. I have anxiety, trust me I know. It’s just not how life works. We have to let go.

Believing in Yourself & The Power of Manifestation

We can do what we believe we can. There’s nuance to this, such as financial means. These nuances can motivate us or limit what we can do. However, we can talk ourselves out of what we want, something attainable to our situation, by thinking we don’t deserve it, don’t want it, or can’t achieve it. You have to believe in yourself.

This leads to the power of manifestation. I believe words are powerful and manifesting is possible. You can have what you truly want by knowing and saying what it is, believing that you can have it, and taking steps towards achieving it.

Are the Vibes Right?

I believe that everything, including people, give off a level of energy. I believe thats why babies and animals are immediately drawn to or dislike certain people. It’s why you can feel a shift in the room when certain people walk in. Our bodies can pick up on other people’s energy towards us before our mind does. So if you every feel off and wonder why, ask yourself first if the vibes are right?

Pain is Painful

Pain is painful. Having a disease that causes chronic pain is numbing because we try not to focus on it. It affects our mood and temperament because our nerves are already suffering. It drains our energy because on top of the day to day, we’re trying to be patient and not focus on the pain. Our physical body is also being affected and trying to heal itself. Pain has altered my perspective. I have experienced being in a wheelchair and seeing how the world, at least in the US, doesn’t make inclusion a priority. I see the privilege of having perfect attendance. I realize how often I mask because admitting how much pain I’m in changes little. It makes me cherish and appreciative of the good days. Because you don’t realize how much you walk or sit until it hurts to do that.

Even if They Want To, They Might Not

I don’t like the phrase “if they wanted to, the would.” (If I said it before in a post, please disregard as I no longer feel like this). How many times have you said you wanted something, but made no effort towards achieving it? Or made a little effort but not enough to achieve it?

Sometimes people want something and go after it. Sometimes people say they are interested in having you in their life, but don’t meant it at all. However, we are all grown. We all have things going on. As someone who is in consistent pain, has a child, and has anxiety, I don’t always do what I want to do. I don’t have the energy or space to be present and put in the effort for others the way I wish I could be. I acknowledge that’s something I need to work on.

I also think “if they wanted to they would,” comes from a place of privilege. You also have to be able to acknowledge when they make effort, even if it isn’t in the way you want. (Like texting versus calling, interacting with your posts, sending letters versus doing nothing, supporting you). No one has to have patience with you and they’re allowed to want more. Still, people who truly care and have the space for inconsistency, will.

Use Your Sick and Vacation Hours

Your position will be up for replacement when you leave, even if you aren’t replaceable. Your managers might care about you, if you have that type of relationship, but they will create a paper trail and fire you without notice. Your job will rely on you to pick up the slack and do more work without raising your pay. They’ll knowingly or unknowingly take advantage of you. And in my case, they’ll try to get you to stay, then tell your new prospect not to hire you.

I say all this to say, use your sick and vacation hours. Don’t work for free. Try not to go above and beyond- just do what’s required. If you can help, don’t work for less than you deserve.

Personalities Changes Over Time

I was listening to the “Feel in the Blank” podcast and they were doing their personality tests. They pointed out that our personalities change over time. I used to think we change overtime, but our personalities stay the same which doesn’t make sense. Our personalities adapt to our environment and change the more we discover who we are. The same is true for other people. I’ve gone through periods where I was more extroverted and times where I was less direct. How has your personality changed?

Vulnerability is Hard

I feel like I’m on open book, but I don’t open up unless someone else leads in turning the pages. Like if someone asks, I’ll answer, but I’m not vulnerable enough to start the conversations. Vulnerability is something I have always struggled with because it’s hard to open yourself up to disappointment. It’s something I am still working on.

Speak Up

In your relationships, it is important to speak up if something is bothering you- if the relationship is worth saving. At your work environment, it is important to speak up if something isn’t serving you. If nothing changes, you can’t say it isn’t for lack of trying.

Intentions Matter

Someone’s intentions do not always negate their actions, but intentions do matter. If you’re unsure about anything really, speak up and communicate how you perceived it. Making assumptions is in my top three pet peeves. The best way to avoid assumptions is clear communication.

In 2022, I had covid twice. I’ve had numerous flare ups from my autoimmune disease. Ive had health scares. I’ve sobbed. I’ve laughed. I’ve connected with great people. I’ve listened to new music and discovered my interest in podcasts. I started therapy. I got a new job that paid more and taught me something new. I experienced a new year of parenting. I wasn’t sure what to expect in 2022 but I am genuinely excited for what 2023 will bring.

Categories
End of The Year Food For Thought My Life Self Love and Personal Growth

2021 lessons

In 2021, I celebrated my 2020 wins. I really graduated from college. I really gave birth. I really moved states, back into my childhood home. I really started a new phase of my life.

I spent 2021 raising a newborn for the first time. In 2021, I recovered from childbirth and surgery. I can admit now that I went in and out of postpartum depression. I watched my baby grow and celebrated her first birthday. I started working again for the first time in a year, going back to a company I was working for for years. I then quit said company months later. Then, I started a new full time position elsewhere and was recently told that I am getting promoted. I was hesitant about getting vaccinated, then got vaccinated, then helped out with covid vaccination clinics. I recently got my booster shot. I saw movies in the theater for the first time in a year. I saw family and friends for the first time in (a) year(s).

2021, like every year, had its own ups and downs. I managed to meet some of the goals I set and that is worth celebrating. Every year, I have takeaways. In the last days and beginning of the year, I always reflect. These are the lessons I learned or relearned in 2021.

Be flexible

It’s beneficial to have a plan but some things happen out of the blue, regardless of prior planning. It’s just as important to be able to adjust to what life brings as it is to stick to your plans. Also, some deadlines or goals are unrealistic from the start. Sometimes we need more time. Sometimes a goal that was once achievable suddenly won’t be because of new information or life events. Release tight control on how you want things to go. Sometimes those unplanned moments can lead to something bigger and better.

Be realistic

You can do almost anything you set your mind to. Go after what you want. But also, figure out if what you want is realistic for your life. Make sure your desires are workable and not a fantasy. If they are out of reach, make adjustments to make it realistic if it is actually what you are willing to work for. Please note: it is easier to stick to a goal when you are specific, hold yourself accountable daily, and qualify it. In a way, this goes hand in hand with being flexible. It wasn’t until halfway through the year that I realized some of my goals weren’t realistic. Some of this was due to my recovery from surgery, or because of covid and my desire to be extra careful for my daughter, or because of work, or because I simply didn’t want it anymore. Coming to terms with the fact that not all of our goals are realistic is a part of life. It can actually encourage our growth and steer us in the direction of something that is actually attainable.

To do lists are helpful

Writing things down not only can remind you a task needs completing. For me, it seals the desire to do it. It’s a tangible list of what my plans are. Whether it is for a day, a week, a month, to do lists help me manage my time and encourage me to complete what I have in mind. Crossing of an item, no matter how simple, releases some serotonin.

The US is systematically flawed

If you know you know. If you don’t, I won’t be the person to convince you otherwise.

Parenting is a whirlwind

Parenting is different than I thought it would be-not in a bad way. I’ve talked about motherhood in different posts. My biggest takeaway so far is that there is no right way to parent. And as parents, no matter how much we research, we make it all up as we go along. Parenting is a different type of unconditional love. Parenting provides a new perspective for everything.

Forgiveness doesn’t have to lead to anything more

Forgiving a person for harming you is not even necessary or realistic all of the time. I believe you can heal and move on without forgiveness. Maybe one day I’ll feel differently. That being said, you can also forgive someone for what they’ve done to you, without rebuilding or reconnecting with them. People can apologize and you can accept it, but it doesn’t change what has happened. Trust doesn’t automatically restore forgiveness. You can forgive and still be done with them. I did.

All relationships take mutual effort

Relationships are give and take. And when a problem arises, it is not up to only one person to fix it, no matter who is at fault. The effort may not always be equal because our lives demand different things. However, both people should be trying to some extent.

Every relationship is different

I mention this in a separate post too. It touches on the fact that we can know the same people, but have a different view or relationship with them than the with another person, and that is okay. It also means someone being kind to you doesn’t mean they aren’t horrible to someone else.

Meet people where they are

People are who they are. Sometimes they change. Sometimes they don’t. We can’t rely on who we want them to be. We can’t rely on who we think they will be. They are who they are. If we want more out of them, it is up to us to confront them. If they don’t change, it is up to us to accept them and the relationship for what it is, or to move on. We can only control ourselves.

Balance is hard

Being a full time parent and a full time employee has taught me that balance is hard and time moves fast. It’s difficult to find the balance between commuting and working, spending time with my kid and my family, making time for friends, making time for myself and my hobbies, eating, exercising, cleaning, and relaxing. Balance is important. It is also hard. I hope to get a better handle on it in 2022.

Not everything is an excuse

Balancing is hard. Time moves quickly when there is a lot going on. Someone saying they don’t have time is not always an “excuse.” Just because you “have time” or “make the time” doesn’t mean someone else has to as well. I’ve always hated the word excuse anyways, because the word excuse is subjective in nature. A reason to me can be an excuse to you and vice versa. The difference between a reason and an excuse, in a broad sense, is someone validating whether it is a good or bad reason. When it solely involves ourselves, we are the only ones who can truly decide, if our justification is a reason or an excuse.

Overworking (grinding) is not always good

Please rest. Please plan to take a break and to sleep and reset if you can. It’s important. There are health benefits.

People project a lot

I’m pretty sure I mentioned this in last year’s end of the year post too, but people project more than I thought. A singular sentence can be thrown out there and people will come up with different conclusions because they are projecting their life experience on it. Please note: some of those experiences are rooted in objective truths- because of things like racism and misogyny and how that impacts every system put into place. Sometimes though, their projection has no merit in the reality because everyone lives different lives. I don’t have to put up with something just because you do and vice versa. You don’t have to approve of some else’s life choices for them to live the life they do. Not referring to politics or laws, not everyone will feel the same way about topics that you do, and it is unfair to project your values and thoughts on to them.

Mindset affects reality

I kind of hate this saying, but it’s true. Your thoughts can shape your reality. Life is hard and it can be hard to control your thoughts. Intrusive thoughts exist. However being negative all the time, even if the situation is negative, will make things worse. This isn’t to say you should always see the brighter side of things either. But again, balance and moderation is important.

Be intentional with your time

Even if what you’re trying to do is waste time, that is still intentional. Life speeds by and you never know what’s going to happen and when. It was a 2021 goal of mine and it led to me being more present.

There is nuance to everything

Most subjects are multidimensional. There are layers to things and in order to have a full understanding, you have to acknowledge and understand each layer. The easiest way for me to explain this would be to compare it to intersectionality. As women, life is different than men’s. But as a black woman, it’s really different than a man’s experience. Different factors influence people’s choices and realities. That’s why some situations may not always be as it is seen on the surface.

2022 is here!

2021 went by so fast; it didn’t even feel like holiday season. 2022 has started and it has already been interesting to say the least. Here’s to hoping that this year will be an improvement from the last. Here’s to the future!

Categories
My Life Self Love and Personal Growth

Obligatory End of the Year Post

Time is an illusion, but the start of a new year can be symbolic if you choose to let it be. What better day to draft my last post of the year than on December 21st, the start of the Winter Solstice. This time period can be thought of as the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. If you enjoy this sort of symbolism, it is a good time to reflect on the past year and set groundwork for the next one.

Ah, 2020. Where to even begin. It feels like the first year where everyone around the world was simultaneously forced to slow down, look around, and reset. Some countries fought this harder than others. 2020 in the United States was a mess for various reasons including Covid, Trump, and the presidential election. Many admirable people, both in and out of the limelight, that will have a lasting impact, have died. Everyday life for people changed in one way or another. This paradoxical year has both flown by and been the longest year, at least of my life. so far.

In 2020, we started a new decade. I achieved some of the goals, big and small, that I set for myself the previous year. I got promoted at my job. I finished my last college course and received my college diploma. I got pregnant and moved back to my hometown. I am lucky to have turned 23 and still be surviving a pandemic.

Reflecting on the year, a lot happened but it also feels like not much did at all. Some of the lessons from 2020 I have taken away are reminders from 2019. Some have been expanded upon. Here’s a few of them.

Be Thankful

If you don’t already, you should take more time to be thankful for what you have. I said the same thing in 2019. It’s something to be more conscious of. The parts of life that stress us tend to need our attention. Because of this, it is normal and easy to get caught up in the stressors of life. It is important, though, to actively recognize what we have going for us, especially this year, amidst so much tragedy. This does not mean our lives are perfect. This does not mean there are not problems that need fixing or uncontrollable situations that have or will knock us down. This is not promoting toxic positivity. It is just a reminder that chances are you or I have something someone else wishes for. It is a reminder not to take things for granted.

Toxic Positivity is Bad

Pretending like things are okay when they aren’t will leave you worse off than accepting you are upset. It is okay not to be positive all of the time. It is okay to say something is shitty if it is. Life is all about balance. Sometimes we just need to cry it out and dwell in our sadness. Sometimes we need to stew in our anger before we forgive, if we even decide to forgive. We feel what we feel and that’s human. (How we react may not be justifiable though.) Don’t force yourself to put on a show nor let anyone make you feel as though you’re complaining when you’re expressing how you feel.

Two Things Can Coexist

We are so used to viewing things in labels and boxes. Often times, concepts are explained or understood as this or that. An example that I grew up with is the idea that evolution and God are conflicting theories. Now some things innately have a line drawn in the sand. How can you be pro-life but believe in the death penalty? Those two ideas are conflicting since the death penalty takes away life.

However, I would argue that lots of concepts are not so easily conflicting. Covid spreading in the US can be the result of both government incompetence and human selfishness. If you believe in God, God could have been the designer of evolution. You can hate capitalism and still contribute to it. You can agree the political system needs to change and still vote. Etcetera, etcetera. Life is simple and complex, depending on how you look at it. Not everything is simple enough to be knocked into boxes when concepts can be a spectrum and/or situational and/or dependent on your own ethics and values. This is proved by the spectrum of sexuality, the ethics behind the trolley problem, and the age old question “Is it wrong to break into someone’s house for food? What if it’s to feed your starving family?”

Perspective Matters- One Size Does Not Fit All

I like to think there is the absolute truth and then there are the perspectives of the people involved. Sometimes, those perspectives line up with the truth. One person or both people can be completely off. Both can align with the truth to an extent. One (or both if they agree) can be completely right. We have a tendency to twist the words and situations of other people and project our own insecurities, experiences, and assumptions onto them. Sometimes we are right. Sometimes we aren’t. Some of the time, our judgements do not matter.

Since two things can coexist, one size does not fit all. Perspective and intentions matter. “Money does not buy happiness” can mean that money won’t solve all your problems and instantly make you happy. At the same time, having money will mean no more of your concerns will come from a lack of money. Your current problems would be solved and you’d be happy. Your viewpoint and objectivity will determine which way you view the statement.

Say What You Need to Say

I am a big believer that it is important to get what you need to say off your chest. I feel like every year at least one post mentions communication. As I get older, I have come to see the importance of clear communication. I have learned to sit on my feelings and thoughts about a situation and communicate them if they continue to affect me. Whether it is a good or bad thing is subjective, but I always feel better after I say what it is I need to, whether positive or negative, whether it is received and received well or not. Whatever happens after that happens and it is important to be willing to accept and deal with the consequences of your words. If you’re not willing to, you shouldn’t say it.

Speaking up reinforces the idea that your feelings matter. It can clear up any confusion. It shows you parts of who the other party involved is. Just remember, other people’s feelings matter too. If they express discomfort with your words or tone, consider shifting your approach if you want to salvage the relationship.

People Come and Go

I used to be a pact person. I attached myself to people and, in doing so, subconsciously refused to be comfortable with and learn more about myself. In college, I went on a journey of self discovery and slowly grew out of the need to unhealthily attach myself to others. The mindset did have residual affects though.

It seems like a lesson I would’ve learned by now, but not everyone you encounter will or is meant to stay in your life forever. Social media makes it hard to forget that people come and go and that’s natural. Friendships begin, end, or become distant with time. Acquaintances and past coworkers move on with their lives, as do you, when the common denominator changes. In some ways, that is a blessing.

That’s not to say some relationships won’t be long or even lifelong. I’m still friends with people I met eleven years ago, in middle and high school. My dad is still friends with people he met in middle school. My mom still talks with her college friends often. I believe I have met and will continue to meet people for a reason, but not all of them are and will be meant to stay.

Boundaries are Necessary

Establishing healthy boundaries with people is a necessity. Knowing what lines you don’t want crossed and what lines not to cross can prevent a lot of arguments. It helps everyone involved feel comfortable and respected and be on the same page. Learn what your boundaries are. and then stick with them. Some of them form with time. Some are specific to certain people or situations. A boundary could be not lending any more money to a person who keeps asking. It could be not being available all the time. It could be not allowing someone to talk to or treat you a certain way. It could be ignoring work calls when you’re off the clock. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for making those boundaries. Don’t let anyone guilt you into allowing them to cross those boundaries. Don’t let them make you feel bad for enforcing those boundaries.

Anxiety Can Be Manageable

My anxiety became a little more constant at the end of the year with my unexpected pregnancy and all of its symptoms, Covid, the shutdown and decline of the hospitality industry (my major), and the bubble that comes with social distancing. With anxiety it can be second nature to have a spiral of thoughts that lead to a wave of fear and worry. I talked to a mental health coach, courtesy of my job benefits, and learned the root of where my anxiety comes from: the unknown of the future and not being or feeling in control.

She taught me to actively be aware of and change my thoughts when I felt overwhelmed. We discussed ways to cut off the spiraling thoughts and shift directions by literally doing something else instead. She helped me see that, like with concepts, with myself and my life, it doesn’t have to be this or that, all or nothing. You can start working on parts of a goal without finishing the whole thing in one sitting. Having a few setbacks doesn’t mean everything is going to shit. Your projects don’t have to be 100% perfect to be shared, especially on the first go around.

Most importantly, she helped me realize I need to be more aware of and live in the present. Worrying about the future, though seemingly natural to me, does nothing. Doing so is based off of assumptions, not absolute truth or reality. It wastes time and energy and forces you to live through a situation twice if it happens to come to fruition. Accepting and releasing fear, accepting whatever comes, knowing I’m equipped enough to handle it, and believing everything will work out in my favor are all things I’ve been and will continue to work on.

We’re All Different

Not everyone will treat situations the same as you. Not everyone will treat you the way you would treat them. Releasing the expectation that people will handle things the same way you do makes life easier and will help prevent the feeling of betrayal.

Also, the fact that we’re all different plays into the subjectivity of situations. Some people are content to be in the situations they are in. Just because you say you wouldn’t be or want to be in that situation doesn’t mean a) you won’t ever be there and b) that person is unhappy in that situation. We all need to work on not projecting, assuming we’re always right, and being judgey of others.

Final Thoughts

A few more things to leave you with before I end the last post of 2020.

1. Clean up your social media, especially by unfollowing celebrities. It can help your mindset. Also set app limits.

2. Set goals for the new year. It’ll help you get an idea of how you want the year to go.

3. Celebrate your wins. It’s not bragging as long as you watch your tone. You really accomplished that, possibly in a pandemic. It’s worth celebrating.

4. People’s opinions really don’t matter. It can feel like they do but they only hold as much power as you give them. At the end of the day, it’s your life. If you’re cool with it and it’s not offensive or hurting anyone, including yourself, do and say what you want.

5. People can make it seem like you are different than you are to others. This is on a case by case basis and you have to be able to accurately hold yourself accountable to discern appropriately. Still, sometimes people will paint you in a different light than you actually are in. Sometimes, it’s to make themselves feel better about how they acted or treated you. Sometimes, there’s confusion on intentions and wires get crossed. Sometimes, they’re just assholes who want to feel like the victim because they can’t take responsibility for their actions.

6. What you accept is not always what you think you deserve. It can simply be what you want or are willing to handle. It can be a reflection of your subconscious thoughts and fears. After self-reflection, I realized I accepted less than I deserved because it was what I wanted at the time, even though I claimed, to others and myself, to want something more or something different. I knew I deserved and could have better. People would tell me that to reinforce it. But I didn’t actually want better or more. It served its purpose until it didn’t. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, that depends on your perspective. To me, it just is.

7. Allow yourself to be unproductive without feeling guilty. Productivity is a product of capitalism. You don’t always have to be doing something related to work, money, or your goals. Chill out and relax whenever you can and want to.

8. If you have any regrets, let them go and forgive yourself. You wouldn’t be who you are or where you are without all of your experiences. You might say that’s the point of your regret, but regret won’t change anything. Accept what’s happened, show yourself grace, and make movements forward.

A lot can change in a year. A lot has changed for me this year. Securing my college degree was the end of a cycle. Giving birth by the start of the new year will be another one. What are the chances life would align symbolically for me like that?

I recommend you reflect back on the year and take note of how you and your life has changed. I would avoid going into the new year with unrealistic or pessimistic expectations of how it’ll go. Don’t assume it’ll be as taxing as 2020 (don’t speak that into existence), but don’t think everything will return to the way it was (because it won’t). Set your desires for the year, and then just live day by day. You never know what’ll happen.

Categories
Food For Thought Self Love and Personal Growth

2020, we’re ready for you

2019 is coming to a close, which will mark the beginning of a new decade. I started the decade as a 13 year old middle schooler and I am ending it at 22 years old, with one class left in college. I, as we all, have experienced and learned so much that has impacted who I am today, and who I will be in the future. What better way to acknowledge this milestone than writing a blog post on the lessons I’ve learned from the year (and even the decade) in no particular order?

Lesson 1: Self-Love is the best love

The takeaway from this is to love yourself. Critique yourself because loving yourself is more than high self-esteem. Accept yourself because otherwise you end up diminishing yourself. Vow to improve yourself because you deserve to live the best life you can. Allow yourself to experience, grow, and change with life. Stop settling for less and allowing for what you do not deserve. Work hard to achieve your goals without overdoing it. Treat yourself with the same level of respect and love you would treat the people who are important in your life.

Lesson 2: Just Do It

 Some things are as simple as starting it. Reading one page can turn into a chapter. Doing one squat can turn into thirty. The only way to make a habit or even work towards your goals is to simply do what you can, no matter how small the first step may seem. 

Lesson 3: Change can be a good thing

I moved from California to Nevada to go to college. I was scared to move. I was nervous to get a new job and learn the ropes that came with working there. When I decided it was time for me to move on, I was unwilling to quit and find a new job even though I was no longer satisfied with what that job offered me. It seemed futile to have serious conversations with friends that I knew would lead to conflict, which tends to lead to change. I was nervous to join or try something new. My point is that change is scary. Deciding and accepting that something no longer benefits you is difficult. Going from something familiar to something unfamiliar can seem like a waste. It might make you wonder why change what is not broken. However, every change I have made in my life has improved me for the better, even if at the time it does not seem like it. You cannot grow if you stick to what you know. And if in the past year, (especially in the past ten years, you cannot say that you have changed or have made some sort of change in your life, it is time for you to self reflect and take some risks.

Lesson 4: Pick your battles and learn to walk away

Some things are worth fighting for. Some things are not. It is important to learn the difference between what is and what isn’t important in order to save yourself time and energy. Not everything you believe needs to be said out loud. Not every incorrect way of another needs to be corrected by you. Sometimes it is better to smile and keep it moving to protect your own peace.

Lesson 5: Honest communication is key

Communication is the most important lesson that I have learned. I used to be okay with getting walked  over if it meant I did not have to admit how it hurt. I used to let things go without realizing it still had an affect on my soul. I was under the impression that somehow, someone would know what I was thinking or what I felt, even if I failed to open my mouth. Communication is just as much talking as it is listening. Remember, no one knows what you don’t say. Communication can clear up misunderstandings and lead to a better understanding between both parties. Communicating the same point over and over again is redundant. If nothing changes after you communicate, then it is time to walk away from the situation. 

Lesson 6: It’s okay to be vulnerable

Being vulnerable is scary. It’s terrifying to put your thoughts and feelings out on the table without really knowing how someone else will react. Being vulnerable is eye opening. It is a way for people to validate your feelings and keep you grounded. It gives others the opportunity to see more of you, which can help others understand you. And at the end of the day, it feels good to open up and be vulnerable with others. It brings people closer together and it is a way to clear up what’s going on in your mind.

Lesson 7: Perspective matters

From my experience, the most understanding and empathetic people know how to look at a situation from different perspectives. Perspective is another reason why communication is important. Everyone has their own truth because everyone interprets things differently based on their unique background and experiences. Two people can tell you their side of an argument and be deemed correct in their own ways. Therefore, even if you have never experienced it for yourself, a situation may only make sense if you look at it outside of your worldview. 

Lesson 8: Balance all aspects in your life

Life is stressful, especially when we don’t use our time the way we would like or feel we should. If we don’t balance life’s offerings efficiently, it can feel like everything is falling apart. Balance looks different for everyone, so figuring out what a healthy balance of your activities looks like for you is vital. Do not be afraid to add more or take away from your plate. It is okay to share your plate with others, or give away what you do not like or cannot maintain to someone who is willing to accept it. Balancing naturally comes with placing priority among the different areas in your life. You get to decide what carries the most weight and is worth the most time in your life, whether its your hobbies, your family,  your friends, your career path, your love life, etc. Maintaining a healthy mind requires balancing your life. Balancing your life requires self examination.

Lesson 9: Don’t be fake positive 

It is okay to admit when things are going to shit. It is healthier to experience your emotions fully than pretend like everything is fine. Just because things are not okay now does not mean they will never be. It is okay to admit that things are hard right now, but know eventually they will get easier. Saying that you are unhappy, or that something sucks, doesn’t make you bitter, unless that is all you do. Don’t be fake positive and pretend like everything is all sunshine and rainbows when it clearly isn’t. It’s annoying.

Lesson 10: Take time to be grateful

Whether it is once a day, once a month, on holidays or special occasions, remember to take some time to appreciate what you have in your life. It can give you perspective and remind you to take a breather from the stressors of life.

 

Some other tips and lessons I have learned from the past couple of years include:

  • Journaling because writing down your thoughts can help you remember great moments and look at situations differently. It serves as a reminder to the amazing and the difficult days. Journaling is freeing.
  • Allowing yourself to feel your feelings because denying their existence does not make them go away. If anything, your emotions will just build up until the emotions are so overwhelming you explode.
  • Letting the past go because holding tightly onto it will affect your future and has the potential to hold you back.
  • Learning to say no because by being a yes man, you neglect your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It’s not enjoyable to do things you don’t want to do.
  • Self-reflecting is important! It can teach you about yourself, explaining why you do or react the way you do. It can help you find patterns in your actions or the actions of others. It can help you hold yourself accountable. It can help you set goals.
  • Everything happens for a reason. I am a believer in the universe and the interconnectedness of the world. Sometimes the reason for a situation occurring may not be philosophical or deep. It could simply be the result of your’s or someone else’s actions. However, most life events can teach you something about yourself, someone else, or the world if you look for it. Though it may not seem like it when you are going through it, later down the line you may be able to see why that situation occurred the way it did. You have to explore and self reflect about it though.

I enjoy symbolism and there is so much of it around the New Year, especially this year, with it being the start of a new decade. It feels like a new chapter. I used to hate New Year resolutions because I thought that they were pointless. In reality, they can help set the foundation for how you want to year to go. They can be used as benchmarks for what you want to accomplish.

Think about these past years and what you have learned, experienced, and enjoyed within them. Then, set your resolutions for the future year. This makes it easier to check in with yourself when the year is over.