18 Things I Learned in 2018

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[Image description: Fireworks over a bridge]

 

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means your timelines are flooded with people talking about how they grew last year and are ready to be new people now, a week later. I’ve talked in the past about how I think most of us set ourselves up to fail this time of year by feeling like we *have to* radically overhaul who we are (am I cynical?). And lately, I’ve been thinking about why we feel the need to wait until January 1stto change.

All of that said, I’m a hypocrite and I’m going to share with you a few things I learned in 2018, if only to commemorate that time has in fact passed. Last year handed me my ass and left my wig on backwards. Upside down even. Take these bite sized lessons as you may, but don’t get bogged down into thinking you must reflect and create resolutions for the next 360 or so days, only to do it all again. Change as you need to and take care of yourself always.

  1. I don’t like being disrespected. I’m not sure people do, but I don’t take well to feeling like I’ve been wronged, and I’m rather quick to point it out. And that’s a strength.

 

  1. Don’t settle for something certain out of fear of the unknown. That uncertainty is uncomfortable but temporary and favorable to choosing something just because you already know what it is. I learned this through jobs but it’s definitely true for people and more. Uncertainty > mediocrity

 

  1. I care very deeply about other people’s feelings to the point that I’m holding off on cutting ties or confronting people just to protect folks from me. And who does that serve? (Editor’s note: no one)

 

  1. Being fully true to myself means sometimes doing things other people don’t support. That’s fine and that’s why we’re different people. But that also means knowing when to tune those folks out or let them go. People close to me recognize what is and isn’t their business.

 

  1. There are no set benchmarks. Up until this year I’d had a very straight and narrow timeline in life – I wasn’t a late bloomer to anything to learn this lesson sooner. That being said, I can’t put things I want off because they’re “too soon” compared to others, or beat myself up over things not happening as quickly for me as they might for other people. (A trend here is to stop comparing myself)

 

  1. A lot of – most of what we project onto others is indicative of how we see ourselves.

 

  1. Past hurt may never go away. But the pain can change form. It’ll never be “okay” to be done wrong and looking back may never become pleasant, but in time I’ve created new coping mechanisms.

 

  1. Joy is terrifying yet powerful. Before this year happiness was a fleeting thing – an emotion that passed like anything other. I’m happy now. There’s nothing I can do better. I learned happiness and perfection are opposites.

 

  1. Kittens are beautiful and mysterious. Puppies are little terrors and should not be bought on sale.

 

  1. Having pets is a weird time capsule. I wonder how many milestones these little babies will be there for. And it’s lovely coming home and having two creatures excited to see me.

 

  1. Like joy, love isn’t perfection. But when it’s right, it’s very right. What I always wanted is actually happening and makes me realize that I know what’s best for myself and I can manifest it.

 

  1. Breathing doesn’t make problems go away obviously, but learning how to breathe (yes, learning) makes things 100x smoother.

 

  1. I don’t have control over almost anything in my life. The stuff I have control over is very small and the real test is how well I handle things.

 

  1. A lot of the things I thought were personality traits or facts about myself were in fact symptoms of mental illness. I also do have flawed personality traits and they’re not going anywhere, as much as New Years culture may insist.

 

  1. I am worthy of the things that I want and need.

 

  1. Debt is wack and my spending habits are not as random as I may think. That being said though, learning to feel abundant and chiseling away at payments is a good feeling.

 

  1. I’m finally getting to a point of being sure of myself, at least for now.

 

  1. I need to dream more. Otherwise, what am I working towards? And yes, achieving dreams is work. But not bad work.

 

Which of these lessons resonated with you? Are there things you need to hold onto and practice a bit more? Although I think New Years is kind of a BS holiday (although my favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day and I will fight anyone who argues with me on that), it’s worth reflecting on where you are and if you’re happy.

 

P.S. If in the New Year, any of your goals focus on losing weight or limiting your diet in some way because you feel forced to, please please please know that’s the diet industry trying to make you think you’re imperfect so they can make money off of you.

 

Okay, ttfn.

 

Image from austin.curbed.com via Google Images

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