As this is the last ever Monday of 2018, I found it fitting to sit down and reflect on my year. Actually, I was inspired to write this after seeing 5 or 6 bloggers do this very same thing on their IG stories today, but I like words just as much pictures, so I am writing about it too.
While sitting here thinking about my year, a few words come to mind: change, hardships, confusion, and most of all…growth. 2018 has been a huge year of growth for me. I truly feel like I have grown into a pseudo-adult who kind of maybe has it figured out. Don’t get me wrong, I still turn soup into casserole, but we aren’t all perfect. I think ‘growth’ is the perfect word to describe my 2018 because it was something I was constantly doing. So, with my year of growth coming to close, let me share the things I have learned, and grown from, throughout the 2018 year.
Lesson #1: Some friends leave your life, and that’s okay.
Without getting too personal, this one was a big thing for me to learn this year. All throughout college (and high school for those still in it) we think that our friends will be our friends forever. This might be true for most of them, but maybe not all. There might be times where things are said, actions are had, and a friendship is just left strained and broken beyond repair. This year I found myself trying to fix, fix, bandage, and fix something that just. wasn’t. fixable. For months I tried to make things work and for months, I was the one that continued to get burned. So, while it took me awhile, this was a lesson that once learned, brought me so much peace. Don’t hang on to toxic relationships and people who don’t want you in their life. It will only make YOUR life harder.
Lesson #2: Change is inevitable, you better learn to roll with it.
From graduation, to moving, to changing my life’s plan, this year really taught me that CHANGE is going to happen whether you’re ready or not. I am not one to deal with change well to this hit me hard. I, unfortunately, had to learn the hard way that it is better to expect change and be able to handle it, than to deny it is happening and let it crush you when it happens. Be prepared to have things not work out, to have things happen that make you have to change your plans, and have one thing start one way but end another. Change is okay, and it’s good when you know how to deal with it.
Lesson #3: Post-grad life is the most difficult time you will face in your life so far, maybe invest in some tissues.
This post is becoming a real downer, but I promise, I hope it brings you some insight. This lesson was crucial for me and it took me about five months out of the year to learn. What I expected from post-grad life and what actually happened were two, totally different things. I was excited to be moving close to NYC, living with the cute blonde boy in our first place…it was all beautiful and magical in my mind. What actually happened though: complete opposite. I was broke, had no friends, and had no clue what I was doing with my life. I’d like to say I was strong, had a plan. and didn’t cry alone at my desk at least a couple of times while Lucas was at work, but that would be a lie. From the months of May-September I was lost. Confused. And didn’t have a clue. These five months were so hard, I was so sad, and I didn’t understand what I was doing with my life. But, this lesson leads me to the next because without lesson #3, I would have learned lesson #4.
Lesson #4: Things actually happen for a reason. You just might not know it at this moment.
Yep. That Pinterest quote is like, actually a thing IRL. I truly believe that everything that happened during the five toughest months of my life led me to where I am now. I believe that I was meant to not get hired as a teacher, I was meant to struggle when we first moved here, and that I was given the opportunities I have now for a reason. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but getting my job as a retail manager saved me. It was exactly what I needed when I desperately needed something. So, if you are in a moment of struggle, confusion, or loses, feel it. Experience it. It is all happening so something amazing can happen later. I promise.
Lesson #5: Break the big scary things down into smaller, more manageable parts.
Paying off your debt, buying things for your first place, planning a wedding. Don’t try and eat everything on your plate in one bite. You will choke and struggle to survive. Instead, break it down into smaller bites so you can chew and swallow a little easier. When you do this, you might actually find you enjoy your meal (what a metaphor this is becoming) a little more than you initially thought you would.
Lesson #6: Loving your job is more important than the paycheck you earn from it.
I cannot stress this enough. If you hate your job, you will hate your life. Knowing this helped me to avoid making a mistake I would have to live with for a year. I love my jobs, yes, both of them. I don’t make a lot of money doing them but that doesn’t even matter to me because I love my jobs. Really consider this before accepting a position or life path that might not make you happy every day. I might be a freak, but I love getting up early and teaching my students at 5AM and I love going to the store and working my a** off every time I go in. Do I look forward to my days off and student-no-shows? YES. Breaks are nice. But I am not always searching for my breaks, days off, and vacations. Working a job you love will help you live a life you love. If you aren’t currently happy in your job, what can you do to help you love it a little more?
Lesson #7: You don’t have to justify your life to anyone.
Let me say it again for the people in the back; you don’t have to justify your life to anyone. Not a single person. Your life it just that, yours. I live a life that I know not everyone in my family supports but I don’t let that bother me. I have made decisions in my life that I know for a fact, not everyone in my family enjoys but again, I am not justifying these things to them. Instead, I am working to remind them that I am happy with my life and that is all that should matter. You control your life and if you live it based on the opinions of others, it will never truly be yours.
This last year of my life has been one for the books. I have grown so much over the year and I am sure you have too. What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned? I hope this post has helped you reflect on your year and really given you an insight into mine.