2016 has been an incredible year. I’ve learned and grown more than any other year to date, but somehow it doesn’t feel like enough. I’m always pushing myself to work harder but that kind of pressure can become toxic. That’s why when I start to get down on myself for not doing enough, I like to reflect on what I’ve accomplished.
Reflection always puts me in a better mood. It helps me to relax and celebrate the things I’ve achieved so far. At the same time, it inspires me to keep going. One reason I like to keep journals is because it helps to sit down and read through my thoughts. It shows how much (or how little) I’ve grown mentally, emotionally, and financially.
I usually do a series of reflection posts, but this time I decided to compile a list of lessons I learned in 2016:
Love Changes Everything
I don’t know about anyone else, but I go from being completely annoyed to totally in love. It happens all the time without warning and it never gets old.
My Mother is a Person
This was hard to face, but once I realized my mother was a human with feelings, everything else made sense. I began to understand her in ways that I never cared to before and the two of us have now become friends.
Get Out of Your Feelings
I’ve always been selfish. It is what it is, but this year I truly came to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Everything is not worth stressing over. Just take a bath, have a nap, and get over it.
Exercise is Life
Why didn’t I discover this sooner? The adrenaline is addicting. I went from couch potato to exercising every day and studying to be a CPT. I’m fitter and stronger than ever and my body is incredible.
Meditation is Also Life
I think I already knew this, but this year I took it to another level. Meditation has opened up my thoughts and fears and allowed me to get to know myself. So many of the answers I was looking for were within me.
Know When to Say Yes and When to Say No
Some people will tell you to say yes all the time and others will tell you to say no all the time. I think it’s best to find out what you really want and do that. Of course, it’s great to push yourself, but you have to know when enough is enough.
Being Vulnerable Welcomes More Love
At the beginning of the year, I asked for empathy. I wanted to be more open and responsive to other people’s feelings because I knew my lack of consideration was hurting the people I loved. So I dove into my feelings and found myself crying A LOT. I went from being nonchalant to crying during movies (and Instagram posts). I cry like a pregnant woman and it’s ridiculous, but it’s also great because I feel more joy. I’m receptive to love on a much larger scale and that feels wonderful.
These are just some of the lessons that came out of hardships from this year. Not everything went the way that I thought it would, but I’m glad I didn’t give up. I pushed forward even when I felt like falling apart. I’m grateful for the growth and I know that 2017 will be bigger and better.