I remember thinking to myself, “Wow I cannot believe it’s 2015… sometimes I still catch myself writing 2010 as the date on papers!” after which I would quickly erase, frazzled at the idea that I would write 2010 on a university based paper. I did not expect to have such a whirlwind year filled with endless opportunity, possibility and dare I say, magic? The lessons I’ve learned have not only doubled as another year has gone by but have enriched my life tremendously. In truth, while the end of the year, New Years Eve in particular, is the perfect time to contemplate the year’s experiences, losses, and accomplishments, I thought I would sum them up for a particularly cheesy post. Tis the season for cliché’d lessons that have not only helped me but I am hoping these lessons will maybe help you as well! I am grateful for every single one of them.
- Sometimes it is okay to unplug. Sounds like a difficult task as we are constantly plugged into the “world around us”, we unknowingly reach for our phones as the newest push notification comes through, reminding us that its so and so’s birthday from Facebook, or that someone so graciously liked our Instagram photo from last night… We are so used to being plugged in but when do we even ever consider the idea of logging out? Shutting off our phones for a few hours to achieve some level of sanity? Give yourself a chance to unplug and collect your thoughts!
- Needing help is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether it be in school or in life, reaching out to people who love you and want the best for you is such a wonderful and relieving thing to be able to do. In all honesty, you might shy away from this in fear of not wanting to appear “weak” or “not responsible” and you may be scared of disappointing someone or the idea of what people might think of you but asking for help is one of the bravest tasks you will be able to accomplish and in the end you will not only be strong but you will truly thank yourself.
- The people you started 2015 with may not necessarily still be in your life at the end of this year but that is okay. Things are constantly evolving and circumstances change, if you truly think about it, there might be a multitude of reasons for why it just did not work out. Maybe you grew apart, maybe they ghosted you, maybe you guys just were not vibing in the same way and you broke up? Whatever it is, you should know that this person mattered to you and was apart of your life for a particular reason/time period and just be grateful for that and move on! The experience of that relationship will not be lost on you, perhaps you will continue to see a bit of that person in each of the people you meet in life, maybe you will be reminded of them through a particular song or nostalgic memory… either way, as cliché as this sounds… change is inevitable and you will adapt!
- In matters that feel like it can be considered “the end of the world”, you will always be okay.
- Be money smart (this is something I’m still working on) do you really need to spend all that $$ at V.V boutique?
- Be kind to those around you, a smile can go along way and maybe a compliment or two. Acknowledge that people might be going through the same (if not worse) experiences as you and by being kind, you can make someone feel at ease.
- Doing your eyebrows is a major key! Perhaps this one is more of a reminder then a lesson but whether you clean yours up with makeup, pluck them, tweeze/wax them or *if you were just blessed naturally with great eyebrows* acknowledging them in a daily routine should not go undone! The key to success is a great brow gel/set. I recommend either Milani (drugstore) or Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel if you are feeling kind of wild with your wallet.
- Procrastination is the worst thing ever. This is something that I have known and struggled with for years and a concept that I am still struggling with. Waiting till the last minute to do something is one of the most nerve-racking things ever! I am talking about last minute papers, presentations, speeches, etc. It makes the most simple things difficult, depending at how *good* at it you are, it can take a 88 (A+) that you COULD work towards by starting an assignment early to a low 70 (B) or maybe even LOWER (dare I say 50?). It makes you feel bad about yourself as you curse yourself at 4:32 AM, crying and yearning for a minute of sleep but not being able to get any because you fucked up by starting your assignment at 2AM. It is truly an illness. A trick I learned from my best friend (shout out to M) is CONVINCE yourself that your assignment is due a week or two earlier then it actually is. I remember thinking how stupid this was as M cut our dinner/hangout short as she “had an assignment that was due tomorrow” when in actuality it was due 2 weeks from that date. I have yet to try this idea but if it worked for her, it can work for me too!
- Watching a movie alone, going to dinner alone, etc., is not lame! This year I found that there is often a stigma attached to doing these things alone. It is as if people pity you when they see you out to lunch by yourself or at the movies by yourself. “How many people will be joining you Miss?” says the perky waitress as she fumbles with multiple menus. “Um… it’s actually just a table for one” I admit, rather sheepishly. “Oh…” she says as she takes the longest pause ever, with a noticeable flash of pity in her eyes, “…right this way.” It is actually quite freeing to see a movie by yourself, you are not bothered by noisy friends/siblings trying to ask you questions during the movie, you will not be judged/laughed at by whether or not you cry during movies like train-wreak, you can eat snacks as messy as you normally would at home. It is pretty cathartic.
10. Be spontaneous. It’s pretty easy to blame a lack of spontaneity on a hectic school or work schedule but for the moments that you are able to swing it, be spontaneous in what you choose to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon or the middle of Wednesday. Being spontaneous has enriched my year and created some of the best memories I could ever ask for.
11. You cannot control everything. It is very difficult to just sit back and watch as life becomes chaotic, things get out of your reach and your immediate control and you are rendered unable to do anything. Sometimes you just have to realize that some circumstances are beyond your own control and just let things work themselves out in life.
12. GET ORGANIZED. I cannot stress this one enough. Organization has truly helped me in 2015, just by always knowing what’s on the daily agenda, I have seen major improvements in not only my life but in my academic career.
13. This one might be a bit of a sappy cliché’d lesson/reminder but don’t ever forget about your dreams. A year or two ago, I had aspirations for a blog, I wanted to continue being a writer and I had all these plans/goals that I wrote down in a journal. Within those two years, I let my dream get lost in the shuffle, hindered by life’s experiences. I put my goals and aspirations on the back burner and let any thought of it dwindle away. I’m so happy that I have since then found my voice again through this blog and I’m excited to work on my dreams as I greet 2016.
14. Be true to yourself. I know this and many of the lessons in this post may be tired clichés, but hear me out. By remaining true to yourself and never allowing anyone to make you second guess yourself, you remain your best self; authentic, unique in every way. When you try to conform to society’s unfair expectations of what it means to be a woman or you focus way too much on your social media follow/follower ratio, you take away from who you are and the authenticity you radiate. Social media, truth be told, can be smokes and mirrors, a mirage in the desert as people only showcase their best selves. Try not to lose sight of who you are, what you know and just accept that the best version of yourself is the version that YOU create.
15. Last but not least, say YES. I was reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and it truly hit me, saying yes allows for a world of opportunity and a lifetime of experiences. You might be thinking, say yes to what? Say yes to possibility, allow yourself infinite chances to experience new things (in school, work, life) don’t shut them down just because you haven’t tried it before or might be scared of change. Saying Yes helped me start this blog, saying Yes helped me accomplish things I would not otherwise even dare attempt. So for 2016, say yes and reap in the rewards.
I hope you gained something from this post as I have. Happy New Year! I am wishing you all a blissful 2016 filled with good health, constant happiness and joy, unconditional love and the power to make all your dreams come true.