2016 and its life lessons

2016 is quickly coming to an end and as the days count down to the new year, I think everyone finds themselves reflecting on the previous years – the good, the bad, and the ugly. For me, 2016 was a year that was filled with heartbreak but a lot of personal growth and professional moves. Here are some of the things I did and learned in 2016.

Quit my job for a career

One of the biggest moves I made was quitting my job in retail (that was paying my bills) to start a career in my field of study, journalism. For a few months I battled with whether I should drop everything for an opportunity that many not pan out but I took the risk because I felt that I wouldn’t have been granted the opportunity to even make it in the door of an established news organization unless there was a reason for it. From the moment I had my interview, I knew that there was a reason I was sitting in that building and there was a reason that I seemed to click so well with those who interviewed me. I didn’t know what was in store, but I went with my gut feeling and quit everything that was holding me back including the job that was paying all of my bills. Working as a reporter, even if for a few months, was a path I’m so glad that I took because it not only opened up other opportunities, but it gave me a family that I can fall back on if I ever needed to.

Went to Therapy

Though my family members would disagree, I come from a long line of prideful women but I learned that I can’t continue to follow that path. I originally went to therapy because my grades were in the gutter and I felt overwhelmed, but my therapist helped weed out a few other problems – one of which being my hesitation when asking for help when I need it. Learning to put your pride aside and reach out, even if you don’t think anyone will reach back, not only helped me ease some of that overwhelming feeling but it also helped me create stronger relationships with the people around me.

Said “Yes” to everything

I’m an introvert who has way more fun staying indoors and watching movies than heading out to the club and having drinks. This year I forced myself to say yes to more opportunities and surprise, surprise, my world didn’t explode. I ended up landing the internship of my dreams, I met some great people, and I also embarked on new projects. I took hobbies a step further and made them side-jobs and careers and if I hadn’t said yes, I would never have made the moves I did.

I also said “No” a lot

If you’re giving so much that your hands are never open to receive, you’ll come to realized a couple of things. One, people will take advantage of you, and two you will eventually wear yourself thin. It was hard learning that there is absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone “no” especially when I meant it and I learned to get over the guilt and disappointment I felt when “letting them down.”

Attended A Funeral

Saying that the death of a family is “hard” is an understatement, and I’m sure you guys are tired of hearing about my cousin’s death but its something that is and will always be on my mind. For someone who was just entering his thirties to die so suddenly leaving behind family and friends, is shocking. One thing I learned from it was that we (humans) are so fragile and I think that the younger we are the more invincible we feel, but that’s not true. We could be gone in a flash, and while it’s horrifying to think about, it’s also hopeful because I learned that the short time I have should be spent doing things I love instead of waiting for the “perfect” moment that doesn’t exist. Life is way to short to wait.

At the end of the day, 2016 had its ups and downs, but it provided a lot of life lessons that shaped who I am. Here’s to the new year with new possibilities.

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