With another year come and gone and 2018 just a couple of weeks a way, I thought it would be fitting to write a cliché post about 31 things that I learned in 2017. (31 because I am 31-years-old).
There are some years of our lives that come and go in the blink of an eye, and there are others that are the transformative ones. For me, 2017 was one of those trasformative years.
I haven’t talked too publicly about my life this year, because, it’s not really anyone’s bizzzz. However, as I reflect back, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons that I think should be shared. Despite being cynical and sarcastic 90% of the time, I try to keep the shit I put out into the world authentic and relatable.
Up until this point in time, my life has been pretty smooth–almost too smooth. Like everyone, I have had ups and downs, bumps in the road and of course some questionable 20-year-old decisions were made. But, I’ve always been extremely aware of how lucky in life I am, and for that I am grateful.
That was until 2017, when everything I thought I knew changed. Last year at this time I was planning a wedding and was weeks away from getting married. I had a fiancé, a house, a dog, a pretty sweet job, a fun crew of gym training partners and friends—2017 was about to be the best ever!!! Fast forward to now = separated, sold my house, said goodbye to my adorable little pup, sold 80% of my belongings on a stupid Facebook page I created, left my job, left my city, lost a lot of friends in the process, started a brand new job in a brand new city and moved into a 550sqft bachelor suite (that isn’t actually that sweet) about the size of my old garage.
To say a lot changed for me this past year is perhaps an understatement. I don’t write this with the intention of garnering any sort of sympathy, AT ALL. Everything happens for a reason, and most of what has occured in the last year is largely due to my own actions and behaviours, and I have spent A LOT of time reflecting on it.
So…what have I learned from all this you ask?
HOW TO NOT FUCK YO LIFE UP LIKE KPUPS ~
1. Gratitude is ONE key to happiness.
The common theme behind every religion is gratitude. It’s powerful and it works. Always be grateful for what you have; no matter how bad things seem, there’s always someone who has it worse. Even during the darkest times…you have everything to be grateful for, truly take time to recognize what you DO have.
2. It’s ok to feel sorry for yourself, then move on.
Despite all that gratefulness, it’s also OK to feel sorry for yourself. We are the hero’s of our own story, this is your life and you can take a moment to be sad. But, put a timer on it, and move on!
3. Everyone has a story
That person who was an asshole to you in line at the grocery store likely has a story. That terrible waitress who bombed your order probably needs a tip more than the one who has her shit together. Everyone has a story. Have empathy for others, you have no idea what is going on behind closed doors.
4. It’s ok to ask for help.
You can’t do everything on your own. (I’ve tried this) Don’t make life harder than it needs to be, people like to help, just ask.
5. “You can’t connect the dots going forward; you can only connect them looking backward,” – Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was right on the money with this one. There have been so many times when a perceived opportunity didn’t work out and then a year later, there was a much bigger opportunity around the corner. You don’t always have to understand why things happen, trust that there is a bigger plan.
6. Communication is everything.
Ughh…I have learned this the very very hard way. If you take nothing else away from this post…communicate with those in your life. Check-in regularly. Put your phone away. Make time to connect with those you love. Comprimise and do things you don’t want to do. Talk about how you are feeling. Be vulnerable.
7. Friends come and go.
Just because you were close with someone 10 years ago doesn’t mean you’re going to be close to them today and that’s OK. People change and so do relationships. Sometimes people come into our lives at very specific times to help us get from point A to B, and then they somehow fade away. That’s the magic of life and relationships: they’re always evolving.
8. Less is more.
Hmmm..someone pretty smart in my life keeps reminding me of this. So, it’s probably true. 😉
9. You are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with.
It may sound cliché, but it’s true. If you really want to change your life, you have to change the people you hang around with. Spend time with people who support you and believe in you. Spend time with people who share the same passions, values, and goals. Spend time with people who make you feel good.
10. Balance and moderation are key.
Sometimes we all need a cupcake. It’s probably not a great idea every day, but the occasional treat isn’t going to kill you. Life should be fun. Being obsessive about anything is no way to live. I’m working on this…but I know it to be true.
11. Relax, everything in life doesn’t have to be so serious.
Self explanatory. It’s OK to laugh at yourself.
12. People are nice.
The day before I moved away to a new city, someone said to me…don’t worry, everywhere you go, people are nice. It’s true. People are seriously just so damn NICE.
13. Sometimes you have to put things in the “I don’t know” folder.
Terrible shit happens to everyone. Sometimes there’s an immediate silver lining. Sometimes there isn’t and at these times, you have to accept that some things just don’t make sense right now. And maybe they will later.
14. If you’re passionate, you’ll prioritize.
This is very true…we make time for things that we care most about. Instead of saying, “I don’t have time,” try saying, “it’s not a priority”. It’s ok if it’s not a priority, just own it.
15. Add value.
Give without asking for anything in return. How can you add value to someone else’s life..figure that out and do it. We all have a super power, don’t waste it.
16. Comparison steals joy.
This is a dead horse I keep beating, but until I learn my lesson, I will keep beating it.
17. Be open minded.
There is value in every opinion, don’t be dogmatic, admit when you are wrong, don’t be a dick.
18. Chill the actual fuck out.
Sometimes you just have to chill out and let shit slide, nothing is the end of the world.
19. Discomfort = growth
I’m hoping there is truth to this because I’ve been pretty god damn uncomfortable for the past few months. *Being the awkward new girl is the worst* I hope I don’t grow any taller though..this girafffe aint got time for more height.
20. Live below your means.
How much do you really need to be happy? A lot less than you think! Debt is garbage and you shouldn’t be drowning in it. Make sacrifices and live below your means.
21. Smile often.
Everyone just looks better when they smile…even if you have janky ass teeth. *working on this too* #restingbitchface #notmyfault
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Forgive someone this holiday season, Merry Christmas, you’re welcome.
23. Sleep more.
Working hard on this one, but turns out that sleep is like REALLY REALLY important.
24. Shit happens.
Life is not perfect, even when you think your shit is dialed, everything can change in an instant. You just have to roll wit dem punches and keep moving forward.
25. Dogs are the best.
In case you didn’t already know this, dogs are bomb. They don’t care if your life is a level 12 disaster, they just love.
26. Coffee counts towards your hydration.
Like…I actually didn’t really know this until recently. Don’t replace water with coffee…but this is just great news!
27. Haters gonna hate.
You aren’t going to please everyone and you don’t have to. HATERS GONNNN HATE.
Everyone should do this. Sounds like hippie shit, but I grew up on an island…I embrace hippie with open arms. 2018 goals = meditate
29. It’s OK to love yourself.
Turns out it’s not really that normal to hate everything about yourself. I’m just sorting through this one, but I learned this in 2017…so despite not mastering it, it’s on the list.
30. Listen more, talk less.
I clearly like the sound of my own voice (actually I hate the sound of my voice), but I’m narcissistic enough to write a blog and think people give a fuck about what I have to say. Listen more and have less opinions. *work in progress*
31. Courage is not in the absence of fear.
Fear, that crazy fear that won’t allow us to move forward, that won’t allow us to grow and transform our lives and of those around us will always be present in our lives. Even though many of us know that fear does not exist and that fear is only in our mind, we choose to be paralyzed by it and we choose to allow it to control our lives, our dreams, our goals and the level of our happiness. Fear will be present whenever you want to stretch, whenever you want to get out of your comfort zone and whenever you want to do more, be more, have more. What we need to do is look beyond it, and always be aware of the fact that most of the things we fear never happen, because FEAR is nothing more than False Expectation Appearing Real.
We don’t have to sit around waiting for things to change. Change your circumstances. Go after what you love. Don’t be paralyzed by fear. Give zero fucks about other people’s opinions. Go all in on your passions. Ask for help. And attack 2018 like it’s 1999 and you think the world is going to end when the clocks strikes ’00.